Bizarre World War II Head Drawings By Bauhaus Artist Xanti Schawinsky Might Blow Your Mind
Born into a Polish Jewish family in Basel, the Bauhaus-trained Xanti Schawinsky, an early champion of multi-media performance, moved in the early ’30s to Milan, where he designed Olivetti’s Studio 42 typewriter along with other classic posters and products. As fascism rose he fled to North Carolina, spreading his philosophy of total theater at Black Mountain College. It was in the early ’40s, when he was living in New York and designing anti-aircraft targeting patterns for Army Air Corps artillery manuals, that Schawinsky made the two series on view at New York’s Drawing Center, Faces of War and the Head Drawings. Taking a page from Arcimboldo and Dalí, he collaged various objects—military hardware, natural forms, geometric shapes—to create these weird and haunting heads. Check them out through December 14.