Salle Aubette in Strasbourg

Aubette (detail diag.) © J. BlonK 01 2015

Detail of "Aubette", 3D painting by Johannes BlonK, January 2015.


I would like to start this article by showing you a three dimensional painting entitled "Aubette" that I created in 2015. It is a tribute to an autodidact (like me), the dutch architect, painter, poet and theorist Théo van Doesburg (1883-1931).


Aubette (turned) © Johannes BlonK 2015

Theo van Doesburg is known as the founder and active leader of the movement "De Stijl" (a magazine in which a group of artists published their ideas between 1917 and 1931). Besides van Doesburg and Mondrian this avant-garde cross-disciplinary movement included dutch architects like Oud, and Van't Hoff, the furniture disigner Gerrit Rietveld, poets, painters and sculpturs like César Domela, etc.

Red and blue chair by Gerrit Gietveld

The Red and Blue Chair by Gerrit Rietveld.

The artistic philosophy that formed the basis for the group's work is known as neoplasticism - the new plastic art. Proponents of De Stijl advocated pure abstraction by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour; they simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colors along with black and white. The movement searched for a universal harmony through the fusion of different art forms, painting, sculpture, graphics, furniture and architecture up to urbanism. The works of De Stijl would influence the Bauhaus style and the international style of architecture as well as clothing and interior design.

In the heart of Strasbourg, France you can find a building dating from 1778 on the Place Kleber. At first it had a military purpose. It was transformed in 1877 following a fire to host a music academy and a concerthall at the 1st floor and shops at groundlevel. The front roof line is decorated with medallions of famous musicians like Mozart.

Salle Aubette, Place Kleber, Strasbourg, France

Place Kleber in the centre of Strasbourg, France.

In 1922, the owners of the right wing of the building decided a second transformation into a large leasure complex including a dancing, bars, cinema/ballroom, billiard room etc.


Theo van Doesburg in Salle Aubette, Strasbourg, France

Theo van Doesburg in 1927 in the Salle Aubette during the works.

Theo van Doesburg was ordered to take care of the design together with Jean Arp and his wife Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Between 1926 and 1928 they will apply the principles of the dutch movement De Stijl (very popular in Europe at the time) to the design of the place and the decoration.

From an artistic point of view, it was one of the most ambitious avant-garde projects of the 1920's. Some qualify the enterior as the "Sistine Chapel of modern art".

You can also make a tribute to Theo van Doesburg by visiting Salle Aubette for free!

You can visit the interior from Wednesday to Saturday from 2pm to 6pm. free entrance. If Strasbourg is too far away (beautiful city!) you can have a virtual visit through the site of the Strasbourg Museums:

Salle Cine-bal Aubette Strasbourg 01-2014

The cinema/ballroom of Aubette.

Sources: wikipédia, musées de ville de Strasbourg, Centre Pompidou.

Aubette, community hall, Strasbourg 02-2014

The community hall of Aubette.

This page is offered to you by Johannes BlonK, plastic artist in the field of geometric abstraction. I invite you to discover my artworks on this site, to visit my workshop upon appointment or to meet during an exhibition (check "Exhibitions" in the Menu).

Association theo van doesburg lien

The Association Theo van Doesburg promotes dutch culture in Strasbourg and watches over the preservation of Salle Aubette.
Click on their logo to visit their site (in french).