Bauhaus at the Barbican

Contemporary and Old Art Reviews

Bauhaus at the Barbican

Postby jasperjoffe » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:20 am

Bauhaus, lots of nice designs for posters and photos of interesting looking people larking about, and some chairs that ended up in Ikea. Was it anything more than that? Like constructivism in Russia, or American Abex, it would have been good to have been there at the time, these movements create a great surge of nostalgia for a their utopian fervour and hope, which usually ended up crushed by totalitarianism (nazis, stalinz, capitalizts).

The painting is quirky, schlemmer and Klee and feininger, minor masters. Photography and collage dominate this show, and I find them hard to judge. Like the architecture it all comes with that very modern look which of course has become our present. I don't know. It doesn't make me want to set up an art school or a movement, other people can be so hard to work with, or build elegant buildings but it shows that concerted effort by a group of artists and students can lead to good things. Will we look back at goldsmiths and the YBAs in the same way. I suspect we will.

Art as life is the subtitle of the show. Art and life we are always hearing about this. How about art being pleasurable decoration for people's walls as Matisee proposed. Why must art keep traipsing over its own borders. Art undefines itself as its definition. This restlessness with itself seems to be what makes it interesting and important, and contemporary, in the sense it's like us now, just sitting around being pretty would be a tad dull for art, but on the other hand turning any minorly aesthetic part of life into an art project produces a lot of dull stuff.

Bauhaus. Some fire in its embers. Maybe.
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