Ain’t no party like a Bauhaus party…

Bauhaus: Art as Life

This is the first major retrospective of Bauhaus since the 60s and it is a pretty spectacular collection of delights. The main concept of Bauhaus was to bring together art, design, functionality and creative playfulness and make it as one – to rid the silly hierarchies between art and craft, skill and play and instead embrace them all. They also had the most amazing parties, creating elaborate costumes (of which some are on display at the exhibition) and also embraced set designs and theatricality. Quite simply, I am now of the opinion that the Bauhaus would have been the best art school to have attended in the 20th century, with the only exception maybe being the RA when Hockney was there. You learnt a plethora of different skills and crafts and channeled them into spectacles of creation through playful investigation. Masters hung out with pupils, unlike art schools today where tutors barely even acknowledge you, apart from the occasional 5 minute tutorial every 3 months. It was all a bit special.

Bringing together drawings, furniture, sculpture, film, pottery, textiles, ceramics, collage, photography, costume…..this exhibition is quite simply, amazing. And I’m saying that even after three months of standing in it day after day.

Barbara

Fiery underwhelmed goddesses

I wake up in the morning and this image is one of the first things I see in my room.

There’s normally quite a brutality to Egon Schiele’s depiction of women – like he’s broken the female form up into little pieces and stitched them back together, limb by limb (although this isn’t quite so prominent in this piece). The way Schiele’s fractured female forms are normally portrayed through the mark- making, colour and form, drifts between drawing and painting.This is why I find his drawings so compulsive to rummage through – I continue to get most excited by the tension between drawing and painting, form and structure, mark and surface.

It is also only when the female form is visually dissected and the human condition responded to in such an analytical manner, that the representation of a female form becomes compulsive viewing. Wandering around, looking at the Titian’s and Sargent’s of this world when I was younger, I was amazed at the aesthetic beauty of the painted woman. I loved Peter Lely’s paintings of the Stuart mistresses (maybe that had something to do with my love for all things Charles II and
the fact that chubby chasers such as myself were deemed ‘hot ladies’ back in the day). But it wasn’t until I saw Freud’s work and Sickert’s painterly, brutal representations of prostitutes that I realised the power of representation and the effect it can have on how you both contextualise and perceive a painting, and indeed women.

Anyway, this painting quite simply makes me happy. In quite a cliche way, I see a little of myself in this mysterious fiery haired lady. And I will admit, my love for the colour green and my love for fiery red hair may have a little something to do with it (sadly, I do not possess the dream locks of flames). She looks a cross between, underwhelmed, sad, bored and also expectant. Like she’s not quite sure what to do next or where she’s going. Or maybe she’s just staring into space….maybe she is indeed just posing. I can’t really articulate why I feel a slight connection to this painting. And it is rare that it is moreso what is being represented, rather than how it is being represented that entices me. The argument that those two things are intertwined crops up there…..However, despite all that, all I know for sure is that when I see this I smile.

Barbara

Glittering in my Eye

PLEASE! Let me ascend again into the immersive dream worlds of Pipilotti Rist.  I want to get lost within the labyrinth of floating screens, and relax upon a patch of ground while images float and disappear like moments in my memory, feeling lost but at the same time found. The experience was enchanting, seducing and awe-inspiring. I want to experience this again.

Pipilotti Rist: Eyeball Massage, Hayward Gallery, London.

Megan

My nice neat weekly list

Things that have annoyed me this week:

  • Going to the fridge for the last milkybar yogurt and realising it’s out of date and the only other yogurt left was a shitey mullerlight
  • Watching half a carriage full of men not even consider giving up their seat for a heavily pregnant woman
  • Toto the cat coming in and constantly eating Cuddle’s food, entering her personal space and household domain…..this is war Toto
  • People not respecting the Umbrella traffic respect rule……if you think I’m going to remove the coverage of my head for one second so you can walk past me, you have another thing coming
  • Really wanting toast and not having bread
  • Finding fun things to do on the internet but not having the money to do them
  • Wanting a hug but having no-one to hug
  • The general public
  • People telling me how good their CV is
  • People telling me how amazing they are as a general being
  • People listing their achievements to me in bullet point order but in person, where they just sound like a twat, even more so than they did before
  • People thinking I’m actually interested in their life
  • People talking in an exhibition
  • People talking
  • People

#idiots

Barbara