Quiet (Abstract composition on green field), 1925

by Rudolf Bauer

P.O.A.

Rudolf Bauer was a highly important artist in the non-objective art movement in Germany and the United States. “Non-objective art,” aimed to break ties with the external world and depict an internal expression of a spiritual nature, encouraging a utopian goal for art. Bauer sought to arrange line, forms, shapes, and colour to create harmony for the eye, and viewing pieces would be similar to experiencing different melodies.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 29.0 x 40.3 ins/ 73.7 x 102.4 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘R.Bauer’ (lower left)
MEDIUM: Oil on masonite

Catalogue No: 5900 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

Rudolf Bauer was a highly important artist in the non-objective art movement in Germany and the United States whilst also playing an integral part in the formation of the Guggenheim Museum founding collection.

Bauer’s passion was “non-objective art,” which aimed to break ties with the external world and depict an internal expression of a spiritual nature, encouraging a utopian goal for art.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Bauer’s style shifted toward colourful compositions of geometric forms, in the style of the Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism: spheres, triangles, squares, rectangles that balance and layer. These date from the time of his close involvement with the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, forerunner of the Guggenheim Museum. Finely structured shapes of various colours and subtle shadings were rendered in an infinite space in which they float and interact.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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Rudolf Bauer was a highly important German artist in the non-objective art movement in Germany and the United States whilst also playing an integral part in the formation of the Guggenheim Museum founding collection.

 

As a young artist in Berlin, Bauer created satirical illustrations for German publications, and from about 1915 to 1920, he exhibited at Herwarth Walden’s avant-garde Galerie Der Sturm, alongside artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Fernand Leger and Marc Chagall. Bauer’s work ranged from figurative illustrations and caricatures, to cubism and futurism, to abstract and non-objective paintings.

 

Solomon R. Guggenheim, with the guidance of Rebay, was a champion of non-objective art, and in the 1930s, Bauer’s art became the cornerstone of Guggenheim’s founding collection of such art. Guggenheim acquired over 200 works by Bauer which featured prominently in the first public exhibitions of his collection, and Bauer also was instrumental in helping Guggenheim to acquire the works of Kandinsky. The Museum of Non-Objective Painting, housing Guggenheim’s collection, was a showcase particularly for Bauer’s artwork, vision and design. Bauer’s artwork was also featured at the NY MoMA, Arts Club of Chicago, and Musée du Jeu de Paume (Louvre), Paris. He was introduced to the American public in the 1920s by the prominent collector Katherine Dreier and her Société Anonyme, whose curator was Marcel Duchamp.

 

In 1930, Bauer opened his own museum gallery in Berlin, “Das Geistreich.” In 1937 his work was included in the Degenerate Art exhibition in Munich. After his museum was closed, Bauer was arrested by the Nazi government but later released with intervention of Rebay’s brother and Guggenheim. In 1939 he moved to the U.S., though he ceased working after a dispute with Guggenheim over a contract that gave the Foundation ownership of Bauer’s future artwork.

 

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