Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the BauhausUpcoming Exhibition
- Kurt Schwerdtfeger, Reflektorische Farblichtspiele, 1922. Light performance, apparatus reconstructed, 2016. Courtesy of Microscope Gallery and Kurt Schwerdtfeger Estate, 2016.
Still Undead explores how Bauhaus ideas and teaching lived on in Britain, via pop culture and art schools. This exhibition coincides with the centenary of the pioneering art and design school’s founding in Weimar. Spanning the 1920s to the 90s, and including works by some 50 artists, designers and musicians, Still Undead narrates the eclectic and fragmented ways that the Bauhaus’s legacy has been transmitted and transformed. It is structured around six loosely chronological groupings, which move from the Bauhaus to British art schools, from the high street to the nightclub and beyond.
Still Undead departs from experiments in light and sound created by Bauhaus students and teachers. Combining music, costume and performance, these works were key to the school’s lively culture of parties and festivals. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, and the Bauhaus closed, a number of its masters and students came to Britain. A lack of work pushed them towards a variety of projects, making everything from sci-fi special effects and documentary photography to shop-window displays.
After World War II, Bauhaus methods reshaped British art schools through a new approach to artistic training known as Basic Design. This emphasised intuition and experimentation, colour and material. At the beginning of the 1960s, a young generation began to reimagine the aims of the Bauhaus for an era of consumerism and commercial design.
In the 1970s and 80s, youth culture – by way of art-school bands, DIY publishing and club nights – looked back to early 20th-century avant-gardes for inspiration. This section of the exhibition is a collage of performance, music and graphic design, which invokes the spirit of Bauhaus parties and theatre. The exhibition title, Still Undead, is borrowed from a 1982 song by the British band Bauhaus, suggesting that these spirits linger on, neither dead nor alive.
Exhibition:Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus
Dates:21 Sep 2019 – 12 Jan 2020
- Still Undead includes works by some 40 artists, designers and musicians, including: Gertrud Arndt, Roy Ascott, Bauhaus (Band), Robyn Beeche, Otti Berger, Leigh Bowery, Marcel Breuer, Robert Brownjohn, Laurie-Rae Chamberlain, Edmund Collein, Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell, Terence Conran, Rita Donagh, Terence Donovan, Ueli Frey, Maxwell Fry, Walter Gropius, Rene Halkett and David Jay, Richard Hamilton, Florence Henri, George Hinchcliffe and Ian Wood, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, Tom Hudson, Ben Kelly, Kraftwerk, Kurt Kranz, Margaret Leischner, Liliane Lijn, T. Lux Feininger, Al MacDonald, John Maybury, Lucia Moholy, László Moholy-Nagy, Victor Pasmore, Mary Quant, Herbert Read, Vidal Sassoon, Peter Saville, Oskar Schlemmer, Kurt Schwerdtfeger, Soft Cell, Frank Tovey (Fad Gadget), Edith Tudor-Hart, Stephen Willats.
Still Undead has been developed in partnership with “Bauhaus Imaginista”, a major international collaboration led by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Bauhaus Kooperation (Weimar, Dessau, Berlin); and the Goethe-Institut.
Marion von Osten, Grant Watson and Sam Thorne
Olivia Aherne, Gavin Butt, Cédric Fauq, Christian Hiller and Mariana Meneses
Laura-Jade Vaughan, Marketing Manager
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