Marlborough Godard Gallery, Montreal.
Private Collection, CA.
Anon Sale; Bonhams, Los Angeles, CA, 15 Oct. 2018, lot 151.
Private Collection, New York, NY, acquired at the above sale.
Austrian-American artist Herbert Bayer turned his hand to a number of artistic genres, including graphic design, painting, photography, sculpture, architecture, and interior design. Having begun his studies in Linz and then at the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony, Bayer spent four years as a pupil of Kandinsky, Klee and Moholy-Nagy at the Bauhaus, an education that left a lasting mark on his style. He impressed Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius enough to be appointed director of printing and advertising for the School, and went on to develop several typefaces used in Bauhaus publications.
Although Bayer was selected to design a brochure welcoming tourists to Germany during the 1936 Olympic games, his abstract style led to his inclusion the following year in Hitler’s infamous ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition. Bayer subsequently left Germany for New York, having been invited by Museum of Modern Art Founding Director Alfred H. Barr, Jr. to advise on the installation of the influential 1938 exhibition Bauhaus: 1919 – 1928.
Bayer later established himself in Aspen Colorado, where he designed a number of ultra-modern, Bauhaus-inspired structures. He earned the admiration and friendship of businessman Robert O. Anderson, assisting the latter in forming his collection of contemporary art. Bayer is best known for his work in graphic design, and paintings such as Concentration (1969), with their reliance on geometry and pattern, have a dynamic visual appeal.