This game of chess with clean lines is characteristic of the timeless Bauhaus style. Josef Hartwig’s chessmen, designed in 1923, have reduced forms which, in contrast to commonly used figures, are symbols based purely on the function and form of the maneuver of each piece. Cubes, cylinders and balls will lead you move by move to checkmate.
Josef Hartwig was a German designer who taught at the famous Bauhaus school, the most influential art institute of the 20th century, one whose approach to teaching, and understanding art’s relationship to society and technology, had a major impact both in Europe and the United States long after it closed. Even though it wasn’t a style or a school of thought, it had some key ideas that would forever change the history of design while at the same time giving birth to some of the most significant designers.