Barbican Art Gallery opens Bauhaus. Art as Life

The Barbican Art Gallery in London presents Bauhaus. Art as Life, an exhibition on view 3 May – 12 August 2012.

Herbert Bayer, Postcard no. 11 for the Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar, summer, 1923. Colour lithograph on cardboard. Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin. Photo: Markus Hawlik

Barbican Art Gallery ’s major exhibition Bauhaus: Art as Life features a dynamic events programme inspired by the world’s most famous modern art and design school. Talks, workshops, tours, films, a costume party and a two-week Arts School Lab celebrate the lively spirit of the time.

The Bauhaus: Art as Life Costume Party forms part of Bauhaus by Day, Bauhaus by Night, a special 12-hour event (23 June). The daytime programme includes kite-making with Karl Longbottom, puppet-making with Melissa Trimingham and accessory-making with Fred Butler; it is suitable for all ages and free. The evening programme includes Play Bauhaus – Jam Out from the Bauhaus Stage in Dessau and the Bauhaus: Art as Life Costume Party, a ticketed event held in the Barbican Conservatory until midnight.

Exploring the Bauhaus influence further the Arts School Lab (2 – 14 July) is a two-week experimental arts school open to art professionals from all art forms. Participants take part in collaborative work devised with contemporary thinkers, artists and performers at the Barbican and in Germany; applications are through the Barbican website:

Highlights from the talks programme include those by the children of eminent Bauhaus students and masters. Leading contemporary artist Peter Fischli, son of Hans Fischli, speaks about how the pioneering school shaped both his house and household (3 May). Monika Stadler’s mother Gunta Stölzl was the sole female Bauhaus master and renowned for her groundbreaking weaving. Monika’s talk recalls her mother’s memories of her time at the school and beyond (14 June). Huttula Moholy-Nagy introduces Permanent Experiment, part of a special day of films in celebration of her father the Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy (26 May). The day includes the premiere of artist Aura Satz’s film Universal Language: A Lost Manifesto and the chance to hear from Hattula Moholy-Nagy , Aura Satz, professor Ian Christie and Bauhaus film expert Thomas Tode (26 May) .

Other speakers include C Raman Schlemmer, grandson of Bauhaus master Oskar Schlemmer (28 June), Nicholas Fox Weber, director of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation (10 May) and Louisa Hutton of acclaimed architecture practice Sauerbruch Hutton (12 July). Typography and communication design’s importance at the Bauhaus is explored by graphic designer Erik Spiekermann (date tbc). While Andy Groarke of architects Carmody Groarke and Kirsty Carter of design agency APFEL, speak about how the Bauhaus inspired their exhibition design for Bauhaus: Art as Life (31 May).

Workshops and walks punctuate the exhibition run. Renowned artist David Batchelor leads two workshops, On Colour (16 June) . The potential of paper to create sculptural forms is explored in On Paper Construction with artist Richard Sweeney (19 May, 9 June) while Torsten Blume, of the Bauhaus Stage in Dessau runs the two-day intensive workshop Play Bauhaus (23 – 24 June). The Twentieth Century Society / C20 lead three walks on Bauhaus architecture in London: City Influences (5 May, 2 June) Social Housing & the Bauhaus (19 May, 16 June) and Hampstead and the Bauhaus (14 July).

To complement Bauhaus: Art as Life, Barbican Cinema will run a week of dedicated events – Bauhaus Film Season (25 – 31 May). From abstract shorts, to documentaries celebrating modern design and architecture, this series of screenings is presented alongside screen talks and panel discussions with experts from the field.

Bauhaus: Art as Life is a Barbican Art Gallery exhibition produced in co-operation with Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / Museum für Gestaltung, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau and Klassik Stiftung Weimar. It is co-curated by Barbican curators, Catherine Ince and Lydia Yee, and designed by architects Carmody Groarke, creators of the Barbican Art Gallery’s dramatic The Surreal House exhibition installation, working in collaboration with graphic designers A Practice For Everyday Life (APFEL). Bauhaus: Art as Life draws on the unparalleled collections of the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / Museum für Gestaltung, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau and Klassik Stiftung Weimar, as well as other major lending institutions including; Centre Georges Pompidou; Harvard Art Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation; The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Zentrum Paul Klee.

More Information
0845 120 7 550,
Barbican Art Gallery, London
Daily 11am–8pm, Wed 11am–6pm, every Thurs LATE until 10pm
Tickets: Standard £10 online/£12 on the door, Concessions £7 online/£8 on the door
Secondary school (groups of ten or more) £6, Under 12s free

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