How did a German design school establish one of the most influential art movements in history? Find out at Bauhaus Now: art+design+architecture, a legacy of migration and modernism in Brisbane, currently showing at the Museum of Brisbane.
Founded in Weimar in 1919, the official Bauhaus art and design school operated until being closed by the Nazi regime in 1933, although teachers and students continued the movement’s legacy long after, including migrants and refugees to Australia. Among local leaders was German-born Australian artist Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack (1893-1965), and Austrian-born Australian architect Harry Seidler (1923-2006).
Bauhaus Now is a new exhibition that features original artworks from this period, as well as a series of vivid contemporary recreations demonstrating the movement’s ongoing impact across Brisbane and Australia. Almost 100 pieces are on display spanning furniture, to painting, printmaking, film, textiles, photography, sculpture, architectural plans, and historical imagery.
‘There are Hirschfeld-Mack’s important contributions to Bauhaus teaching, George Teltscher’s counterfeit internment camp banknotes, a whole section on Brisbane on the front line of the Second World War, and Harry Seidler whose Riverside design showed Brisbane how to face its river and turn it into a feature of the city,’ says exhibition curator Andrew McNamara.
Museum of Brisbane director Renai Grace says Bauhaus Now highlights the migrant and refugee contribution to Australian life and art history both during and after the Second World War.
‘To understand modern design, you need to start with the Bauhaus, the most influential art and design school in history,’ Renai says.
Designed by Speculative Architecture, the Bauhaus Now exhibition space features striking colour and architectural form to reflect the principles of the movement’s teaching.
Museum of Brisbane, Level 3, Brisbane City Hall
Closes April 18 2021
Free entry with a timed ticket