A Message from Willi Baumeister
The 20th Century German bids farewell to the Infinite Art Tournament.
|The West German postal service celebrates Baumeister's 100th Birthday|
The established order is the symmetrical. The symmetrical composition of a printed page ... is nothing other than the decorating of a facade. The energy distribution of this composition distributes energies and tensions to both sides. ... This system does not provide a beginning and entrance for the eye. ... This composition in no way complies with reading. ... The introduction of the eye into the absolute planar system of the printed page can only take place by shifting the emphasis and, namely, after the beginning to. ... the upper left. The richly decorated initials of old handwriting were functional and, for that reason, correct. --Willi Baumeister
"Early on Willi Baumeister caused a stir as a typographer and commercial designer. In the 1920s and early 1930s, he contributed a great deal to the development of typography and commercial art in Germany and Europe, not only though his practical works, but also through his theoretical writings. These can be traced throughout three and a half decades of his work....
Directly after his return from World War I he made a name for himself not only as a painter, but also as a typographer, in addition to working as a stage designer for Stuttgart theaters, wall designer, textile and interior designer, even as a color designer of dance cafes and house exteriors. In 1948 he wrote his friend and biographer Eduardo Westerdahl: 'I always had two activities, 1. typography, poster, stage, textile designs, and so on, 2. fine art with which I could consistently make modern art without compromises or concessions.' Baumeister considered it important to not pit commercial art and the High Arts against each other. Up to the end he also encouraged his students to abolish the old tension between free and applied Art."
-- From http://www.willi-baumeister.org.