Art exhibition of the week: Bauhaus: Art as Life, Barbican Art Gallery, London EC2


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The Independent Culture

Prince Charles might decry it, art and architecture may have moved beyond it, but today's world was made by modernism – and the Bauhaus School in pre-war Germany was its hard core.

A fractious and at times confused core, but not an unselfconfident one. Founded out of a desire to bring mass production into keeping with craft, and function into form, it spread the gospel of modernity and materials through Europe until it fell foul of Nazism and folded in 1933.

In its heyday, it attracted some of the most daring architects, artists and designers, bringing painting, pottery, graphics and furniture under one roof.

The Barbican exhibition is the first comprehensive showing of its work in all its forms in the UK.

Shame it has taken so long, exciting that it takes place now, when we could use some of this extraordinary school's belief in art's ability to improve the lot of people.

 (020 7638 8891; Thur to 12 Aug