ART COLOGNE / 54th International Art Market, Cologne

Figure in motion
© Willi Baumeister / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Willi Baumeister

Figur in Bewegung / Figure in motion, 1952

Oil on hardboard
80,8 × 59,7 cm

signed and dated lower right: Baumeister 3.52; signed, dated and titled on the reverse: Figure in motion 1952 Baumeister
(BAUMEW/M 133)

price upon request
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Provenance: Baumeister estate; private property
Literature: Exh.cat. Willi Baumeister, Galerie Beyeler, Basel 1978, cat.no. 29; exh.cat. Willi Baumeister, Entdeckung neuer Bildwelten, Galerie Schlichtenmaier Grafenau/Stuttgart, Grafenau/Stuttgart, 2008, p. 80, fig. p. 81; Peter Beye / Felicitas Baumeister, Willi Baumeister. Werkkatalog der Gemälde, vol. II, Ostfildern 2002, no. 1832, with ill. p. 724; Will Grohmann, Willi Baumeister. Leben und Werk, Cologne 1963, no. 1375 with ill.

Willi Baumeister shaped the development of German artistic life in nonrepresentational painting for half a century. In his unmistakable work "Figure in Motion" (1952), the figurations merge with the colors and create an interlocking of color and contour line forms, alluding to memory values by simultaneously taking up myths of world history. Rhythms of black, brown and ochre line clusters develop on off-white, juxtaposed predominantly in horizontal alignment. Swelling and subsiding irregularly, they are compositionally framed by crisscrossing lines and accented by freely placed dots. In this picture he deals with the possibilities of "decomposition" of a purely intuitive painting, which renounces the traditionally learned compositional structures and explains this with regard to one of his main concerns, the aspect of movement, in his writing "The Unknown in Art" (p. 76f): "While Impressionism composes only by the way of cutting out nature, the pictorial compositions that follow it have arisen emotionally, just as the compelling thing about the newer kinds of arrangement does not spring from a recipe. One trusts one's own rhythm...".
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