Walter Dexel, dust jacket designed for his own book, “Das Wohnhaus von Heute,” 1928
This remarkable collection of graphic design comes from the German Constructivist artist and typographer Walter Dexel
(1890-1973) and is currently available from the rare book firm, Ars Libri
Walter Dexel, a German painter, typographer, designer and writer was born in 1890 and studied painting in Munich under the direction of Heinrich Wölfflin and Fritz Burger. He later received his doctorate under the tutelage of Botho Gräf. He was an active participant in the 1920s Constructive movement and organized shows for Jena's Art Union, which included exhibitions with Campendonk and Bauhaus artist Moholy-Nagy
. He also formed a close friendship with Theo van Doesburg
and they collaborated on various projects. In 1928 he co-authored Das Wohnhaus von Heute
(Today's Modern Dwelling
) with his wife, Grete. From 1928 to 1935, Dexel taught graphic design at Magdeburg, and from 1936 to 1942 at the Berlin-Schöneberg National School of Art. Dexel died in Braunschweig in 1973 at the age of 83.
Numbering some 85 items, this collection focuses on Dexel’s finest work from the 1920s and 1930s, including an excellent group of his classic announcement and invitation cards, and an extensive selection of his designs for letterhead stationery, pamphlets and flyers, manufacturers’ catalogues and brochures, and other advertising art and ephemera, as well as a poster for the 1929 Magdeburg exhibition, “Kult und Form.”
The collection includes a group of books and dust jackets designed by Dexel throughout his career, including a very fine folio publication designed by Dexel for Magdeburger Schulverein in 1926. Of special interest is an extraordinary, and extremely rare, series of wall calendars Dexel designed for Thüringer Verlagsanstalt und Druckerei (Jena) for the years 1927-1930. The collection is also accompanied by a group of reference books and exhibition catalogues on Dexel and his work.