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As of next Friday, the first retrospective in Spain dedicated to Max Bill
16 October, 2015
Construcción simultánea de dos sistemas progresivos. 1951.
“I’ve come to the conclusion […] that most visitors hope to feel something beyond the scope of their everyday lives. Visiting an exhibition is an opportunity to interrupt one’s daily routine with a day of celebration.” Max Bill
The Swiss artist Max Bill (Winterthur, 1908 – Berlin, 1994) was a multitalented individual whose life revolved around making art and reflecting about a handful of great ideas –form, concretion, function, figure, beauty and design, among others- a real Renaissance man or homo universalis, a “designer” who combined the virtues of the homo faber and homo ludens all throughout his intense life.
The first retrospective dedicated to Max Bill in Spain, the show presents the artist’s complete oeuvre in a concentrated way, as it covers –chronologically and thematically— every facet of his multifaceted oeuvre: painting, graphic art, sculpture, architecture, book and magazine design, industrial and furniture design, graphic design and advertising typography –from large format posters to small inserts in periodicals—as well as the design of exhibition spaces. A meticulous selection of 170 works and documents from public and private collections in Europe and America reflect this idea of “concentrated retrospective” that has shaped this exhibition and its catalog from the start.
Until now, the work of Max Bill could only be seen in group exhibitions and above all, in an individual show at Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo in Madrid and Fundació Miró in Barcelona in 1980. His first solo show Spain, it included paintings, sculptures and graphic design. Bill’s architecture, which has been the subject of numerous studies and publications, has also aroused our interest, as has his time at the Bauhaus and his relationship with the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm (HfG) [Ulm School of Design], which he co-founded in 1951.
Following a series of major shows recently held at the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart, the Kunstmuseum and the Gewerbemuseum in Winterthur and the Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich from 2005 to 2008 (on the latter date, to celebrate the centennial of Bill’s birth) this exhibition at the Fundación Juan March aims to offer an updated vision of the Swiss artist’s work and its significance in the visual arts, architecture and design.