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Sale: 374 / Modern Art, Dec. 04. 2010 in Munich Lot 52

Willi Baumeister - Formen figural - dreiteilig

Lot description
Oil and varnish on canvas
Beye/Baumeister 708. Signed, with date "Dez 38" and with an arrow indicating the direction on stretcher, once more signed and with number "712" on sticker. 54 x 65 cm (21,2 x 25,5 in)
In orig. artist's frame.

PROVENANCE: Private collecton Southern Germany (acquired directly from artist).

LITERATURE: Will Grohmann, Willi Baumeister. Leben und Werk, Cologne 1963, Verzeichnis der Gruppen, Formen 1936-1938, p. 283, no. 446 (with illu.), there with title: "Formen figural, dreiteilig II".

During his apprenticeship as a decorative painter Willi Baumeister already visited evening classes at the Stuttgart Kunstakademie. From 1909 to 1912 he attended Adolf Hölzel's composition class where he first met the later Bauhaus painter Oskar Schlemmer who was to become a life-long friend. In 1919/20 he produced his first 'Mauerbilder', panels with a wall-like relief structure - created by adding sand and putty to the paint - and cubist forms. These works brought about Baumeister's international breakthrough. In 1928 the Frankfurt Städelschule appointed the artist to run the applied arts-, typography- and fabric printing class. Baumeister joined the 'Cercle Carré' in 1930 and in 1931 he became a member of 'Abstraction Création'. During the 'Third Reich' Baumeister was banned as a 'degenerate' artist and rarely showed himself in public. During these years as a 'degenerate artist' he spent his time studying prehistoric and Oriental art, which was to provide him with the motifs for his 'Eidos' pictures and 'Ideogrammes'.

This painting belongs to the work group of the ‘Formen‘ from the time between 1936 and 1938. Here Baumeister makes a linear pursuit of the figural in his array of forms. Just a few color fields are casually distributed over the composition and add a slight rhythmical effect to it. The center area is accentuated by a lighter priming, however, just very slightly. This is where the play of forms merges. According to Baumeister, he also used varnish for this composition, which brings the else merry and weightless work to earth. The loosely distributed forms are bound in a slightly differentiated background, which calls reminiscence of the wall pictures from the years between 1919 and 1923.

During the war Baumeister wrote the book 'Das Unbekannte in der Kunst' (The Unknown in Art) which was first published in 1947. He resumed teaching after the war when he accepted a post at the Kunstakademie in Stuttgart. In 1955 the artist died in his hometown Stuttgart. With his extensive oeuvre and his art-theoretic publications Baumeister is considered one of the most important modern German artists. His varied oeuvre ranges from figurative works at the beginning to increasingly abstract forms. [KD].

Willi Baumeister
Formen figural - dreiteilig, 1938.
€ 80,000 / $ 96,000
€ 98,820 / $ 118.584

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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