Oh hello Wassily Kandinsky, Josef Albers and Marcel Breuer, where have you been all my life? Get over here with your clean lines, and practical compositions. I do like your sense of discipline.
From one controversial art statement to another; London couldn't have found a more fitting home for a Bauhaus retrospective than the Barbican centre - that ugly-lovely Brutalist building designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon that typifies every Londoner's love-hate relationship with their own city.
There's a natural symbiosis between the Barbican and the German art school - a space full of angles and geometric curves, white boxes and industrial corners - the gallery is a natural fit for exploring the Bauhaus legacy. And there's enough pared-back, industrial design work on display for even the most dedicated maximalists to get off on; just check out all those ANGLES. And the Barbican does love an academic slant.
If the driving principle behind the Bauhaus concept was to create a sense of inclusivity and design consistency between all forms of fine, decorative and applied art and architecture, then the Barbican has duly paid its respects in this comprehensive exhibition. With examples of advertising, architecture, packaging, print, typography, fabric, furniture, photography and fine art on display from the school's most prolific graduates (including Kandinsky, Albers, Breuer, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, and László Moholy-Nagy) the scope is comprehensive, and you really need to dedicate some reading time to absorbing the most from the show.
In just 14 years (1919-1933) Walter Gropius' Bauhaus (established first in Weimar, then Dessau and then finally in Berlin), created more than just a movement; the Bauhaus style has become one of the most resonating design aesthetics.
One of the more enlightening, and charming, aspects of the show is the emphasis placed on the social aspect of life at the Bauhaus, and the characters who studied there. Erich Consemüller's photograph of Marcel Breuer with three Bauhaus Fräulein is one of the most optimistic; with their smock tops and messy hair it gives hope to those of us who have a predisposition for forgetting to comb our hair of a morning; even we can aspire to clean lines and regulatory responses.
Uniformity, regulation, discipline may not seem like the buzz words of creativity but, oh my, isn't there something quite therapeutic about putting things in boxes? And such nice boxes too.
Bauhaus: Art as Life, runs at the Barbican, London until August 12, 2012