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< 100 years of Bauhaus

max bill, jakob bill, david bill:
three generations in comparison

23 February 2019 – 14 June 2019.

With Max, Jakob and David Bill, three generations of a family of artists come to the kunsthalle messmer. In honour of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, a total of around 90 works will be on show, which, despite the same artistic direction to which the three artists have devoted themselves, deal with concrete art in different ways and each seek and show an individual approach to it.

Max Bill (1908 – 1994), as one of the most important representatives of concrete-constructive art, places scientific paradigms and mathematical formulae in a strictly constructed artistic context. The teachings of the Bauhaus School, at which he studied between 1927 and 1928, were to shape his further creative path until further notice. In his work, elements of architecture, design as well as fine and applied arts are combined to form a harmonious interplay. In 1951 Max Bill founded the HfG Ulm together with Otl Aichinger and Inge Scholl, for whom he designed the building himself and was active as founding rector. Bill’s son Jakob Bill (*1942) took over the scientific-theoretical approach to his father’s art, but took completely different paths in his oeuvre and concentrated entirely on painting. His works are based on a geometric canon of forms with seemingly ethereal colour gradients, which is characteristic of his work. His grandson David Bill (*1976 – 2018) focuses on the examination of space and its division. Surfaces and objects are assembled in ever new form variables, separated and reassembled. The focus of his considerations is always the cube. The colours black and white emphasise this spatial play and lend his works additional dynamism. In addition to the universal genius Max Bill, the kunsthalle messmer exhibits his son Jakob Bill and grandson David Bill, thus presenting a generation-spanning development of artistic creation.

The Bauhaus was opened in Weimar in 1919 by Walter Gropius. The design school becomes the most influential of its time. In 1925 the Bauhaus moved to Dessau and later to Berlin, where it was closed by the National Socialists. The Bauhaus was intended to serve the aestheticization of everyday life and to create a privileged relationship between art, architecture, design and craftsmanship. Although “Bauhaus” was appropriated anew by every generation, the word “Bauhaus style” has become a fixed term in architecture, painting and design. Typical for the Bauhaus is the use of basic forms such as squares, triangles, circles and the basic colours red, yellow and blue, as well as tubular steel furniture and white cube architecture. Functionalism is the guiding principle behind Bauhaus: form follows function.

David Bill: 4 seasons, 30 x 3 x 30 cm, sheet steel and paint, 2017. © messmer foundation

Click onhere to read the opening speech of Dr. Antje Lechleite.  

Click onhere to read the opening speech of District Administrator Hanno Hurth.

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