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Modernist ceramics: Museum der Dinge’s Decoration as Trespass

REVIEW! It's your last chance to see "Decoration as Trespass" at Kreuzberg's Museum der Dinge through Feb 10. Linked to the birthday of the German As­sociation of Craftsmen, the exhibit displays Cubist and Constructivist-inspired decorated ceramics.

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Photo by Armin Herrmann. Catch Decoration as Trespass at Museum der Dinge, Kreuzberg, through Feb 10.

Craftily sliding itself into the Bauhaus centenary celebrations in 2019, the Museum der Dinge has linked them to the slightly older birthday of the Deutsche Werkbund, the German As­sociation of Craftsmen, from which its main collection is drawn. Under this umbrella, their programme has included three exhibitions on the theme of “Questioning the Modernist Design Vocabulary”, of which this is the last. Labelled as Tortenplatten (pie plates) are 168 colourfully decorated round plates and trays hung in a grid on a single wall. They are adorned with Cubist and Constructivist-inspired patterns, with the originals by Moholy-Nagy and Kandinsky et al on display in poster format opposite. In vitrines are examples of much plainer white and glass cups and jugs, alongside another display of what looks like earthenware jugs. Although beautifully displayed, the lack of translated labels and rather vague accompanying text make it hard to see how this exhibition answers its main question of why Germany’s highly decorated ceramics disappeared from the marketplace so suddenly in the 1930s.

Decoration as Trespass | Museum der Dinge, Kreuzberg. Through Feb 10.