Willi Baumeister, ‘Constructivist (4)’, 1920, Galerie Thomas

Signature: signed lower right

About Willi Baumeister

Willi Baumeister first earned acclaim for his collaboration with Oskar Schlemmer and other artists on a mural for the Cologne Werkbund exhibition of 1914. As Baumeister focused increasingly on abstraction, he was alienated from the artistic program of the Third Reich, which promoted heroic ideals of Germany’s past through representational work influenced by classical art. In 1937, Baumeister’s paintings, along with the work by his longtime friend Schlemmer, were included in the notorious “Degenerate Art” exhibition, and a ban on his art was instituted in 1941. During this period, Baumeister became fascinated with pictographs and primitive mark-making techniques, an interest that surfaced in paintings such as “The Eidos Pictures” of the late 1930s and early 1940s, in which he used a language of visual codes and symbols. Following World War II, Baumeister garnered greater professional success and exhibited his work extensively in Germany and abroad.

German, 1889-1955, Stuttgart, Germany