NEW YORK, NY.-
Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth, and Marc Payot, Partners of Hauser & Wirth
, today announced that the gallery now represents the Max Bill Georges Vantongerloo Stiftung worldwide.
As the inaugural collaboration with the Max Bill Georges Vantongerloo Stiftung, and in celebration of the Bauhaus centenary in 2019, Hauser & Wirth will mount a major exhibition devoted to the Bauhaus at Hauser & Wirth Zürich in June 2019.
Max Bill (1908 1994) was a great Swiss polymath: an artist, architect, industrial designer, graphic designer, and teacher. He attended the Bauhaus where he was taught by Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee, and Wassily Kandinsky. Bill remained closely associated with the Bauhaus school and was a key figure in developing and propagating its principles, especially through his professorship at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich and as a founder of the Ulm School of Design. Through his pursuit of a new visual language that could be understood by the senses alone, Bill defined the conventions of Swiss design for decades to come. His influence spread even as far as South America, where he was a catalyst for the Concrete Art movement.
Georges Vantongerloo (1886 1965), born in Antwerp, Belgium, was an artist, architect, and theorist who became a member of the De Stijl group. While living in Holland and working on architectural designs during the years of World War I, Vantongerloo became part of the circle of Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, and Theo van Doesburg, who founded the magazine De Stijl in 1917. Soon after his return to Brussels in 1918, he moved to France, where he met Max Bill, who would become a lifelong friend and the organizer of many Vantongerloo exhibitions. In 1924 Vantongerloo published his pamphlet LArt et son avenir and in 1931 joined the Abstraction-Création group, which counted among its members Piet Mondrian, Barbara Hepworth, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Hans Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp. From the end of the 1930s onward, Vantongerloo distanced himself from the straight line in favour of the curved line, producing influential work characterized by greater lyrical compositions and plays of transparency, colour, and light.
Despite maintaining entirely distinct artistic practices, Max Bill and Georges Vantongerloo were bound together in their desire to forge new developments in the field of twentieth-century abstraction, and by their lifelong friendship. Their close relationship and an extended personal written correspondence which unfolded over the course of more than three decades united their independent artistic and intellectual endeavours, and helped each to push the boundaries of his work to the fullest. The progress of this extraordinary creative exchange mirrors the artistic and philosophical breakthroughs that defined the last century.
After Vantongerloos death in 1965, Bill became a critical advocate for and preserver of the artists profound influence and legacy of innovation. The Max Bill Georges Vantongerloo Stiftung was established by Bills widow, the independent curator and scholar Dr. Angela Thomas Schmid, to represent the part of these two artists estates entrusted to her care. The Stiftung is based at Haus Bill in Zumikon on the outskirts of Zurich, where it is overseen by Dr. Angela Thomas Schmid and her husband filmmaker Erich Schmid. Hauser & Wirth looks forward to developing each artists legacy through a series of dedicated projects, including exhibitions, publications, and the commissioning of new scholarship. In the first of a number of publishing projects, in late 2019 Hauser & Wirth Publishers will publish an English-language edition of Dr. Angela Thomas Schmids monograph on Max Bill, Mit subversivem Glanz. Max Bill und seine Zeit. Band 1: 1908 1939.
Bauhaus Centenary Celebration
Curated by Dr. Angela Thomas Schmid, and entitled max bill. bauhaus constellations, the exhibition will explore the dynamic dialogues that evolved within the group of artists Bill encountered at the influential German school (1919 1933). Works from the artists own collection will be presented along with archive materials he assembled during his lifetime, as well as significant works by Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Kurt Schwitters, Oskar Schlemmer, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Georges Vantongerloo.
Iwan Wirth remarked: We are tremendously honored to work with the Stiftung to immerse ourselves in the relationship between two wonderful artists whose work and legacies are bound by a remarkable professional and personal exchange. Max Bill and Georges Vantongerloo were key figures in the narrative of European art of the past century, whose aesthetic breakthroughs continue to exert palpable influence today across cultures and disciplines from graphic design and typography, to industrial design and architecture, to, of course, the visual arts. At Hauser & Wirth we are passionate about exploring such narratives and the connections between postwar, modern, and contemporary art and artists around the world.
