Feb 22, 2020 · 5:58 PM

Date 1990
Measurements Diptych, 2 parts: each 150 x 150 cm
Technique/material Oil on canvas
Credit Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by the artist
Inv. no. SK02023
Jakob Bill

1990 no. 23 und [and] 1990 no. 24

Jakob Bill (born 1942 in Zurich, Switzerland) is the son of Max and Binia Bill. As a painter, he has established a body of work that he continues to develop today, while also pursuing his long-term career as an archeologist. He has broadened the canon of Concrete art in a refreshing way by using subtle painterly techniques to juxtapose its austere formal foundations with a poetic dimension.
His works fascinate us with their bright colors and their delicate chromatic transitions in simple geometric structures and compositions of stripes. In the style of Concrete art, his works are dominated by clear lines, while his geometric repertoire of forms is characterized by serial constellations of forms and colors, whose permutations he plays out systematically. Alongside vibrant hues of color, Jakob Bill also works with color gradients that demonstrate the broad range of nuances and the luminous effects of color. This playful treatment of precisely nuanced color gradients distinguishes him from classical representatives of Concrete art, like Josef Albers, Richard Paul Lohse, or his father Max Bill. The artist uses this technique to create shimmering and vibrating color fields that radiate beyond their own boundaries, creating a fascinating spatial result. Thanks to the iridescent effect of these color gradients, Jakob Bill has developed his own painterly style and his own characteristic and unmistakable visual language. He uses the entire color scale in his works, while the non-colors of black and white are rarely employed. In the 1960s and 1970s, he painted square pictures in which the interior squares are separated from the exterior squares through a square frame. These works also feature compositions comprised of rhythmically placed stripes that run across the inner squares, making the colors oscillate between figure and ground.
In the last few years, Jakob Bill has begun to turn his attention more toward form. Bars in changing color sequences cross over the picture, highlighting unpainted, white rectangular and rhomboid interior forms around which they seem to rotate imperceptibly. In his most recent works, Jakob Bill has begun to employ a more ornamental treatment of the surface. In these works, he takes the relationship between painterly exploration and surface to a new level, creating new band-like structures that exhibit a spatial quality.

Dominique von Burg




With financial support by:

Lotteriefonds Canton of Zurich

Baugarten Stiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Dr. Adolph Streuli-Stiftung
Stiftung Kunstsammlung Albert und Melanie Rüegg



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Feb 22, 2020
5:45:00 PM CET