Max Bill Swiss, 1908-1994

Max Bill was a Swiss architect, sculptor, painter, designer, typographer, draftsman, curator, professor and founder member of the Concrete Art movement and Allianz Group. He organized the first international exhibition of Concrete Art in 1944 and went on to spread its influence in Europe and into Latin America. His interpretations of Constructivism integrated the study of both geometry and mathematics into his art practice. “I am of the opinion that it is possible to develop an art largely on the basis of mathematical thinking,” Bill once reflected. He also had a strong empahsis on colour theory, which he carried throughout his work.


Born in 1908 in Winterthur Bill studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich from 1924–1927, then with Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Josef Albers at the Bauhaus school in Dessau for the next two years. Moving shortly thereafter to Paris, the young Bill exhibited with the group Abstraction-Creation along with Mondrian, Brancusi and Arp. He engaged with several British artists also affiliated with this group such as Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, and formed a lasting friendship with Marlow Moss. Later the co-founder of the Ulm School of Arts and Crafts, he served as the head of architecture and product design there during the 1950s.


Max Bill died on December 9, 1994 in Berlin at the age of 85. His works are held in the collections of major art institutions around the world including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others.