Willi Baumeister
Ruhe und Bewegung II (auf Blau), 1948

The painter, illustrator, and stage designer Willi Baumeister is one of the most important representatives of classical modernism in Germany and the avant-garde of the late 1940s and 1950s. The development of abstract painting began to gain a foothold in works that centered on geometric shapes and their relationships to one another in the picture. Baumeister places the emphasis on the beholder’s ‘poetic eye’ that is stimulated by the wealth of forms in his works and opened for another dimension of visual experience. Willi Baumeister’s work Ruhe und Bewegung II (auf Blau) [Repose and movement II (on blue)] renders the theme indicated by the title as an abstract play of forms which seem to float against the light-blue background like shadow-pictures. While ‘repose’ is visualized with strictly shaped geometrical forms, arranged vertically in a statuary horizontal row, ‘movement’ is revealed by the effect of changing figure-ground ratios. Emphasizing color as material finds an appropriate mode of application in this work.

Willi Baumeister

* 1889 Stuttgart, D
† 1955 Stuttgart, D
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