Stuttgart artist Willi Baumeister (1889 – 1955) is one of the most important German artists of the postwar period and among the most significant representatives of abstract painting. His influence as an avant-garde artist, as a professor and as a major art theoretician could be felt far beyond Germany. He gets his own feature here of course because sports was often a theme for his paintings and graphic works.
After meating Oskas Schlemmer in 1919 he developed an expressionist style, which is very clear in his best known work Die Lauferin from 1925. Later works given very clear names like Fussballspieler, Tennisspieler and Tennisspieler liegend show the same style and depiction of sports.
Baumeister chose sports as a subject as a symbol for modernity. In his paintings, the grappling with shapes and material of the painting as well as the relationship between reality and representation became visible. Towards the end of the 1920s, the shapes in Baumeister’s pictures grew softer. His paintings moved away from being oriented by the elementary shapes of the circle, triangle, and square towards organic forms.
The couple of works shown here don't do this late legendary German artist justice, so be sure to go his website for more!