2019 marks 100 years since the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919. Its diaspora have had a huge impact internationally including on the visual arts and architecture in Aotearoa. This talk is presented as part of the Pocket Histories exhibition, and will contextualise the work of Vita Cochran, Imogen Taylor and Isobel Thom as artists and designers whose works reference the Bauhaus and turn modernism into a style. There will also be time after the talk to speak with Imogen Taylor informally about the works in the exhibition.
Pocket Histories — developed in collaboration between curator Ioana Gordon-Smith and artist Imogen Taylor as the latter’s McCahon House post-residency exhibition — considers the sampling of modernism. Together, the works show a clear interest in formal geometric play; the push, pull and fit of volume, shapes, curves, colour. Modernism might be understood then as providing for these artists a series of compositional opportunities. These artists neither reject modernisms' forms and ideals, nor are they fully beholden to them. Instead, these works suggest that the contrarian spirit of modernism can be mined, combined, and deployed to disobey contemporary appetites.
Linda Tyler is the Convenor of Museums and Cultural Heritage at the University of Auckland. She teaches an art history postgraduate course in Art Writing and Curatorial Practice and was Curator of Pictorial Collections at the Hocken Library in Dunedin. She has been a board member of the McCahon House Trust and is currently one of the residency selectors.
Image: Vita Cochran, Colour Moves, 2016
Saturday 12 May, 2pm