Willi Baumeister

Biography


1889
Born in Stuttgart

1905-1907
apprenticeship as a decorative painter

1908-1910
attends the "Königlich Württembergische Akademie der Bildenden Künste" (Royal Württemberg Academy of Fine Arts) in Stuttgart

1913
Participates in exhibitions including the "Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon" (First German Autumn Salon) at the gallery "Der Sturm" in Berlin

1914-1918
serves in World War I

1919
first stage design, works as typographer

1920
exhibits with Oskar Schlemmer and Kurt Schwitters in Dresden

1923-1926
exhibits in Germany and abroad, visits the "Bauhaus" in Weimar, meets Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee

1926
exhibits at the International Exhibition of Modern Art in New York, Marriage with Margarete (Margrit) Oehm

1927
first solo exhibition in Paris, offered a chair for typography, commercial graphics, and fabric printing at the "Städtische Kunstgewerbeschule" (Municiple Applied Arts School), or Städelschule, in Frankfurt am Main, becomes member of the "ring neue werbegestalter" (circle of new commercial designers)

1928
moves to Frankfurt am Main, birth of daughter Krista

1929
begins friendship with Julius Bissier in Paris, visits Fernand Léger, Le Corbusier, Ozenfant, Carl Einstein, Christian Zervos und Roger Ginsburger, becomes member of the artist association Cercle et Carré

1930
solo exhibition in Paris

1931
becomes member of the artist group "Abstraction - Création", first monograph by Willi Grohmann published, begins lifelong exploration of prehistoric art, invited by Madame de Mandrot to an artist gathering at the Château La Sarraz, Switzerland

1932
last exhibition in Germany until 1945 at the Gallery Cassirer in Berlin

1933
as part of the first official acts of the National Socialists Baumeister is dismissed without notice from his Frankfurter teaching position and denounced as a degenerate artist until the end of 1945

1934
Eduardo Westerdahl's monograph Willi Baumeister published

1935
participates in the Constructivists Exhibition in Basel, works by Baumeister are shown in the exhibition "Entartete Kunst" in Munich, stores paintings, gouaches, and drawings at the Kunsthalle Basel to keep them out of reach from the National Socialists

1938
participates in the London exhibition Twentieth Century German Art organized by Herbert Read, meets Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Joan Miró, and Wassily Kandinsky

1941
receives prohibition on painting and exhibiting, according to the decree of the "Reichskammer der Bildenden Künste" (National Art Chamber)

1943-1945
works on his writings "Das Unbekannte in der Kunst" (The Unknown in Art), experiences the end of the war in Horn at Lake Constance

1946
offered professorship at the "Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste (State Academy of Fine Arts) in Stuttgart

1948
participates in the XXIV Biennale in Venice and in the "Salon des Réalités Nouvelles" in Paris, produces further stage designs

1949
co-founder of the "Gruppe der Gegenstandslosen" (Group of Nonrepresentational Artists) (renamed Group ZEN 49 in January 1950)

1950
participates in the "Erstes Darmstädter Gespräch" (First Darmstadt Dialogues), travels to Spain and France and participates in the Second International Art Congress of the Escuela de Altamira in Santillana del Mar near Santander, Spain

1951
participates in the first Biennale (I Bienal) in São Paulo, receives Biennale Prize

1952
solo exhibition in New York at the Hacker Gallery, participates in the XXVI Biennale in Venice, Monograph by Will Grohmann published

1953
shows at the exhibition "Younger European Painters" in New York, produces stage design for Max Kommerell's Kasperlespiele für große Leute (Punch and Judy Show for Grown-Ups), directed by Gustav Rudolf Sellner

1954
Solo exhibitions in Stuttgart and Paris, the pictures stored at the Kunsthalle Basel in 1937-38 are released and returned to Stuttgart

1955
The Vienna Secession distinguishes Baumeister for his life achievement with the Klimt-Honor, has solo shows in Paris and Cologne, participates in the first documenta in Kassel and in the exhibition "Peintures et Sculptures non-figuratives en Allemagne d'Aujourd'hui" (Non-Figurative Painting and Sculpture in Germany Today), Cercle Volnay, Paris,

1955
on 23rd August Willi Baumeister dies while painting in his studio in Stuttgart