Join our mailing-list:
This form does not yet contain any fields.

    Entries in gresswell (1)


    To Bau or not to B?

    I have spent a lifetime banging on about Bauhaus to my long suffering children: its practice and philosophy, design ethics such as ‘Less is More’ (Mies van de Rohe) and the merits of Functionalism over Frivolity, etc, etc, and I am proud to say that they have rewarded me with stalwart creative thinking and  a flotilla of unsound projects, most  of which have proved amusing one way or another.  

    So I cant believe that I’m saying this, especially since I waxed so lyrical last week about the merits of membering my way round the country in search of culturetainment:  but unfortunately it’

    ’BOO’ to Bauhaus at the Barbican!

    Not only did it cost too much (even with Artfund membership the indigestible £12 entry was only reduced to a semi-realistic £8), but also I found it sparse and surprisingly hard going...and I am an Art addict! 

    Granted:   it is still pioneer stuff - nigh on a 100yrs after its heyday, it is the philosophical basis for all Art School education, and even today the biggest influence on our design thinking since Arts and Crafts. Why? Because good design, as we learnt from a TomaxTalk last summer, is a pleasure. It is a mode of thinking and a way of life. Bauhaus came out of an era of architectural overload and excess, offering a conceptual solution and rational that was so refreshing that it became our modus operandi for the C20 – and beyond. 

    The Barbican is a design icon itself of course, and so the right place to show Bauhaus reliquary, particularly because much of what survives   is small by nature, being either photographic or works on paper.  This is always my dilemma – would a good book be just as enlightening as going to see the exhibition?  As is my wont I dislike museum hush, and came away wanting more atmosphere and antics. Music? Film? Voices?  That is the sprit of Bauhaus. This show felt a bit reverent. Sadly, at £32, the catalogue was un-affordable. Instead I suggest you buy a book (Bauhaus/Frank Whitford Thames and Hudson classic is available on Amazon for £8.95) or go to Berlin to experience the real thing - better! 

    So... What do I recommend this week?  Both of the following are FREE, on until `May 27th, and worth the Oysterage (or Shanks Pony).

    SONG DONG – in the Curve at the Barbican: (a grief stricken elderly Chinese widow lays out  her lifetimes possessions  with cathartic  precision – a lesson in hoarding and history through objects)

    LEATHER FOREVER – Hermes, at Burlington Gdns (behind the RA): This is an absolute delight:  fancy leather goods in a fantastical setting