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Peter Keler

Peter Keler

*  1898 Kiel
† 1982 Weimar

Peter Keler, born in Kiel in 1898, was an extremely versatile artist from the generation of Bauhaus students, with skills in painting, furniture design, graphic art, architecture and interior design.
Peter keler was working as a trainee at the Kiel School of Applied Arts when World War I broke out and was drafted in 1917. He continued his training in Kiel after the end of the war, but now he was also taught carpentry. He enrolled at the Weimar Bauhaus in 1921, where he took the preparatory course with Johannes Itten and also mural painting with Schlemmer and Kandinsky. He had the opportunity to put theory into practice in the design of the offices of the "Faguswerk" in Alfeld, aproject led by Walter Gropius.
He executed first furniture designs for the 1923 Bauhaus exhibition, among them his most acknowledged work, a cradle of geometric bodies painted in the fundamental colors (1922). This work, consisting of a blue circle, a yellow triangle and a red square, is proof of the enormous influence of the color theories of his teacher Wassily Kandinsky. The "Rote Kubus" (Red Cube) also counts among the important pieces of furniture from his Bauhaus years, a chair in an austere design that was made in 1925 and is also known as "D 1". The company "Tecta" in Lauenförde picked up making this chair and its variants "D 1/2" and "D 1/3" as well as the "Bauhaus-Cradle" just recently.
First architectural concepts also formed during his years at the Bauhaus, which Peter Keler, who had meanwhile been promoted to be Kandinsky's assistant, completed in 1925, around the same time the Bauhaus changed its location to Dessau. Peter Keler had a studio for commercial art, applied painting and interior design in Weimar as of 1925; and also made designs for seating furniture, that would be produced by Albert Walde in Waldheim as of 1930. After an extensive study journey through Europe, Peter Keler worked as an architect as of 1937, however, an occupational ban had been imposed on him up until the end of World War II.
He began teaching at the Weimar Schhol of Architecture and Fine Arts in 1945, and followed a call to the Weimar School of Architecture and Civil Engineering two years later, where Peter Keler taught exhibition and museum organization and interior design.
After Keler retired from his professorship in 1963, he turned to painting, making decorative color field compositions that expressed his education at the Bauhaus. His paintings were honored in an exhibition in the Galerie am Hansering in Halle in 1978. Peter Keler died in Weimar in 1982.

Cf.: Dauer, Horst: Vielseitigkeit, die das Bauhaus erstrebte. On the work of Peter Keler; in: Bildende Kunst 11 (1979), pp. 540-542.