Exhibition Bauhaus 100 – (re)imagined

Bauhaus 100 (ré)imaginé © Distanz Verlag, Stefan Berg

Tue, 10/22/2019 -
Sat, 10/26/2019

Ottawa Art Gallery - Alma Duncan Hall

On the occasion of this year’s Bauhaus Centennial, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany will be hosting an exhibition in the Alma Duncan Salon at the Ottawa Art Gallery from October 22nd to October 27th.

The exhibition is open to the public during the following hours:
  • October 22nd: 10 am to 3 pm
  • October 23rd – October 25th: 12 pm to 7 pm
  • October 26th: 10 am to 4 pm

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus School of design, architecture, and applied arts. The Bauhaus was founded in 1919 in the city of Weimar by German architect Walter Gropius.

Its core objective was a radical concept: to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts.

The Bauhaus was only active for 14 years: as the "State Bauhaus" in Weimar (1919-1925), as a "school of design" in Dessau (1925-1932) and as a private education institute in Berlin (1932-1933). It evolved out of the arts and crafts movement and art school reforms. Its ideas had an impact well beyond the school itself, its locations and its time.

During the turbulent and often dangerous years of World War II, many of the key figures of the Bauhaus emigrated to North America, where their work and their teaching philosophies influenced generations of young architects and designers. Some of the most notable Bauhauslers include: László Moholy-Nagy, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky.

The Exhibit:
In light of the unparalleled and lasting impact of the Bauhaus, this exhibit aims at capturing the essence of the Bauhaus style, as well as exploring its themes and principles and their relevance today.

Bauhaus 100 – (re)imagined was curated by Ottawa based artist and curator, Dr. Cindy Stelmackowich, and consists of three major components.

Photographic exhibit "Seen by Stefan Berg"
When the Bauhaus moved from Weimar to Dessau, Gropius designed a new building to house the school. This building contained many features that later became hallmarks of modernist architecture and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It now houses the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

When Stefan Berg (b. Bielefeld, 1971; lives and works in Berlin) taught photography at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau, he seized the opportunity to take photographs of the building’s façades and interiors. The principal interest guiding his lens was to render the structure’s graphical and design qualities so as to convey a vivid experience of the Bauhaus idea. Berg’s pictures illustrate how the asymmetrical outward aspect of the cubic volumes gives way to symmetry inside the building and how light filtering in melds exterior and interior spaces. Evoking a sense of the building’s atmospheres, they leave a powerful aesthetic impression.

Contemporary Bauhaus-inspired furniture by EQ3
Demonstrating how the Bauhaus movement remains relevant today, Canadian retailer EQ3 showcases home furnishings that reflect the powerful design language of the school of thought. Each grouping – upholstered items, lighting, tables, accessories – addresses a particular connection to Bauhaus design. The Chiara chair, for example, was created by German designer Mykilos whose founders are graduates of Bauhaus University.

EQ3’s overall approach to home furnishing design is closely aligned with the principals of the Bauhaus: focusing on the idea that form follows function, creating products that are as progressive as they are timeless, and investing in high-quality materials that are not disposable. EQ3 has held this design philosophy from its inception in 2001 when Peter Tielmann, a business visionary with a passion for design, founded the company after immigrating to Canada from Germany.

Virtual Bauhaus
Taking place within the Dessau building, which was constructed in 1925–26 according to designs by the school’s first director, Walter Gropius, Virtual Bauhaus offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience, transporting them into the architectural space of the building as it existed in the 1920s. Through this immersive environment, visitors explore the school’s central ideas through encounters with its architectural interior. One can construct a material study in the school’s preliminary course, inhabit the dormitories where students lived and worked, engage with an experimental performance in the stage workshop, and ascend the building’s iconic staircase, a remarkable architectural element that simultaneously played host to photo-ops, drawing courses, and the school’s infamous parties.

Virtual Bauhaus uses innovative VR technology to allow viewers to experience the essence of the iconic Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany, as well as the products, ideas and general environment of the Bauhaus movement.