Belfast Telegraph

Galleries: Art school influence from Bauhaus to Belfast


By Elizabeth Baird

Black Mountain. Catalyst Arts, Belfast, until December. Black Mountain (College) is an important milestone within Western "contemporary art practice" and this changing exhibition is probably worth more than one visit.

It takes its name from Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Founded by John A Rice during the great depression, the idea was to create a new type of college based on John Dewey's principles of progressive education.

The college's opening coincided with Hitler's persecution of German artists and intellectuals. Josef and Anni Albers (of Bauhaus fame) left Germany to be the first art teachers in the institution. So here we see the birth of a new approach in art education.

So what will you actually see ? Well, it is described by the gallery as: "Overturning the notion of the traditional exhibition, invited collaborators will work in Catalyst Arts using this period as a micro-residency, developing site-specific commissions that will generate a series of publicly engaged workshops, talks and screenings."

So you can interact with the artists and question the influence of art on learning, while remembering what the Bauhaus and Black Mountain thinkers and doers have done for our society.

Substance to Shadows

Belfast School of Art

Until November 25

Our own Belfast School of Art has a group drawing exhibition running at its York Street gallery. By their very nature, art schools should always be pushing the boundaries of accepted practice and seeking to see the future, or at least point in the direction of same.

In an essay accompanying the exhibition, David Haughey observes that the drawings, representational in all cases, directly undermine certainty, and question how reality presents itself to us visually.

Belfast Telegraph


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