Bauhaus Now exhibition features Harry Seidler and Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack

Sep 9, 2020
  • Article by Online Editor

Works by artist Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack and architect Harry Seidler are part of the upcoming Bauhaus Now exhibition, which opens at the Museum of Brisbane on 18 September.

Exploring why a 20th century German design school is still considered one of the most influential schools of art and design, Bauhaus Now: art+design+architecture, a legacy of migration and modernism in Brisbane will be on exhibition until April next year.

“To understand modern design, you need to start with the Bauhaus, the most influential art and design school in history,” says Museum of Brisbane director Renai Grace.

Bauhaus was founded in the German city of Weimar in 1919 and the art and design school operated until it was closed by the Nazi regime in 1933.

In 2017, the Centre Pompidou’s Bibliothéque Kandinsky digitised 22 rare books from the German school.

Bauhaus Now looks at the contribution of the teachers and students that continued the legacy of its principles during and after WWII, including migrants and refugees to Australia.

Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack (Frankfurt, Germany 1893 – 1965), Farbenlichtspiele (Colour Light Plays) 1923, recreated in 2019 by Michael Candy (Durban, South Africa b. 1990), wood, stainless steel, aluminium, digital components, lights. Photo: Christian Capurro. Commissioned by The University of Sydney with the generous support of Penelope Seidler 2019, courtesy The University of Sydney. Image provided by Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne.

“There are Hirschfeld-Mack’s important contributions to Bauhaus teaching: George Teltscher’s counterfeit internment camp banknotes and a whole section on Brisbane on the front line of the Second World War,” says exhibition curator Andrew McNamara

“And Harry Seidler, whose Riverside design showed Brisbane how to face its river and turn it into a feature of the city.”

Designed by Speculative Architecture, the exhibition space features striking colour and architectural form to reflect the principles of Bauhaus teaching.

Alongside Hirschfeld-Mack and Seidler are works by other notable Bauhaus practitioners like Karl and Gertrude Langer, Wassily Kandinsky, Marianne Brandt, Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.

Local contemporary artists like Michael Candy and Christopher Handran will also be exhibited as part of a exploration of how the European educational ideas filtered into Australia and had a profound impact on its art, design and architecture.

Imaginative recreations by local Brisbane artists will be featured alongside original Bauhaus works.

Bauhaus Now is on at the Museum of Brisbane from 18 September 2020 to 18 April 2021. Entry is free with a timed ticket.

Lead photo: Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack (Frankfurt, Germany 1893 – 1965), (untitled) 1959, watercolour over monotype on paper. Photo: Carl Warner. Gift of Olive Hirschfeld 1976, collection of The University of Queensland, courtesy the artist’s estate.

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