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Max Bill

Biographies
Max Bill

*  1908 Winterthur/Schweiz
† 1994 Berlin


The Swiss painter, graphic artist, architect, designer and art theoritician Max Bill was born in Winterthur on December 22, 1908. He attends the Zurich School of Applied Arts from 1924 to 1927 and is enrolled at the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1927 to 1929. From 1930 to 1962 he is a member of the Schweizerische Werkbund (Swiss Work Federation) and from 1932 to 1936 he belongs to the artists federation "Abstraction-Création". Max Bill founds the magazine "abstrakt konkret" in 1944, and organizes an exhibition of the same name at the Kunsthalle Basel. He lectures at he Zurich School of Applied Arts in 1944/45. As of 1967, he is guest lecturer at the Hamburg State School of Fine Arts.
Max Bill seeks to implement his Bauhaus experience in new ideas for the Ulm School of Design that he co-founds in 1951 and where he holds the principal's post until 1956. The universal concept of design and teaching as it was developed at the Bauhaus, has been formative for Max Bill's work. By the same token, his works deal with the concepts of "Concrete art", as they had been expressed by Theo van Doesburg around 1930. "Concrete Art", according to Doesburg, are works of art that are created by means of art's most genuine means of composition and principles, entirely doing without allusions to phenomenon of nature and their abstraction. New realities are created by forming colors, space, light and movement. These formulations are also specified by Max Bill in several texts on art theory. Mathematics also make for a fundamental part of Max Bill's art. He writes the essay "Die mathematische Denkweise in der Kunst unserer Zeit" (Mathematical Thinking in Contemporary Art) in 1949, in which he perpetuates the ideas of Georges Vantongerloo, ideas that see art as a product of mathematical concepts.
Max Bill is regarded as a main representative and theoretician of "Concrete Art" in general, especially of the "Zürcher Schule der Konkreten" (Zurich School of the Concrete).
He dies in Berlin on December 9, 1994.


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