ARTISTS / Modern art
Willi Baumeister

Available works
Willi Baumeister
Willi Baumeister 1951 in front of the painting Allegro; CC-BY-NC-SA Baumeister Archive
1889Born in Stuttgart
1905studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart
1909Composition class with Adolf Hölzel
1911Stay in Paris and study of Cézanne
1913Participates in Herwarth Walden's first German Autumn Salon in Berlin
1924Trip to Paris, Baumeister meets Léger and Le Corbusier
1928Begins teaching at the Städtische Kunstgewerbeschule Frankfurt/M.
1929Exhibitions at Flechtheim, Berlin and Kahnweiler, Paris
1930Member of "Circle et Carré", Paris
1931Monograph by Will Grohmann
1932Exhibition at Cassirer in Berlin together with Klee, Kandinsky and
1937Work for the paint factory of the Wuppertal manufacturer Dr. Kurt Herberts
 (together with Oskar Schlemmer)
1943/44Publication of "The Unknown in Art
1946Appointed to the Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart
1955died in Stuttgart
1910Württembergischer Kunstverein (as guest of an exhibition of French painters)
1927Galerie d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France
1929Staatenhaus am Rheinpark, Cologne, Germany
1929Great Art Exhibition, Kunstverein Kassel, Germany
1930Venice Biennale, Italy
1931Kunstverein Frankfurt
1935Galleria Il Milione, Milan, Italy
1939Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris, France
1949Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris, France
1950Zen 49, Central Collecting Point, Munich, Germany
1951German Artists' Association, Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin
1953Guggenheim Museum New-York, USA
1954Württemberg Art Association, Stuttgart
1955documenta 1, Kassel
1955Cercle Volnay, Paris, France
1959documenta II, Kassel
1964documenta III, Kassel
1965Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne
1971Willi Baumeister, painting, Kunsthalle Tübingen
1989National Gallery, Berlin
1989Willi Baumeister: Typography and Advertising Design, State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart
1990Willi Baumeister: Typography and Advertising Design, Deutscher Werkbund, Frankfurt am Main
1999Willi Baumeister et la France, Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar
2000Musée d'Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne
2003Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid
2004Municipal Gallery in the Lenbachhaus, Munich
2004Willi Baumeister - Karl Hofer
2005Bucerius Art Forum, Hamburg
2005The Frankfurt Years 1928-1933, Museum Giersch, Frankfurt am Main
2005Westphalian State Museum for Art and Cultural History, Münster
2006Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal
2007Art Museum Stuttgart
2011State Gallery Stuttgart
2012Winterthur Art Museum
2012MART Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Trento
2013/2014Willi Baumeister International, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart
2014Willi Baumeister International, Museum Küppersmühle for Modern Art, Duisburg
2015Curtain up for Willi Baumeister!, House of City History, Waiblingen
2016/2017On Paper... Works by Willi Baumeister, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart
2016/2017Gilgamesch - Baumeister and Schumacher, Emil Schumacher Museum, Hagen
2016/2017Coming and going-artist residencies in the Frankfurt/Rhine Main region, Museum Giersch of Goethe University.
2017Artige Kunst, traveling exhibition Bochum-Rostock-Regensburg
2017/2018Willi Baumeister. The Draftsman - Figure and Abstraction in Art on Paper, Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin
For half a century, Willi Baumeister had a decisive influence on the development of German artistic life in the field of non-representational art. The painter, graphic artist, stage designer, typographer, art theorist, author, and university lecturer is regarded worldwide as one of the most important artists of modernism and counts among the most significant pioneers of the German avant-garde. Seen from an art historical distance, Baumeister succeeds most consistently in further developing the innovative ideas of his teacher Adolf Hölzel and expanding them into something entirely his own in a permanently changing work process that expresses itself in manifold development phases. In Baumeister's work, the figurations increasingly merge with the colors and create an interlocking of color and contour line forms. Beginning with his group of works titled as the African series, after 1940 the continued reduction steps formed archaisms in which mythical content began to express itself. Through the use of cryptic characters, Baumeister succeeds in fulfilling the reductive requirements of the abstract pictorial idea while simultaneously evoking narrative associations with abstract means. He creates works of art in which hidden formulas are thematized, which rule in secret, behind reality. The fact that form and its application are thereby declared the primary pictorial content is consistent with Baumeister's idea of the "unknown in art."
In the context of the epochal triumph of the laws of form over naturalism that took place in the early years of the 20th century, as well as in the face of revolutionary changes in life situations ranging from new findings in research and the natural sciences to political-social upheavals and the horrific experiences of the two world wars, Baumeister succeeded in paving the way for both artistic progress and the reconnection to the age of abstract modernism, not only in the German art landscape but throughout Europe. Accordingly, his merit can also be seen in acting as an important initiator on the forward-looking path to a modernism unencumbered by the past.
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