When it came to art, Kurt Kranz thought in series, form groups and variants. Whether in paintings, photographs, graphic designs or experimental films – he was interested in the endless game of change, the processes of transformation. The experimental education at the Bauhaus lastingly influenced his development.

Portrait of Kurt Kranz, photo: Siegfried Kühl, around 1994. Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau.
Portrait of Kurt Kranz, photo: Siegfried Kühl, around 1994. Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau.

Kurt Kranz was born in 1910 in Emmerich am Rhein. From 1925 to 1930, he completed a lithographer apprenticeship in Bielefeld. At the same time, Kranz took evening courses at the local applied arts school. He came to the Bauhaus Dessau in 1930 and studied with teachers such as Josef Albers, Joost Schmidt, Walter Peterhans, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. In 1933, Kurt Kranz received the Bauhaus diploma. He worked in the following years until 1938 as a graphic artist at the Studio Dorland with Herbert Bayer. In 1940, he was conscripted for military service in Norway and Finland. Starting in 1950, Kranz was the director for the foundation course at the State Art School of Hamburg and was appointed as a professor at the Hamburg’s Academy of Fine Arts in 1955. His activities as a guest lecturer took him to the USA, Canada and Japan. Following his retirement as a professor in 1968, he lived and worked in Suzette/France and Wedel near Hamburg. Kurt Kranz died in 1997.

Button Eye, author: Kurt Kranz, 1970. Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau / © Ingrid Kranz.
Button Eye, author: Kurt Kranz, 1970. Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau / © Ingrid Kranz.

Literature:
Kipphoff, Petra (1990): Das unendliche Bild, in: Die Zeit. No. 32, 3 September.
Kübler-Reiser, Renate (1981): Kurt Kranz, Hamburg.
Oswalt, Philipp et al. (2011): Kurt Kranz. Die Programmierung des Schönen, Berlin.