- Bill, Max
born Dec. 22, 1908, Winterthur, Switz.died Dec. 9, 1994, Berlin, Ger.Swiss painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and industrial designer.He studied architecture, metalwork, stage design, and painting at the Bauhaus. In 1930 he opened his own studio in Zürich, where he spent most of his life and earned a living designing advertisements. In the 1940s he designed chairs featuring geometric forms. He cofounded and directed the College of Design in Ulm, Ger. (1951–55), and also designed its buildings. He is best known for his advertising designs.
* * *▪ 1995Swiss graphic artist, industrial designer, architect, sculptor, and painter (b. Dec. 22, 1908, Winterthur, Switz.—d. Dec. 9, 1994, Berlin, Germany), advocated modern design with austere geometric forms and sophisticated, disciplined advertising designs. Among the last surviving students of the Bauhaus art movement, Bill studied architecture, metalwork, stage design, and painting while attending the Bauhaus school from 1927 to 1929. He set up his own art studio in Zürich in 1930 but earned his living mainly by designing advertisements. One of his most famous sculptures was a work in brass entitled "Konstruktion aus drei Kreisscheiben" (1945-46). His designs, however, were usually more eclectic in concept and constructed from more unconventional materials. His hard-edged, sometimes impersonal creations were designed on mathematical concepts and were made of plaster, metal, wood, and stone. Among his works were wall sprockets, a clock, a bridge, furniture, a movie theatre, a house, and most notably the College of Design in Ulm, Germany. These works earned him recognition as a leader of the Concrete and Constructivist art movements. Bill also taught (1951-56) and planned the curriculum at the College of Design and served (1967-71) as a member of the Swiss parliament. His highly admired sculptures could be seen in cities worldwide. In 1993 Bill was awarded the Imperial Prize for sculpture by the emperor of Japan.
* * *▪ Swiss artistborn Dec. 22, 1908, Winterthur, Switz.died Dec. 9, 1994, Berlin, Ger.Swiss graphic artist, industrial designer, architect, sculptor, and painter, primarily important for his sophisticated, disciplined advertising designs.Bill's early ambition was to become a silversmith, but the work of the architect Le Corbusier influenced him to study architecture at the Bauhaus, Germany's foremost school of design. He also studied metalwork, stage design, and painting. In 1930 he set up his own studio in Zürich and concentrated on sculpture, painting, and architecture while earning his living by designing advertisements. After 1944 he became increasingly active as an industrial designer, creating products as diverse as chairs and wall sprockets with the same elegance of line and form that characterized his marble sculpture “Construction from a Circle” (1942). His use of austere geometric forms echoed his Bauhaus training.Bill cofounded and was rector of the College of Design in Ulm, W.Ger. (1951–56). He designed the school's buildings, planned its curriculum, and was director of the department of architecture and product design there. He then served as a professor of environmental design at the State Institute of Fine Arts, Hamburg (1967–74).
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