Willi Baumeister

Born 1889, Stuttgart, Germany

Died 1955, Stuttgart, Germany


1905-1907   Works as an apprentice for a painter and decorator.  After his apprenticeships, studies at the Kunstakademie, Stuttgart, under the guidance of Adolf Hölzel.

1914   Works with Oskar Schlemmer on a pictorial wall frieze for the Cologne Werkbund exhibition. 

World War I   Serves as a soldier in the Balkans and the Caucasus.  Returns to Stuttgart after the war and works as a stage designer and architectural perspective artist.

1920s   Becomes successful, as French critics compare his Wall Pictures to the art of Amédée Ozenfant and Fernand Léger.  Wall Pictures consist of reliefs with large abstract configurations.

Early 1930s   Creates Sports Pictures and later Ideograms, comprised of arrangements of simple signs.   

Late 1930s   Creates the Eidos Pictures, organized in a more complex manner than Ideograms

1937   Four of his works displayed at the exhibition of Entartete Kunst in Munich. 

1938-1944   Research of prehistoric painting techniques is his only work during this time.  

1941   Is banned from exhibiting his work in Germany.  His coded art dealing with pre-history leads to his dismissal from his teaching post at Städelsche Kunstschule in Frankfurt, a position he held since 1928. 

1942   African series with a simplistic repetition of images to recount cultural rituals. 

1946   Is appointed professor at the Kunstakademie, Stuttgart.  Is allowed to show his works once again in Germany. 

Post-WWII   Metaphysical Landscapes which depict a shift in his work from mythologically based, somber pictures to more colorful, light abstractions. 

1950s   Becomes very popular, though his reputation fades in the 1960s.