Hauser & Wirth gallery has added to its roster the Max Bill Georges Vantongerloo Stiftung, a foundation based in Zumikon, Switzerland, that oversees the estate of artist Georges Vantongerloo and part of that of artist Max Bill. In collaboration with the organization, Hauser & Wirth will stage an exhibition in June at its Zurich gallery about the Bauhaus movement, which began 100 years ago and of which Bill was an integral member.
“Max Bill and Georges Vantongerloo were key figures in the narrative of European art of the past century, whose aesthetic breakthroughs continue to exert palpable influence today across cultures and disciplines—from graphic design and typography, to industrial design and architecture, to, of course, the visual arts,” Iwan Wirth, a president and cofounder of Hauser & Wirth, said in a statement. “At Hauser & Wirth we are passionate about exploring such narratives and the connections between postwar, modern, and contemporary art and artists around the world.”
Bill was one of many artists affiliated with the Bauhaus movement, which was founded in Weimar Germany in 1919 and sought to merge art, design, and architecture in hopes of creating a utopian society. His work included minimalist watches, the designs for an angular typeface, and geometric abstractions. He was one of the founders of the Ulm School of Design in Germany and taught as a professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich.
Vantongerloo similarly worked at the intersection of art and design. While based in the Netherlands during the 1910s, he became close with members of the de Stijl group, which included Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, among others. After working alongside the Abstraction Création group in France during the 1920s, and after more than a decade of producing sculptures resembling intersecting cubes, he continued experimenting with form and abstraction, frequently eschewing straight lines in his work.
Once Vantongerloo died, in 1965, Bill, a close friend of his, began advocating for him. Bill’s widow, the art historian Angela Thomas Schmid, set up the Stiftung to support the legacy of both artists. (The part of Bill’s estate not overseen by the foundation is controlled by the max, binia + jakob bill stiftung, which is managed by the artist’s son, Jakob Bill.) This year, Hauser & Wirth Publishers will put out an English-language translation of Schmid’s Bill monograph Mit subversivem Glanz. Max Bill und seine Zeit. Band 1: 1908 – 1939.
The news comes as Hauser & Wirth prepares to expand its operations involving 20th-century art. In November of last year, the gallery hired Koji Inoue, the international senior director of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, and said that its gallery on New York’s Upper East Side would be devoted solely to historical shows. Wirth said at the time that Inoue’s hire initiated “a new phase of our business” at the gallery.
To mark the new addition to its roster, Hauser & Wirth has produced a video trailer, which follows below.
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