The Imaginist Bauhaus

Munchmuseet on the Move - Kunsthall Oslo.


Munchmuseet on the Move - Kunsthall Oslo, Dronning Eufemias gate 34
10.12.2016 – 26.02.2017

This exhibition showcasing the avant-garde group of artists known as The Imaginist Bauhaus offers you the opportunity to experience works by Asger Jorn, Lucio Fontana, Ettore Sottsass, Karel Appel and others.

Rolf E. Stenersen was very much interested by Asger Jorn and the CoBrA movement. However, by the time Stenersen began collecting works by the CoBrA artists such as Asger Jorn, Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel and Corneille, the group had disbanded and all of its members had become involved in a new movement: The International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus. Asger Jorn was a founding member of the movement, which came into being as a response to architect Max Bill’s newly started Bauhaus school in Germany and which Jorn believed excluded “free artists”. The Imaginist group enjoyed a short-lived, yet highly creative existence (1954-57), and it brought together an extraordinary cast of international artists – all of whom can be experienced in this exhibition.

Included in the exhibition is Asger Jorn’s magnificent painting The Golden Bird and its Friends, which can be seen as a reference to the circle of artists who made up The Imaginist Bauhaus. Early works by architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, which are not only very rare and valuable but also rarely exhibited, are also included in the exhibition. Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio painted his Industrial Painting series on metre-long rolls of canvas. One of these is also exhibited, as are unknown works by Elena Verrone and Soshana Aforyim, two of the women members of the artists’ collective. Visitors are also treated to a fantastic and little-exhibited work by Lucio Fontana, which he gave as a gift to Asger Jorn.

Among the other interesting elements within the exhibition is the original mail correspondence between Max Bill and Asger Jorn, in which they write about the founding of The Imaginist Bauhaus movement. Additionally, visitors can experience a life-size reproduction of Jorn’s most monumental work Aarhus Relief which measures 3x30 metres.

This is the first and only exhibition that focuses solely on The Imaginist Bauhaus, something that makes this a unique opportunity to experience these works in the artistic contexts in which they were originally created.