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Bauhaus: Utopia in Crisis portfolio donated to Camberwell Library Special Collections

A print on a table. The image on the print is a back and white abstract including plinths and springs overlaid with black, white and pale lilac circles.
  • Written bySarah McLean
  • Published date 29 July 2021
A print on a table. The image on the print is a back and white abstract including plinths and springs overlaid with black, white and pale lilac circles.
Sadie Murdoch Machine Art, Doubled. 2021. Inkjet print 297 x 420 mm. Image of work courtesy of the artist.
| Photograph: Teresa Fischer, 2021

Camberwell Library Special Collections has received a copy of a new portfolio containing 12 artists’ contemporary, international and multi-layered perspectives on the theme of the Bauhaus, which grew out of an exhibition at Camberwell Space in October 2019.

Co-curated by Dr Daniel Sturgis, Professor in Painting at UAL and featuring the work of artists including Camberwell academics Helen Robertson and Juan Bolivar from BA Fine Art: Painting and Eva Sajovic who teaches on Camberwell’s BA Graphic Design, the exhibition originally took place to coincide with the centenary of the founding of the influential German art and design school.

Titled Bauhaus: Utopia in Crisis, the exhibition took a contemporary look at the legacy of the Bauhaus founded in Weimar in 1919, its successes, its failures and its worldwide artistic and social influences.

The selected artists explored how they were attracted to and influenced by the social, utopian and transgressive aspects of Bauhaus history, how they interpreted and reshaped them, and how artistic legacies intersect with contemporary concerns.

Th exterior view of a small white building in the evening. Through one ground floor window you can see an exhibition of artworks in a room with a light on.
Installation in the iconic Van-der-Velde window at NOVA art space, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 26 May -14 June 2021
| Photograph: Jannis Uffrecht, 2021

From 26 May – 7 June 2021, the project returned to its place of origin, the Bauhaus University Weimar, in a modified form. Taking place at the university’s NOVA art space, this exhibition invited all participating artists to create a contribution in A3 format that relates to the artworks presented in London.

These were displayed in a socially-distanced manner at the Weimar campus in one of the iconic Van Der Velde windows and were accompanied by a large-format projection on the facade of the university library which combines video works with documentation of individual artworks and statements by the artists.

In the accompanying catalogue essay, co-curator Katharina Wendler from Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, says of the exhibition: "With Utopia in Crisis, NOVA art space invites a view from the outside and looks at Weimar and its Bauhaus history not only from different artistic perspectives, but also through the eyes of a British university, which has approached the topic in its very own way in 2019. At the same time, NOVA is testing the format of the travelling portfolio exhibition, thus addressing issues of accessibility, visibility and international collaboration at a time when all of these seem to be impeded."

A dark blue image of chairs in a room is projected onto the black exterior wall of a building. Behind the building you can see a sliver of dark blue night sky, and parked at the bottom left of the wall is a black car.
Large-scale projection of work by Judith Raum on the façade of the library at the Bauhaus University Weimar.
| Photograph: Jannis Uffrecht, 2021

The limited editions and unique pieces were produced in small numbers with the involvement of the workshops in Weimar and, following their presentation, have now be donated to selected archives including Camberwell's own Special Collections.

Here we share further images of works from the portfolio. You can also view the contents of the portfolio on display in the library at Camberwell College of Arts until 20 September 2021.

Print on a table seen from above. This print is a black, grey and pink abstract.
Andrea Medjesi-Jones, Untitled, 2020/21. Gouache and colour pencil on watercolour paper 20 unique drawings, 260 x 360 mm each. Image of work courtesy of the artist
| Photograph: Teresa Fischer, 2021
Three green triangles layered in a staggered sequence are sitting on a flat mirrored surface.
Ad Minoliti, Abstract Porn, 2015/2021, Digital print, 297 x 420 mm. Image of work courtesy of the artist
| Photograph: Teresa Fischer, 2021
Black and white photograph of a room showing Bauhaus chairs at two desks. There is a white door on the back wall, next to which hangs  a long black curtain. The bottom-middle left of the image has an abstract intervention. On the wall to the right of the door hangs a framed photo which you can faintly see is a portrait of Hitler.
Judith Raum, The Curtain (Poster), 2021. Digital print, 420 x 297 mm. Image of work courtesy of the artist
| Photograph: Teresa Fischer, 2021
Print on a table seen from above. The print is a large white page with a circle of text in the middle. The text is German and reads
Liam Gillick, Pain in a Building (Print), 2021. Digital print 297 x 420 mm. Image of work courtesy of the artist
| Photograph: Teresa Fischer, 2021