5 October – 18 November 2023
In conjunction with the release of the second volume of Angela Thomas’ biography on Max Bill, ‘von konstruktiver klarheit. max bill und seine zeit 1940–1952,’ Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse will present a Book Lab from 5 October to 18 November. Alongside various publications by and about Max Bill, there will be a selection of works by the artist on display, spanning from the 1940s to 1950s, including paintings and sculptures as well as around ten drawings, some of which are being exhibited for the first time. Max Bill (1908–1994) was one of the most versatile artists of the 20th Century, working as a designer, painter, sculptor, architect, graphic designer, furniture designer, typographer, publicist, curator, mediator, lecturer and politician. He is considered a pioneering figure and the most influential representative of concrete art. He significantly reinterpreted the genre—once defined by Theo van Doesburg—and raised its international profile thanks to his extensive artistic network and teaching activities.
Thursday 5 October, 6 – 8 pm
Book Launch and Book Lab Opening
With author Angela Thomas
Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse
Tuesday 24 October, 7 pm
Conversation and Book Signing
With author Angela Thomas and historian Prof. Ita Heinze-Greenberg
Foyer Haefner at Chipperfield-Bau, Kunsthaus Zürich
Wednesday 1 November, 5.30 pm
Screening of ‘Max Bill—das absolute Augenmass’
With director Erich Schmid and author Angela Thomas
Arthouse Piccadilly Cinema, Zurich
Thursday 2 November, 5 pm
Conversation and Book Signing
With author Angela Thomas and curator Fabienne Eggelhöfer
Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
In October 2023, ‘von konstruktiver klarheit. max bill und seine zeit 1940–1952’ will be the main focus of Hauser & Wirth Publishers’ presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This is the first time that the publishing house will take part in the fair as part of the joint booth of the Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association (SBVV).
Angela Thomas was the co-founder and editor of ‘kassandra,’ the first German-language feminist magazine for the visual arts (Berlin and Zurich, 1977/78). She met Max Bill in 1974 and married him in 1991. For twenty years she kept notes on their shared conversations, experiences and travels, as well as the exhibitions they curated together. After Bill’s death, she founded the max bill georges vantongerloo foundation, which she still chairs as president. In 1998, Angela Thomas married the director Erich Schmid; they live together in Bill’s house and studio in Zumikon near Zurich and collaborated on the film ‘Max Bill—das absolute Augenmass’ (2008).
Image: Max Bill, horizontal-vertikal-diagonal-rhythmus (Horizontal-vertical-diagonal-rhythm), 1942 © 2023, Prolitteris, Zürich. Collection of Angela, Thomas, Zumikon. Courtesy the max bill georges vantongerloo foundation and Hauser & Wirth
Max Bill was a great Swiss polymath: an artist, architect, industrial designer, graphic designer, and teacher. He attended the Bauhaus where he was taught by Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Oskar Schlemmer. Bill remained closely associated with the Bauhaus school and was a key figure in developing and propagating its principles, especially through his professorship at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich and as a founder of the Ulm School of Design. Through his pursuit of a new visual language that could be understood by the senses alone, Bill defined the conventions of Swiss design for decades to come. His influence spread even as far as South America, where he was a catalyst for the Concrete Art movement.