Museum of Brisbane

Bauhaus Now

  • Opens Fri 18 Sept
  • Tues-Sun: 10am-5pm | Mon: School Bookings Only
  • Free
  • Level 3, Brisbane City Hall

Bauhaus Now: art+design+architecture
A legacy of migration and modernism in Brisbane.


Bauhaus Now

A legacy of migration and modernism in Brisbane.

Bauhaus Now brings to life the little-known story of how revolutionary ideas of the Weimar Republic in Germany influenced modernist art, design and architecture in Brisbane and Australia. The exhibition reveals the migrant and refugee contribution to Australian life and art history in the inter-war period and post-Second World War years.

The famous Bauhaus school started in Germany in 1919 and was closed by the Nazis in 1933. From the 1930s onwards, a significant number of central European, Austrian and German refugees and emigres came to Australia seeking refuge from war and fascism, many of whom were active in arts education. Through these exiles and internees, educational ideas filtered into Australia that revealed the influence of the Bauhaus.

Bauhaus Now features original artworks from this period, plus a series of vivid contemporary recreations that demonstrate both the impact of this movement in Brisbane and Australian art history. The exhibition shows how the legacy of these powerful ideas is being re-interpreted today.

Artists include: Grit Kallin-Fischer, Paul Klee, Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, Frank Hinder, Harry Seidler, Christopher Handran, Erwin Fabian, Karl Langer, Gertrude Langer, George Teltscher, Gwendolyn Grant, Francis Lymburner, Normana Wight, Josef Albers, El Lissitzky, Marianne Brandt, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski, Vassily Kandinsky, Udo Sellbach, Laurence Collinson, Laurence Hope, Michael Candy, Eleonore Lange, Paul Bai and Andy Harwood.

The newly commissioned installation Sunroom: Between Sunrise and Sunset by Paul Bai features at the entrance of the Bauhaus Now exhibition transforming the Dome Gallery, and drawing on Paul’s rich perspectives as an artist and migrant. Also embracing the Bauhaus aesthetic in a local context is an appropriation of Viennese émigré Karl Langer’s Sun Chart (1944) of Brisbane featured as part of the exhibition design by Dirk Yates, of Speculative Architecture.

Bauhaus Now is curated by Professor Andrew McNamara.


Exhibition Partner

Image Credits from top | Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack (Frankfurt, Germany 1893 – 1965), (untitled) 1959, watercolour over monotype on paper. Photo: Carl Warner. Gift of Olive Hirschfeld 1976, collection of The University of Queensland, courtesy the artist’s estate.
Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, Farbenlichtspiele (Colour Light Plays) 1923, recreated in 2019 by Michael Candy. Wood, stainless steel, aluminium, digital components, lights. Commissioned by The University of Sydney with the generous support of Penelope Seidler 2019 Photo: Christian Capurro. Courtesy The University of Sydney. Image detail provided by Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne.