London

Eugen Batz, The Spatial Effect of Colors and Forms, 1929, tempera, pencil on paper, 15 1/2 x 13". From “Bauhaus: Art as Life.”

Eugen Batz, The Spatial Effect of Colors and Forms, 1929, tempera, pencil on paper, 15 1/2 x 13". From “Bauhaus: Art as Life.”

London

“Bauhaus: Art as Life”

Barbican Art Gallery
Barbican Centre Silk Street
May 3–August 12, 2012

Curated by Catherine Ince and Lydia Yee

The exuberance of daily life at the Bauhaus is part of why the school continues to hold sway over our imagination. Performance, lavish costume balls, and sundry forms of experimentation and play were all essential activities. Too often, these seemingly contemporary practices are considered ancillary to the school’s history. But this exhibition, on the heels of major retrospectives at both Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, ventures another pass at the storied design school, this time with an eye for the social. Hundreds of objects, photos, and ephemera—including works by Josef and Anni Albers, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and László Moholy-Nagy, as well as many lesser known Bauhausler—are assembled to support a comprehensive account of life at the school. An accompanying tome offers essays by the curators, Éva Forgács, Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Philip Ursprung, and others.