Museum of Brisbane (fondly known as MoB) has delivered a new FREE exhibition which is sure to delight Brisbanites. My regular readers know that I am very fond of MoB, so I was very happy to be invited to a special preview and opening of the exhibition by Chairman Sallyanne Atkinson AO, members of the MoB Board and Director Renai Grace. Bauhaus Now: art+design+architecture. A legacy of migration and modernism in Brisbane demonstrates why a 20th-century German design school is still considered one of the most influential schools of art and design.
Founded in the German city of Weimar in 1919, the Bauhaus art and design school operated until it was closed by the Nazis in 1933. However, many of the teachers and students, including migrants and refugees to Australia, continued the legacy of its principles. Through these incomers, such as artist Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack (1893–1965) and iconic Australian architect Harry Seidler (1923-2006), educational ideas had a profound impact on art, design and architecture in Australia.
Along with Hirschfeld-Mack and Seidler, Bauhaus Now also documents the impact of other notable Bauhaus practitioners, for example, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, as well as local contemporary artists including Michael Candy and Christopher Handran.
The exhibition comprises almost 100 pieces including furniture, design, paintings, printmaking, film, textiles, photography, sculpture and architectural plans, shows how revolutionary ideas of the Bauhaus influenced modernist art and design and architecture, and how the legacy of these powerful ideas is being re-interpreted today. Audiences will discover a gallery space which features striking colour and architectural form to reflect the principles of Bauhaus. Alongside original Bauhaus works, Bauhaus Now features imaginative recreations by local designers such as Harry Seidler, whose Riverside design showed Brisbane how to face its river and turn it into a feature of the city.
Museum of Brisbane Director Renai Grace said the exhibition highlights the migrant and refugee contribution to Australian life and art history during and after World War II, "To understand modern design, you need to start with the Bauhaus, the most influential art and design school in history."