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Max Bill

"Painting and the sculpture are unambiguous, their utility lies in their intellectual and spiritual utility."


Notes of biography

Painter, architect and sculptor, Max Bill was born in 1908 at Winterhur (Switzerland).From 1924 to 1927 he studied at the Zurich School of Art where he learnt the Goldsmiths trade. He decided to become an architect after going to a conference given by Le Corbusier. As a result he trained under Bauhaus in Dessau between 1927 and 1929. In the course of attending various workshops on theatrical, painting, architectural and metal subjects not only did Max Bill accumulate a vast amount of knowledge about these materials, but he became convinced that it was necessary to unite art and architecture in a logical manner to enable man to live in harmony with his surroundings.
Max Bill’s first art exhibition took place in Zurich in 1929. He set himself up as an architect in Zurich in 1930, enlarging his activities to include painting sculpture and industrial creativity. He visited France and Italy on several occasions, and in 1932 joined and participated in, the activities of the group “Abstraction-Creation” issued from the group “Cercle and Square” (Michel Seuphor) which became “Collectif Realité Nouvelle” in 1939. In 1932 , with Jean Arp, he met Mondrian and made the acquaintance the following year if Vantongerloo.
In the 1940 he founded the revue “Abstrakt-Konkret” and gave lessons in Zurich and then in Darmstadt. He conceived and designed the buildings of the “University of Forms” (Hochschule für Gestaltung) in Ulm of which he became the director and then the rector. He became very involved in the daily event of Zurich, in the federal commissions of Swiss art and then in the federal parliament. In 1967 Max Bill became professor at the Hamburg Art School. He published several studies on concrete art, on the mathematical approach and structure with art, on architecture and design.
He participated in numerous collective exhibitions all over the world and a number of very considerable exhibitions on his own works were organised in his name where he was often associated with Josef Albers, Jean Arp, Pevsner or Vantongerloo. The artist received numerous prestigious distinctions - the Kandinsky Prize in 1949, the first prize in sculpture at the Sao Paulo biennale Exhibition in 1951 Max Bill built his art on the straight line and assemblage of geometric plans, in strictly calculated propositions.
He died in Berlin in 1994.

Artists on display

The art and the artists display: proclamations, galleries, museums, personal or collective exhibitions. On walls or in shop windows, wise or rebels, posters warn, argue, show. Some were specially conceived by an artist for such or such event, other, colder, have only the letter.

Some were created in lithographic technic, most are simple offset reproductions. They are many those who like collecting these rectangles of paper, monochrome or in games of colours, in matt paper or brilliant, with many words or almost dumb.

We are happy also to be able to greet, by this pages, mythical galleries as those of Denise René, Louis Carré, Claude Bernard, Berheim Jeune, Maeght, Pierre Loeb and others.


Complete work(s)

Complete work(s)
*« Das Druckgraphische Werk », Z. Félix et M. Bill, Kunsthalle Nurnberg, Nuremberg, 1968 *« Max Bill, recherche d’un art logique », V. Anker, Ed. l’âge d’homme, Lausanne, 1979 *« Max Bill », E. Hüttinger, ABC Verlag, Zurich, 1987 All the complete works

Bibliographic track and more

To read about the artist :
  • « Max Bill », M. Bense et autres, Verlag Arthur, Zurich, 1958
  • « Max Bill », M. Staber, Art in progress, Methuen, London, 1964
  • « Max Bill », M. Staber, CNAC, Paris, 1969
  • « Max Bill ou la recherche d'un art logique », V. Anker, Ed. L'Âge d'homme, 1979
  • « Kontinuität. Granit-Monolith von Max Bill », W. Spies, Ed. Deutsche Bank, 1986
  • « Max Bill », E. Hüttinger, ABC Verlag, Zurich, 1987
  • « Retrospektive », Ed. Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt & autres, 1987
  • « Drawing and redrawing », T. Reinke et G. Shrigley, Ed. Marmalade, 2006
  • « Max Bill und seine zeit », A. Thomas, Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess, Zürich 2008
  • « Max Bill. Espaces », Roberto Fabbri, Ed. Infolio, Paris, 2017
To read from the artist :
  • « La formation de l’architecte », UIA, Paris, n°44, 1967
  • « M. B. - New works », interview par Margit Staber, cat., Marlborough Galerie, 1972
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Art movements

+ BAUHAUS / 1919-1933 / Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Vassili Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Gerhard Marcks, Georg Muche, Oskar Schlemmer, etc.
+ ABSTRACTION-CREATION / 1931-1938 / Etienne Béothy, Frantisek Kupka, Piet Mondrian, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Georges Vantongerloo, etc.
+ NEW REALITIES / 1946-1956 / Etienne Béothy, Marcelle Cahn, etc.
+ MODERN SCULPTURE / 1930-1970 / William Kenneth Armiage, Constantin Brancusi, Anthony Caro, Naum Gabo, Pablo Gargallo, Isamu Noguchi, etc.
All art movements

See & discover

Beyond works currently in stock, it seemed to me useful to combine business with pleasure by letting you discover others works by artists in my gallery. These artworks, now sold or removed from our website, have been in our stock in the past.

These pages will undoubtedly make it possible for some of you to associate an image with its title or the other way round, for others it will be a good time to discover more on such and such artist. For the sake of confidentiality – the pieces being no longer available – we won't display neither their numbering or their price. For whatever reason, make sure to visit this amazing art database with to date 6441 online works just for your pleasure! Michelle Champetier

See & discover