Prospectus '14 Bauhausbücher' by László Moholy-Nagy, 1928 - Black and red print on white paper with wire binding © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
After last year’s excellent Postmodernism exhibition at the V&A we are equally as excited to visit the Barbican‘s Bauhaus: Art as Life exhibition – the biggest Bauhaus exhibition in the UK in over 40 years – opening on the 3rd of May this year.
Masters on the roof of the Bauhaus building, c.1926/1998 From left to right: Josef Albers, Hinnerk Scheper, Georg Muche, László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Gunta Stölzl and Oskar Schlemmer. Courtesy Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin/Centre Pompidou, Paris
For those who aren’t familiar with Bauhaus, it was a modern art and design school in Germany that was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 and lasted until 1933 when it was closed by its own leadership under pressure from the Nazi regime. Bauhaus was famous for its design style that combined crafts and the fine arts, and also for its revolutionary teaching method, which replaced the traditional pupil-teacher relationship with the idea of a community of artists working together. Although the school only existed for fourteen years, it was hugely influential and was a driving force behind Modernism as it further sought to change society in the aftermath of World War 1, to find a new way of living.
Factory A by Josef Albers, 1925/26 - Sandblasted flashed glass with black paint © 2012 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany/ Artists Rights Society, New York, USA
From its avant-garde arts and crafts beginnings to its role as a radical model of learning that united art and technology, the exhibition will present the pioneering and diverse artistic production that make up the school’s turbulent history, which was characterised by experimentation, collaboration and play.
Tomb in Three Parts by Paul Klee , 1923 - Watercolor and graphite on paper, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Louis E. Stern Collection, 1963-181-35
Bringing together more than 400 works, the show will feature an array of painting, sculpture, architecture, film, photography, furniture, graphics, product design, textiles, ceramics and theatre all set in a dynamic installation designed by award-winning architects Carmody Groarke and graphic designers APFEL. The gallery space will be transformed into a series of dramatic and intimate spaces, arranged thematically and loosely chronologically.
Set of four stacking tables by Josef Albers , c.1927 - Ash veneer, black lacquer and painted glass © 2012 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ VG, Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany/ Artists Rights Society, New York, USA
The exhibition runs from 3 May – 12 August 2012 at Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, London.
Design for a single-family house by Farkus Molnar, 1922 - Tempera over pencil on paper, Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin Photograph: Markus Hawlik
The spatial effect of colours and forms, from Wassily Kandinsky's course at the Bauhaus Dessau by Eugen Batz , 1929 - Tempera over pencil on paper, Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
Club Chair from Oeser’s home by Josef Albers, 1928 - Mahogany veneer, beech wood, maple, with flat cushions. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, Photograph: Fotostudio Barsch © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
Bauhaus Building by Iwao Yamawaki, Dessau, 1930-32. Vintage print. Galerie Berinson, Berlin © Makoto Yamawaki
Tea Service by Marianne Brandt, 1924 -Tombac, nickel silver, silver and ebony. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
Weimar by Herbert Bayer, summer, 1923 - Colour lithograph on cardboard. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin. Photograph: Markus Hawlik © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
Prospectus 'Bauhaus Dessau' by Herbert and Irene Bayer, 1927 - Printed paper. Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany