Max Bill, Zerstrahlung von Gruen
Zerstrahlung von Gruen, 1960-65
Oil on canvas, 46.5 × 46.5 cm (diagonal)
A wonderful gem of a painting by Max Bill a student of the Bauhaus artist Josef Albers, Bill visited the terraced Inca citadel Machu Picchu in 1953 together with Josef and Anni Albers and has since been familiar with Pre-Columbian artistic traditions from his early Bauhaus days. In the Peruvian capital of Lima, Bill tried to persuade the former Bauhaus masters to take a teaching position at the HFG Ulm, yet the Albers continued to teach at the Black Mountain College. Later Bill and Josef Albers exchanged artworks, from one artist to another, between equals. Albers gave Bill one of his Homage to Square paintings, many of which he made many colour variations. Similar to Albers’, the composition of Bills’ works is reminiscent of the impressions that visitors being home from Machu Picchu.
Also as a core member of the Swiss Concrete Art movement, Max Bill also exerted a strong influence on the Brazilian Arte Concrete movement when he visited Sao Paolo in 1951, where he met artists such as Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica. He then invited the founder of the MADI group Thomas Maldonado to establish the Ulm school of art and design jointly.