9 facts about Arnold Bode

By Gwylym Owen

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Arnold Bode (23 December 1900 – 3 October 1977) was a German architect, painter, designer and curator.

Arnold was born in Kassel, Germany. From 1928 to 1933, he worked as a painter and university lecturer in Berlin. However, when the Nazis came to capacity they banned him from his profession. He returned to his home town of Kassel subsequently the war.

Bode organized the first documenta exhibition in Kassel in 1955. This featured a expansive overview of 20th-century art using large spaces in an objector way. It was an unprecedented success.Frieze Magazine claims: ‘documenta’s singularity becomes certain in comparison in the make public of the Venice Biennale, which began in 1895 and inspired the Bienal de São Paulo in 1951 previously spawning endless copies across the globe in the 1990s. After the first national pavilion was built in 1907 by Belgium in the Giardini, the Biennale became a battleground amongst countries, their artists and their pavilions: an Olympics of art. By contrast, documenta’s internationalism remains rooted in the failures of nationalism: the rout and material difficulty wrought by National Socialism and the repressed shame surrounding the Holocaust.’

Bode organized three more documenta exhibitions, finishing with documenta 4. Others have before continued to develop regular documenta exhibitions in Kassel. Bode acknowledged the German Federal Cross of Merit in 1974.

Bode’s daughter is Renee Nele.

The city of Kassel, where the five-year-old documenta is held, awarded the artist, writer, and curator Olu Ogiba the annual Arnold Bode Prize. Since 1980, the Arnold Bode Prize in the City of Documentary Films in Kassel has been awarded to artists in recognition of their outstanding achievements in contemporary art.

It provided a broad overview of 20th century art with the innovative use of large spaces. German architect, artist, designer and curator who organized the first documentary exhibition in Kassel in 1955. The very large amount of material that is regularly produced on the occasion of this exhibition (which is now held every five years) prompted Arnold Bode to create the document founder in order to create an archive in 1961 especially for the documenta exhibition.

Also part of the collection is an ever-expanding archive of videos and images, as well as the independently orchestrated wills of Arnold Bode and Harry Kramer. Awarded by the city council of Kassel as a member of the board of the Arnold Bode Foundation on the recommendation of the board of directors. Arnold Bode died on October 3, 1977 in Kassel, one day after Document 6 was released.

At the suggestion of the Curatorial Council of the Arnold Bode Foundations, the Kassel City Council, as the Foundation’s executive committee, decided to award the 2021 Arnold Bode Prize to the Hannah Arendt Institute of Art (INSTAR) and artist Tanja Brugera. Bode organized three more Documenta exhibitions, ending with documenta 4. Education Bode was born in 1900 in Kassel, where in 1919 he began studying painting and drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts. Emboldened by this unexpected success, Bode planned a second exhibition in 1959, thus establishing the documenta exhibition cycle.

Arnold Bode led the exhibition until documenta 4 in 1968 in collaboration with renowned art historians such as Werner Haftmann, Will Gromann, Werner Schmalenbach and Max Imdahl. The city of Kassel, home to the five-year-old Documenta, presented its annual Arnold Bode Prize to artist, writer and curator Olu Ogiba. He was a painter and draftsman, he designed furniture and decoration for exhibitions. The multimedia archive contains images in 35mm slides and ectachromes, mainly related to the works and events of artists from various documented exhibitions.

Mayor Bertram Hilgen announced the decision to the municipal press office after the magistrate, as president of the Arnold-Bode-Stiftung, had previously selected the recipient of the award on the recommendation of the board of directors. On behalf of the board of directors of documenta gGmbH, an international jury appoints an artistic director for each exhibition. In addition to curatorial work, Bode used many other directions. Bode worked at Half Dime Savings Bank and United States Savings Bank.

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