ARTISTS / Modern art
Willi Baumeister

Game
© Willi Baumeister / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Willi Baumeister

Spiel / Game, 1934

Oil and sand on cardboard
61,5 × 30,8 cm

monogrammed lower right: W B
(BAUMEW/M 125)

price upon request
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Provenance: Baumeister estate; private property

Literature: Exh.cat. Kunst und Sport, Galerie der Stadt Stuttgart 1986, cat. no. 12, p. 45, ill. p. 69; Ausst.Kat. Willi Baumeister. Entdeckung neuer Bildwelten, Galerie Schlichtenmaier, Grafenau/Stuttgart 2008, p. 24, ill. p. 25
Exhibition cat. Willi Baumeister, Discovery of New Image Worlds, Galerie Schlichtenmaier Grafenau/Stuttgart, Grafenau/Stuttgart, 2008, p. 24, ill. p. 25
Peter Beye/Felicitas Baumeister, Willi Baumeister. Catalog of the Paintings, vol. II, Ostfildern 2002, no. 609
Will Grohmann, Willi Baumeister. Leben und Werk, Cologne 1963, no. 387, ill. p. 58
Exhibition cat. Willi Baumeister, Entdeckung neuer Bildwelten, Galerie Schlichtenmaier Grafenau/Stuttgart, Grafenau/Stuttgart, 2008, p. 24, ill. p. 25
Peter Beye/Felicitas Baumeister, Willi Baumeister. Catalog of the Paintings, vol. II, Ostfildern 2002, no. 609
Will Grohmann, Willi Baumeister. Leben und Werk, Cologne 1963, no. 387, ill. p. 58

The "Sportbilder" by Willi Baumeister, created since 1933, are symbols of modernity for the painter. Inspired by Stone Age rock paintings in Valltorta on the eastern Spanish coast, Baumeister took up the silhouettes of athletes as primal signs and surface forms in new pictorial techniques, the sand pictures. In the painting "Game" from 1934, the figures of the soccer players are abstracted to such an extent that they place the essential symptom of soccer, the energetic movement characteristics, sign-like above the narrative moment of handling the ball. Gottfried Boehm paraphrases this state of affairs in 1995 as follows: "The figure is broken down into disparate surface pieces with an amorphous outline, but in such a way that it becomes charged with energies and at the same time becomes a pictorial sign that carries archaic resonances. The image emerges from a symbiosis that at the same time makes it visible; the trace of a memory is inscribed in the heightened movement of the figure-sign: of the collective world of early cultures." Baumeister takes up the motif of the primordial not only in his forms. Also the technique (sand and oil on canvas) connects wall and picture to a unity, as it was once present in the rock picture.
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