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Exploring the works of architect & artist, Max Bill

This week we explored the influence of architect, artist and designer, Max Bill, who founded the Concrete Art movement. His interpretations of Constructivism through painting and sculpture, integrated the study of both geometry and mathematics into his art practice.

As a designer and artist, Bill sought to create forms which visually represent the New Physics of the early 20th century. He sought to create objects so that the new science of form could be understood by the senses: that is as a concrete art.

“Art needs emotion and thought. Thought makes it possible to order emotional values so that works of art can emerge from them. The primal element of any pictorial work is geometry, relating the layers in two or three dimensions. And so, just as mathematics is one of the essential resources of primary thought and thus of gaining insights into the world around us, it plays the same role among the basic elements of a science of relationships, the way one thing, one group, one movement relates to another, and because it enshrines these elemental things within it, and places them in meaningful relationships with each other, it is obvious that it will present such elements so that they will become image.” (Max Bill. 1949, quoted from cat. M.B., Locarno 1991, p. 104)

Max Bill Sculpture " Unit Of Three Equal Volumes" 1961

Max Bill’s sculpture (to which he turned later), always in hard stone or polished metal, is highly finished. Its immaculate surfaces look machine-made and anonymous. It is as seemingly (and misleadingly) straightforward and simple as his paintings. All of his paintings and sculptures are, in his own words, "realisations of abstract ideas, concrete aesthetic objects which exercise the mind". 

Max Bill 1972-1974 - Zerstrahlung von Schwarz

Inspired by the work of Max Bill we have our Bill 100% Wool Scarf in 90x90cm & 127x127cm.

The Bill scarf illustration by Cherrill Parris-Fox

Taking center stage in Louisa’s kitchen at her home is the Munich Olympic Games 1972 screenprint by Max Bill, photographed by Emma Lewis. In anticipation of the 1972 games, Germany sought to create a more positive international image for itself. It commissioned several artists from around the world to design posters promoting the event as “The Happy Games.” Bill’s paintings usually employed basic geometric shapes in order to achieve visually captivating and narrative pieces, accompanied by a vivid use of colour typical of a former Bauhaus student.

Max Bill, Continuity, 1947, Zurich.