Bauhaus Now!

When: until 20 October
Where: Buxton Contemporary, The University of Melbourne, Cnr Dodds St & Southbank Blvd, Southbank
How much: Free!
More info: Buxton Contemporary

In the centenary year of Bauhaus – perhaps the most influential design school in history – Ann Stephen’s Bauhaus Now! exhibition at Buxton Contemporary highlights the school’s values and vision, its collectivist ideals, and its radical practices.

Established in Weimar in 1919 by Walter Gropius, Bauhaus was a school that combined fine and applied arts, motivated by the idea of bringing together all the lived arts, including architecture, into a Gesamtkunstwerk (‘total work of art’). Until it was closed in 1933 by the Nazi regime, and the faculty dispersed around the world, the school renewed, interrogated, and profoundly influenced subsequent developments in visual arts, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, textile design and typography.

Stephen’s exhibition brings together a range of contemporary experiments across several art, architecture and design schools, all inspired by the Bauhaus diaspora. It includes the lanterns and costumes made and worn in the Lantern Parade by art students from RMIT and VCA, inspired by the early Weimar Bauhaus mid-winter festivals, and a video performance installation by Mikala Dwyer and Justene Williams. Two reconstructed light/colour machines will demonstrate the most celebrated Bauhaus experiments with light: Hirschfeld Mack’s Farbenlicht Spiele and Moholy-Nagy’s Light Space Modulator pedagogical tool.

[Main image: Installation view, Bauhaus Now! Buxton Contemporary – The University of Melbourne.  Photo by Christian Capurro.]