Google on Tuesday paid tribute to German sculptor, painter, designer and choreographer Oskar Schlemmer on his 130th birth anniversary with a doodle, which shows a bulbous mechanical figure standing in a ballet pose wearing a metallic mask. Schlemmer is well-known for his work “Triadisches Ballett” or Triadic Ballet where the performers were transformed into geometrical figurines.
“With three dancers, 12 movements, and 18 costumes, Oskar Schlemmer’s innovative approach to ballet broke with all convention to explore the relationship between body and space in new and exciting ways,” Google said in its tribute to the artist. Schlemmer himself described the performance as “artistic metaphysical mathematics” and a “party in form and colour”.
Schlemmer was exposed to design theory at a young age as an apprentice in a marquetry workshop and also served his nation in World War I. He then worked at the Bauhaus School in Weimar in the mural-painting and sculpture departments, where he left an everlasting impression. The Bauhaus school was actually the first official artistic institution containing performance as a necessary part of education.
He became internationally known with the premiere of his Triadic Ballet in Stuttgart in 1922. The last decade of Schlemmer’s life was marred by the Nazi dictatorship and defamation of his works. In 1937, five of his works were included in the Nazi-organized “Degenerate Art” exhibition in Munich.
Oskar died in 1948. About 50 years later, his painting Idealistic Encounter from 1928 was sold for $1.487million at Sotheby’s in New York.