Mit Subversivem Glanz. Max Bill und seine Zeit. Band 1: 1908-1939


Thomas, Angela


Scheidegger & Spiess, Zürich. 2008. First edition. 575 pages. Large 8vo (24,5 x 18,5 cm). Cloth spine, printed card boards. Volume 2 was published 01.10.2023. Illustrated in colour and b/w. Copy as new!

Max Bill (22 December 1908–9 December 1994). 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.

This is the first biography about the artist and private person Max Bill, who would turn one hundred years old on December 22, 2008. The book is a fascinating collage that draws on a wide variety of sources, not least stories from Bill himself, and locates Bill in the environment of his family, his friends and fellow students, his political commitment, and his artistic ideals. Illustrated with numerous unpublished private photographs, documents, drafts and drawings, the first volume describes Bill’s childhood as the son of a railway official in Winterthur, tells of his youth and his first artistic attempts, and reports how he went to the Bauhaus in Dessau, where he studied with Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy studied and became friends with Paul Klee, and how he worked back in Switzerland as an architect, painter, sculptor, graphic artist and journalist. In addition to his early work, Bill’s activities in the cooperative life reform movement and his political commitment against the Nazis also come into focus . It’s never just about Bill himself, but always about the family, cultural and political environment in which he moves.


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