58 Gloucester Road London SW7 4QT
Legacy of the Bauhaus 13th June - 20th July
The legendary Bauhaus movement is 100 years old this year and the anniversary is being marked by exhibitions across the globe. With this exhibition we celebrate the contemporary legacy of some of the principles of this infamous art school through the work of four of our artists: Jane Goodwin, Cecile van Hanja, Roy Osborne and OSTER+KOEZLE.
The Bauhaus was an art school founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 which managed to create a cultural and historical movement that still has a profound impact to this day. It represents the essence of 20th century art and design with it ’s 'less is more aesthetic'. Geometric precision, the use of clean, primary colours, and a unity of form and function are characteristics of much of Modern art and abstraction.
Amongst the instructors of the school we can count some of the leading painters of the age such as Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who was the third director of the Bauhaus, went on to become a legend in architectural history and Alfred Barr, the first director of the MoMA, was so inspired by the Bauhaus that he made European modernist art the focus of his museum. Bauhaus members strove to develop a radically abstract language. As Josef Albers put it in his influential 1963 book on colour theory "If one says 'Red' (the name of a colour) and there are 50 people listening, it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different." With statements like these, Albers influenced a host of late twentieth century art movements, including Op Art, Conceptual Art, Colour Field Painting, Hard-edged Geometric Abstraction, and Minimalism.
These are the movements that have been of great influence on Jane Goodwin. Everything she paints is to maximise an economy of the compositional arrangements for which the Bauhaus became famous. She works principally with a simple arrangement of forms and limited palette, as in her own blue on blue square series. Due to the interaction of three shades of blue pigment (Ultramarine, Prussian and Indrathene) and the placement of squares within squares, her paintings appears to both advance and recede, subverting the two-dimensional pictorial plane and creating a pulsating sensation. Embodying the multi-functional and interdisciplinary ethos of the Bauhaus, Jane's Iconic chair series celebrates some of the most famous chair designers of the 20th Century, with their refined and minimal approach to design including Marcel Breuer, created in thread and paint on paper.
Roy Osborne is a prolific colour theorist like Johannes Itten and Josef Albers of the Bauhaus. He has written and contributed to numerous publications on colour and lectured on colour theory over the last 30 years since studying graphic design and fine art at Brighton College of Art. His painting career has sustained a primary interest in all aspects of colour and design. In Roy's paintings he maintains a symmetry, and mixes colours to have an optical effect. Many of his paintings feature horizontal, vertical and diagonal divisions of the square which encourage our eye to follow the array of colours and the rhythm of line, making us conscious of the powerful combinations and relationships colour and line has on our perception of space around us, and on our senses. He was recently awarded the 2019 International Colour Association Award for colour in Art, Design and Environment.
Cecile van Hanja's paintings explore a different kind of space, an architectural one that idolises the simple clean, straight lines of Modernist architecture movement. Similar to Bauhaus art, architecture practised and taught within the Bauhaus school was characterized by harmoniously balanced geometric shapes and an emphasis on function and harmony, as embodied by the final director of the Bauhaus, Mies van der Rohe. The architecture of the Bauhaus reflected a simple order in a time of chaos. Van Hanja likes to emphasise the open spaces of the buildings and the rhythmical pattern of verticals and horizontals in iconic buildings by Eileen Gray, Richard Neutra and Gerrit Rietveld to name a few.
OSTER+KOEZLE relate specifically to a Bauhaus ideal that placed importance on the elevation of ordinary life. The underlying principle of their photographs is that it’s worth taking seriously how any building looks, and through their collaboration as painter and photographer, make it interesting and at the same time beautiful. They strip away descriptive detail by reducing recognisable elements. Their photographs are often shot with unconventional angles, eliminating the fussy details of these often unused buildings, and add painterly overlays or areas of selected, often primary colour. An exhibition (Raum+Storag) is currently on at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena as part of the official celebration of 100 years of Bauhaus.
Damian Brenninkmeyer will be giving a talk at the gallery on Sunday June 30th at 12.00.
For further information or images please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07590011149