Sunday, April 10, 2011

Herbert Bayer’s “Chromatic Gate”

Herbert Bayer
Chromatic Gate
Aluminum 6061 T5 with automobile paint
ca. 1975/2007
144" x 168" x 48"
Peyton Wright Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
photograph by versluis

Herbert Bayer’s “Chromatic Gate” suggests both architecture and sculpture, which interestingly helps define open spaces and entices one to step through space. This effect is enhanced by the stepped configuration of the brightly multicolored posts and lintels that form a horizontal and vertical rhythmical pattern that depending on your perspective ironically reduces or expands ones perception. On the other hand, the piece is a painting in three-dimensional geometric shapes, which emphases proportion, scale, pure hues, and environmental placement.

Peyton Wright Gallery in Santa Fe is a representative of the estate of the Bauhaus master Herbert Bayer. The Gallery has published, on their website, the following brief but concise biography about Bayer:

Herbert Bayer (1900-1985) Estate

Austrian-born artist Herbert Bayer (1900-1985) received no formal artistic education until he discovered the theoretical writings of the artist Vassily Kandinsky, as well as Walter Gropius’ 1919 Bauhaus manifesto, which declared the necessity for a return to true creativity and inspiration through crafts. Bayer traveled to Weimar to meet Gropius in October of 1921 and was immediately accepted into the Bauhaus. There, he was deeply influenced by the instruction of Kandinsky, Johannes Itten and Paul Klee.

Throughout his career, Bayer’s achievements in both the applied and fine arts exhibited a unique ability to combine the needs of industry and the structure of Bauhaus architectural style with the sensibility of the avant-garde and the expressiveness of his life-long fascination with nature. Of all his works, including photomontage, installation, earthworks and environmental art, Bayer’s paintings are perhaps the least well known. However, for Bayer, painting was “the continuous link connecting the various facets of [his] work. [1]
  1. “Herbert Bayer (1900-1985) Estate.” Peyton Wright. Peyton Wright Gallery, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. .

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