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Floating
© Willi Baumeister / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Willi Baumeister

Schwebend / Floating, 1950/51

Oil with resin on hardboard
22,8 × 65 cm

signed and dated lower right: Baumeister 2 50; on the reverse signed, dated and inscribed: Planant 2.19 51 W Baumeister; label Galerie Jeanne Bucher
(BAUMEW/M 134)

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signed, dated and inscribed on verso: Planant 2.19 51 W Baumeister; label Galerie Jeanne Bucher.
Provenance: Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris; private property, Stuttgart
Literature: Ausst. Cat. Willi Baumeister. Entdeckung neuer Bildwelten, Galerie Schlichtenmaier, Grafenau 2008, p. 62, ill. p. 63 Ausst.Kat. Willi Baumeister, Discovery of New Image Worlds, Galerie Schlichtenmaier Grafenau/Stuttgart, Grafenau/Stuttgart, 2008, p. 62, ill. p. 63
Peter Beye / Felicitas Baumeister, Willi Baumeister. Werkkatalog der Gemälde, vol. II, Ostfildern, 2002, no. 1632 with ill.

The 1950/51 painting "Schwebend" reflects the positive mood of the postwar period. Instead of heavy earth colors, Baumeister used blue, yellow, and red. It belongs to the group of paintings described by Will Grohmann as "Schwebende Welt" (Floating World). An analogous picture is in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich. In the present version Baumeister brings together a large number of his figure and form inventions of the past decades. Experienced viewers of Baumeister's œuvre recognize in the centrally placed blue form an anticipation of elements from the "Faust", "Phantom" and "Montaru" pictures. The black main figure dominating there, which spreads out over the surface, is here still integrated into the playfully appearing composition. Various forms seem to hover above a dark gray, spatially undefined surface, some of which have joined together to form groups. Organic figures are confronted with geometric ones. Because the transitions are fluid due to the blurred contours, the painting expresses a peaceful coexistence of the originally mythical world and rationally geometrically shaped modern times.
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