Herbert Bayer (1900 - 1985) painting * print * sculpture * photography

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, Suppan Fine Arts will present a selection of works by the Bauhaus artist Herbert Bayer at the Art Cologne 2019. He is considered one of the most important protagonists of the Bauhaus movement. His work covers a broad spectrum from painting, sculpture, photography, typography and advertising graphics to exhibition design and architecture design. For him, painting was a central medium and field of experimentation.
The solo show focuses on painting and graphic arts from 1925, when Herbert Bayer worked at the Bauhaus in Weimar until 1970. An emphasis is on a collection of surreal - geometric works from the series Leaves and Windows from 1943 as well as the fountain "Primary Landscape" from 1967, which is unique in the artist's oeuvre. This bronze urban landscape of ten gargoyles was part of a large-scale landscaping project commissioned by Los Angeles Public Space Atlantic Richfield Co., but never completed. This object is fully functional and demonstrates the ingenuity of this Austrian artist, who was able to continue his career after his emigration to the United States in 1938 with great success.


Bayer studied in Darmstadt in 1919 as an architect. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar and took courses with Wasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and László Moholy-Nagy as well as a preliminary course with Johannes Itten. Among other things, Bayer also learned typography and created the universal alphabet, a typeface that consists only of lowercase letters and thus became the signature of the Bauhaus. In 1925 he was chosen by Walter Gropius to head the newly established workshop for advertising, design and typography. With Josef Albers and Marcel Breuer he determined the emphatically objective and functional orientation of the institute until 1928. When Bayer, just like Gropius and Moholy-Nagy, had left the Bauhaus that year and worked as a freelance advertising designer in Berlin, he concentrated on the Painting as his real artistic concern. Herbert Bayer also made an original, innovative contribution in the field of photomontage with Dadaist-surrealistic alienation effects and collage-like combinations.

In 1937, Herbert Bayer's painting was defamed in the Nazi exhibition "Degenerate Art" in Munich. In 1938 he emigrated to New York with his Jewish wife, where he designed the exhibition "Bauhaus 1919-1928" with Walter and Ise Gropius at the Museum of Modern Art. She laid the foundation stone for the Bauhaus reception in the USA. Marcel Breuer, Josef Albers, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Lionel Feininger were key personalities alongside Bayer and Gropius.

Bayer 's art in America contributed to the change of the Bauhaus idea from strictly geometrical functionalism to an organic - socio - biological orientation. The external characteristic of this change was the uptake of biomorphic mold material. In 1946 he moved to Aspen - Collorado as design consultant for the new cultural center. Inspired by science illustrations and meteorological representations, he explored series of images of the 1940s with an illustration of cosmic energies.

Aspects of geometric abstraction were the basis for numerous image sequences, with its close relationship to architecture being felt in those of the 1950s. Inspired by the oriental buildings of the Moroccan city of Tangier and their bright colors. The experimental handling of geometrical basic forms, as Bayer had learned in the preparatory course at Itten, is considered to be the basis for his works of the 1960s and 1970s in the field of geometric abstraction, hard edge painting, op art, and minimal art Many of Bayer's chromatic works are based on Fibonacci's series of figures in their pictorial composition - a mathematical approach to the Golden Ratio. In contemporary criticism compared to the New Concrete Painting of Max Bills - pupil of the Bauhaus in Dessau - and the works of Victor Vasarely in the field of Op Art - graduate of the Bauhaus founded by Sándor Bortnyk in Budapest - Bayer referred even to the basic Meaning of the preliminary course.

Works by Herbert Bayer can be found in the most important museum collections in the world: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Denver Art Museum, Denver; Tate Modern, London; Belvedere Museum, Vienna; Lentos Museum, Linz; Mumok, Vienna, Albertina Museum, Vienna.

20th Century & Contemporary Art Gallery | Est. 1974 | Vienna

The Gallery specializes primarily in European modern, post-war and contemporary art, including works by Oskar Kokoschka, Gustav Klimt, Auguste Herbin, Victor Vasarely, Wolfgang Paalen, Herbert Bayer, Hermann Nitsch, Sigmar Polke, Antoni Tapies, Hildegard Joos, Christian Hutzinger, Georg Salner and more. The publication of artists monographs, catalogue raisonnés and art historically compiled catalogues, as well as the management of artist estates and the administration of artist archives belong to the standard of the gallery activity.

On the occassion of the 100 year anniversary of the Bauhaus movement, Suppan Fine Arts presents a solo show of austrian Bauhaus artist Herbert Bayer at Art Cologne 2019.

Sebastian Suppan
+43 664 348 1130

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