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Constructive Clarity: Max Bill and His Time, 1940–1952

Sale price$45.00

Constructive Clarity: Max Bill and His Time, 1940–1952, the second installment of art historian Angela Thomas’s multivolume biography, continues her meticulous exploration of the life and work of the influential artist. Max Bill was undoubtedly one of the most versatile artists of the twentieth century––a designer, painter, sculptor, architect, graphic designer, typographer, writer, curator, teacher, and politician––who influenced generations of artists.

Picking up where the first volume left off, Thomas turns her attention to Bill’s life during World War II, exploring the ground-breaking artistic and intellectual networks to which Bill belonged: from his time at the Bauhaus in Dessau to his connections with the Parisian avant-garde and his lifelong friendship with Georges Vantongerloo. His importance as a writer, publisher, and exhibition organizer comes to the fore in this volume, as does his crucial influence on the development of Concrete art in South America and his active interest in urban planning and postwar reconstruction. In a lively cadence that speaks to Thomas’s intimate knowledge of the artist, Constructive Clarity weaves together a trove of correspondence, conversations, and numerous unpublished sources to guide readers through Bill’s life, and shed new light on the artistic, political, and personal contexts in which he worked.

Constructive Clarity: Max Bill and His Time, 1940–1952
Constructive Clarity: Max Bill and His Time, 1940–1952 Sale price$45.00




Hauser & Wirth Publishers


Softcover with dustjacket


Angela Thomas


800 pages


16.5 cm x 23.5 cm



Publication Date

July 2024

The Artist


Max Bill was a great Swiss polymath: an artist, architect, industrial designer, graphic designer, and teacher. He attended the Bauhaus where he was taught by Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Oskar Schlemmer. Bill remained closely associated with the Bauhaus school and was a key figure in developing and propagating its principles, especially through his professorship at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich and as a founder of the Ulm School of Design. Through his pursuit of a new visual language that could be understood by the senses alone, Bill defined the conventions of Swiss design for decades to come. His influence spread even as far as South America, where he was a catalyst for the Concrete Art movement.