Even if he does not seem to have been one of the most famous designers of the Bauhaus, Erich Dieckmann's designs still are certainly among the most important of the 1920s/30s. They are no-nonsense, functional, confident and of timeless elegance. He would create something new with any material he came upon, whether it be wood, cane or tubular steel. His wooden chair, designed at the end of the 1920s, meant to be low cost furniture, assembled by unemployed and unskilled Frankfurt labourers, captivates with its uncompromising simplicity. Wooden slats and plywood boards made of cheap wood, with visible dovetailing as their only decoration, result in a coherent design of special quality; cheap, functional and comfortable (151A-56). The timber used for the occasional table from 1928/29, made at the Bauhochschule Weimar, is more precious and very rare! Four sturdy, 'L-shaped', mahogany slats, interlocked at a 90° angle, form the base for the round plywood top with mahogany veneer; reserved, confident elegance, only visible at a second glance (151A-57). His tubular steel armchairs also combine functionality, elegance and comfort in equal measures. This is particularly evident in the model '8219' (151A-64), which is based on the closed two-line system, where a structural separation between the frame and the seat-back frame is visible, as well as in the model '8139' (151B-65), in which the base frame, seat, backrest and armrests are shaped from a single closed line.
As early as 1928, Marcel Breuer talked about Dieckmann's furniture: "They are rather light, open, as if sketched into the room; they do not hinder either movement or the view across the room." (Quote: Vegesack (ed.), Exh. Erich Dieckmann Möbelbau 1921-1933, Weil/Rhine 1990, p. 74, after original source: Breuer, Metallmöbel und die Moderne Räumlichkeit, in: Das Neue Frankfurt, 1928, No. 1. p.11.)).
Dieckmann left his parents' house at the age of 16 to join the navy; at 17, he volunteered for military service. Having been wounded, he decided to go back and finish school and then study architecture and art. In 1921, he enrolled at the Bauhaus in Weimar and began his apprenticeship in carpentry, which he completed in 1924 with the journeyman's examination. He did not relocate with the Bauhaus to Dessau; instead, he stayed in Weimar (1925-1930) where he took over the management of the carpentry workshop at the state-run Bauhochschule. In 1931, due to his Bauhaus past and under pressure for it from the National Socialist cultural policy, he transferred to the Burg Giebichenstein School of Applied Arts as a master craftsman. Here, too, he was ejected by the National Socialists in 1933. He designed furniture for companies such as Cebaso, Thonet, DUSCO AG and private clients; some of his tubular steel models were also produced under licence from 1934 onwards by Metz & Co. in Amsterdam.
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