Max Bill

Switzerland / 1908 - 1994 / wikipedia
Max Bill (22 Dec. 1908 – 9 Dec. 1994); Swiss architect, artist, painter, typeface designer, industrial designer and graphic designer.

Born in Winterthur. After an apprenticeship as a silversmith 1924-27, Bill took up studies at the Bauhaus in Dessau under many teachers including Kandinsky, Klee and Oskar Schlemmer from 1927-29, after which he moved to Zurich.

After working on graphic designs for the few modern buildings being constructed, he built his first work, his own house and studio (1932–3) in Zurich-Höngg. From 1937 onwards he was a prime mover behind the Allianz group of Swiss artists.

Bill is widely considered the single most decisive influence on Swiss graphic design beginning in the 1950s with his theoretical writing and progressive work. His connection to the days of the Modern Movement gave him special authority. As an industrial designer, his work is characterized by a clarity of design and precise proportions. Examples are the elegant clocks and watches designed for Junghans, a long-term client. Among Bill's most notable product designs is the "Ulmer Hocker" (1954), a stool that can also be used as a shelf element, a speaker's desk, a tablet or a side table....

As a designer and artist, Bill sought to create forms which visually represent the New Physics of the early 20th century.

...Bill is credited with having been "the spark that lighted the fuse of Brazil's artistic revolution" and the country's "movement toward concrete art" with his 1951 retrospective at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art. He strongly influenced Brazilian artists like Franz Weissmann.

He died en route to a hospital after collapsing from a heart attack at Berlin Tegel Airport.

...In 1996, Jakob Bill, Max's son, founded the Swiss Max Bill Foundation and implemented the idea of his father. The foundation's purpose is to collect and preserve works in possession of the Bill family, as well as the promotion of scientific research.
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First Collected by

Philippe Orlent


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