Tomas Maldonado and Max Bill: MAX BILL. Buenos Aires: Editorial Nueva Vision, 1955. First edition. Parallel texts in French, English, German and Spanish. Small square quarto. Red cloth stamped in black. Printed dust jacket. 148 pp. One color plate. Profusely illustrated with black and white examples of Max Bill's paintings, sculpture, architecture, and furniture. Book design and typography by Max Bill. White jacket lightly rubbed. A nearly fine copy.
8.5 x 8.75 hardcover book with 148 pages showcasing Max Bill's paintings, sculpture, architecture, and furniture. Beautifully designed and printed in Argentina.
"The difference between the design problems which have to be solved every day and works of painting and sculpture is merely one of degree, not one of principle." Ñ Max Bill
Max Bill achieved mastery in many areas: avant-garde architecture, the fine arts, product design, typography, journalism, research and teaching and even politics. He was a true 'uomo universale' who represented the concept of 'concrete art' by creating works 'by means of its intrinsic nature and rules', and a lifelong proponent of Die Gute Form [good design].
In 1949 he conceived the "gute form" exhibition, which travelled to Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The exhibition was regarded as an important signal in a Europe which had been destroyed by war and in the reconstruction phase was also looking for new directions in design. An economical use of resources, functionality and long useful life were believed to be what was required Ñ product features which were aimed at durability and contradicted the consumer society and the concept of disposability.
In 1950 Bill, the designer Otl Aicher and Inge Aicher-Scholl decided to found a college of design in Ulm. They regarded the reconstruction period in Germany as an opportunity to revive the ground-breaking philosophy of the interdisciplinary teachings of the Bauhaus in terms of both style and content, but now taking into account new production technology. Bill was appointed architect and rector of the new college. In contrast to the prevalent opinion at other colleges of design he taught that industrial design is closely linked to social and political responsibility and must not be influenced by considerations of profit.
Bill rejected the label "designer," regarding himself as a product designer, entirely in the service of the public. Thus, apparently insignificant objects of everyday life were just as important as furniture design. His output ranged from jewellery designs, the Patria typewriter (1944), a shaving brush (1945), a mirror and hairbrush set (1946), a wash stand for the students' rooms in Ulm (1955), the aluminium handle for a piece of kitchen furniture (1956), crockery for Hutschenreuther (1956) right down to the legendary Junghans kitchen clock (1956/57).
Spreads from this volume can be viewed here.
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