• Max Bill, Ein Schwarz zu Acht Weiss (One Black to Eight White), 1956, oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 39 3/8". Photo: Theres Bütler.

    Max Bill


    January 20–May 12, 2008

    Curated by Dieter Schwarz

    Max Bill once reigned as the supreme heir of the prewar tradition of (European) geometric abstract art. In recent decades, however, his name has evoked nothing but the sclerosis of that tradition, and the predictable failure of his utopian dream to unite art and science. But his oeuvre deserves revisiting: Bill's work is more complex than the image it projects and his career richer than is generally assumed (he was not only a painter and sculptor, but also an architect and designer—and even a member of the Swiss Parliament!). His accidental input into the development of modernism in South America is also profoundly intriguing. That this retrospective—which features some eighty paintings and thirty-odd drawings and sculptures dating from the late 1920s to 1980—is organized by the Kunstmuseum's extraordinarily clear-sighted director Dieter Schwarz should in itself prompt us to give Bill a second look.