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Tour New Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart Untertürkheim

navigation Heinz Mack: Large Stele Max Bill: combillation f.E. Walther:  word field Wortfeld Walter Niedermayr: panorama Jan v.d. Ploeg: grip Max Bill: bildsäule dreiergruppe Stéphane Dafflon: mural painting

 
   
 

Max Bill
(1908 Winterthur, CH - 1994 Berlin, D)

combillation aus 30 gleichen elementen in sechs gruppen, 1986
[compilation of 30 same elements in six groups]
Polyester reinforced with fiberglas, 3.25 x 8.37 x 0.21 m
Small atrium, Mercedes-Benz Museum
Collection Daimler AG

doppelfläche mit sechs rechtwinkligen ecken, 1948-78
[double surface with six rectangular corners]
Granite, 165 x 163 x 120 cm
Small atrium, Mercedes-Benz Museum
Collection Daimler AG

 
   

   
   

Max Bill was a member of the circle of Zurich Concrete artists, alongside Camille Graeser, Verena Loewensberg and Richard Paul Lohse. Bill had studied at the Bauhaus under Schlemmer, Kandinsky and Klee. The essential feature of Max Bill's entire oeuvre is mathematically precise work with geometric elements of order. Two principles of his art are the creation of rhythm in an enclosed surface or shape, and instilling the static condition of rest with dynamism.

   
   

   
   

The combillation theme in Bill's oeuvre goes back to the sculpture called "Construction from 30 identical elements" dating from 1938/39, and has been varied in many ways. The combillation with the Mercedes star in the centre, developed as a silhouette, was commissioned by the company for the former Mercedes-Benz Museum on the Untertürkheim factory site.

At the center of the new museum, the floating staggering and interlinking of the elements respond to the flowing curves of the architecture. At the same time, the loosely grouped and connected elements can be read like an abstract text or sound, seeming to echo the open constellation of concepts in Franz Erhard Walther's Wortfeld [Word Field].

   
   

doppelfläche mit sechs rechtwinkligen ecken, 1948-78
[double surface with six rectangular corners]
Granite, 165 x 163 x 120 cm

Max Bill - architect, designer, painter, sculptor, commentator and lecturer - defined concrete art as being ultimately "the pure expression of harmonic dimensions and laws" for a mathematical approach to creative design in order to maintain controllable results. The mathematical discovery of the Möbius strip, which apparently has only one edge and one surface, interested Max Bill as a sculptor for years. Bill's analysis of Constantin Brancusi's (1918-38) ›Infinite Column‹ led to the sculptural idea of an ›Endless Loop‹ as early as 1935.

Here Bill successfully formalizes a mathematical idea elegantly and lightly, making us forget how heavy the white granite is. In this way, Bill lent infinity a form that is nevertheless limited.

   
   

"Art needs emotion and thought. (…) Thought makes it possible to order emotional values so that works of art can emerge from them. The primal element of any pictorial work is geometry, relating the layers in two or three dimensions. And so, just as mathematics is one of the essential resources of primary thought and thus of gaining insights into the world around us, it plays the same role among the basic elements of a science of relationships, the way one thing, one group, one movement relates to another, and because it enshrines these elemental things within it, and places them in meaningful relationships with each other, it is obvious that it will present such elements so that they will become image." (M.B. 1949, quoted from cat. M.B., Locarno 1991, p. 104)

   
   

Further Art Works of Max Bill in the collection

   
 

Continue the Tour:

navigation Heinz Mack: Large Stele Max Bill: combillation f.E. Walther:  word field Wortfeld Walter Niedermayr: panorama Jan v.d. Ploeg: grip Max Bill: bildsäule dreiergruppe Stéphane Dafflon: mural painting

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