Functional and fresh: Bauhaus at the Barbican

Sometimes design can still feel modern nearly a century later, and certain items that date from the Bauhaus era are startlingly fresh, such as the tubular steel chair by Marcel Breuer from the mid-twenties. The movement is associated with architecture largely because Mies van der Rohe was at the helm when the Nazis closed it down in the Thirties, but all forms of functional design were part of its teachings. The founder Walter Gropius advocated a marriage between art and technology that underlies much of our modern view of design.

It is fitting to see an exhibition of the Bauhaus movement in the stark surrounds of the Barbican, but what surprised me was how long the queue was. Bauhaus: Art as Life (until 12 August) is a detailed exploration of the 14-year movement whose influence is still felt today. It covers a huge array of examples of work from photography to textiles, printing, sculpture, theatre and film by teachers and pupils alike. The two great artists who taught there from the early Twenties to its closure were Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee and the show includes a few significant works by both of them.

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One thought on “Functional and fresh: Bauhaus at the Barbican

  1. Pingback: Klee’s harmony of line and colour | London Letter

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