Bill and Vantongerloo sit at a critical intersection of our gallerys global program among such contemporaries Hans Arp, David Smith, Mira Schendel, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, and Lygia Pape, among others. We look forward to further charting the connections with our future projects, and to inaugurating this wonderful collaboration through a major exhibition conceived with Dr. Angela Thomas Schmid for later this year.
Dr. Angela Thomas Schmid says: In Hauser & Wirth we have found kindred spirits who innately understand these two great artists and their thinking. Through this new collaboration I look forward to discovering together new aspects of Max Bill and Georges Vantongerloo, and to sharing deeper insights about the work of both artists with the gallerys international audience. Our first joint project in Zurich will explore artistic influences of Bills Bauhaus teachers on his work, and other important artists who have shaped Max Bills aesthetic-ethical reference system.
Max Bill was born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1908. Originally studying as a silversmiths apprentice, he became fascinated with modern architecture upon encountering Le Corbusiers LEsprit Nouveau at the Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in 1925. After finding Bauhaus materials in a bookshop in Zurich, Bill applied and was accepted to the Bauhaus school in Dessau, studying under the guidance of such teachers as Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee from 1927 to 1928. The tenets of the Bauhaus, including a modern, scientific approach to colour and Constructivist form, would inform his interdisciplinary work in art, architecture, and design for the rest of Bills life.
After leaving the Bauhaus, Bill moved to Zurich and began experimenting with and expanding the margins of Constructivism. He would eventually popularize the term Concrete Art (first coined by Theo van Doesburg) to further define his fascination with mathematical and geometric foundations utilized in the creation of objects whether sculptures, paintings, or functional objects that he considered the physical manifestations of intellectualism. Bill never disregarded the social implications of the work he made; against the backdrop of Nazi Germany and World War II, Bill insisted, if you design something for the public, you must assume social responsibility. Bill was a key member in a number of artist groups, including the Allianz group in Zurich and Abstraction-Création in Paris.
Bill executed many public sculptures in Europe and his work was exhibited extensively in galleries and museums during his lifetime, including a retrospective at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1968 69. His first exhibition in the United States was presented at the Staempfli Gallery in New York City in 1963; U.S. solo exhibitions were presented at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1974, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1988. He participated in documentas I (1955), II (1959), and III (1964). In 1993, he received the Praemium Imperiale for sculpture.
Bill is credited with having been helped to inspire Brazils the Concrete Art movement with his 1951 retrospective at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art.
Georges Vantongerloo was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1886. A founding member of the association Abstraction-Création, he studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts and Brussels until the first World War. One of the 900,000 refugees who fled Belgium in 1914, Vantongerloo produced early figurative paintings and sculptures in Holland, but faced personal and political turmoil during these early years. This turbulent period of Vantongerloos life in exile would leave a lasting impression on his life and work.
In 1917, Vantongerloo became a co-signor of the De Stijl manifesto and a founding contributor to the movements publication De Stijl, along with a principal group of artists including Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian, and Vilmos Huszár. In the following years, Vantongerloo would come to define his practice through the use of mathematical equations, science, and ethics. He theorized an equation, volume + void = space, and began experimenting with abstract linear and geometric works which gave form to his series of works Construction in a Sphere. As his practice developed through the 1920s, Vantongerloo became more invested in scientific-like methods and research; he gave mathematical titles to his works, employed Cartesian analytical geometry, and used parabolic and hyperbolic functions to invent complex shapes and forms, realized in a multifaceted oeuvre of paintings, sculptures, and architectural designs.
After moving to Paris from Menton, France, Vantongerloo joined Abstraction-Création in 1931; he served as vice-president of the artists association until 1937, organizing frequent exhibitions and producing annual booklets with contributions from an international group of artists. His models of bridges and a proposed airport were exhibited at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1930. In 1936 he participated in the exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His first solo show was held at the Galerie de Berri in Paris in 1943.