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The simplicity that conquered the world
The Bauhaus School now on show at the Barbican Art GAllery in London
The elegant simplicity and functionality of much of contemporary design is probably due to the ideas generated at a school formed early last century in Germany. It’s the Bauhaus school of fine arts, now featured in a major exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London.
The exhibition proposes 400 pieces that tell the history of this institution which placed at the centre of its school of thought the idea of human endeavor seen as we now call "design". The Bauhaus was founded in Weimar in 1919, moved to Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and then again a year in Berlin, when it was closed by the Nazi government.
Legendary masters such as Josef Albers, Walter Gropius (who coined the name, inspired by the medieval Bauhutte, word that indicated the lodge of masons) László Moholy-Nagy, Mies van der Rohe, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee taught in this peculiar cultural environment. These people’s creative thinking influenced most of the twentieth century with innovative ways of thinking about their daily lives, embracing the essence of the living space and its decoration. When the Nazi interrupted their creative path, many of these important figures emigrated to Great Britain and the United States. They helped spreading and developing further a vision that might have been only German, but eventually widely contaminated the international trends.
The exhibition, which will last until August 12, touches on the different aspects of creative transformation, ranging from painting to photography, from fabric to furniture.
The exhibition is an extensive, very well presented and stimulating historical research. It enables to understand and reflect on present changes in a different light; especially in a city like London which is getting ready to receive thousands of visitors for the major Olympic events and which, at this particular time, promotes innovation.