Oskar Schlemmer. Three Vertical Profiles, One Pointing to the Right (Drei Profile in Senkrechten, eines nach rechts) from Play on Heads (Spiel mit Köpfen). (c. 1920, published 1923)

Oskar Schlemmer Three Vertical Profiles, One Pointing to the Right (Drei Profile in Senkrechten, eines nach rechts) from Play on Heads (Spiel mit Köpfen) (c. 1920, published 1923)

  • Not on view

Spiel mit Köpfe (Play on heads) presents eight variations on a main theme in Oskar Schlemmer's art: the interaction of the human body with space. In each print, Schlemmer overlays multiple heads in profile, presenting them from various perspectives and in a range of tones but always as flat, two-dimensional forms. Color and plane are the only compositional elements.

To realize this technically complex portfolio, Schlemmer relied on the expertise of the printing workshop at the Bauhaus school, where he made all but a handful of his prints. Rudolf Baschant transferred Schlemmer's drawings to lithographic stones. Carl Zaubitzer then printed them by hand in a laborious process. The extraordinary technical accomplishment was achieved using stencils, which allowed Zaubitzer to pull each impression from a single stone. Schlemmer acknowledged their contributions on the title page.

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Schlemmer originally planned an edition of fifty, but that seems not to have been realized. The Museum's copy is one of the very few issued as a complete portfolio by the Utopia Verlag, which published writings by Bauhaus masters in the early 1920s with the intent of releasing additional print portfolios.

Publication excerpt from Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.
Medium
Lithograph from a portfolio of six lithographs, one lithographed title page and one lithographed cover
Dimensions
composition (irreg.): 9 7/8 x 7 15/16" (25.1 x 20.1 cm); sheet: 16 1/2 x 11 5/16" (41.9 x 28.8 cm)
Publisher
Utopia-Verlag, Weimar
Printer
Carl Zaubitzer, Staatliches Bauhaus, Weimar
Edition
unknown (50 announced)
Credit
Gift of J. B. Neumann
Object number
374.1949.6
Portfolio
Play on Heads (Spiel mit Köpfen)
Department
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].