about Max Bill

MAX BILL (1908 – 1994)

Max Bill was born in Winterthur, Switzerland on December 22, 1908. He was a real all-rounder and therefore calling Bill an architect or designer would not do justice to him. Max Bill was a successful architect, painter, sculptor, designer and teacher.

In 1924 Max Bill began his first apprenticeship as a silversmith at the Art and Design College in Zurich where he then graduated in 1927. During his studies he visited the “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes“ in Paris. There Max Bill got to know the works of Le Corbusier and his contemporaries and was so impressed that Max Bill began to study architecture at the Bauhaus-Dessau right after his apprenticeship.  

From 1929 on, Max Bill worked as an architect, sculptor, and graphic designer for several years. In 1944 Bill began to teach at the Art and Design College in Zurich and in the early 1950s he co-founded the Design College in Ulm, Germany. He terminated his career as a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg in 1974.

Afterwards Max Bill completely dedicated himself to art, design and his private life: Max Bill returned to Zurich where he met his second wife Angela Thomas, an art historian. For the next 20 years Angela accompanied Max Bill on many trips and she was said to be Bill’s most important dialogue partner and reference person for his further works.

Max Bill’s pieces of art all follow the principle of “Concrete Art”. Max Bill did not follow the ideas of nature but the rules of scientific construction: an absolute clarity and precisely defined proportions were the basis for his designs. That was true for his furniture designs as well as for his classic art or his still world famous plain and classic watch designs.   

Max Bill died in Berlin on December 9, 1994. He dropped down dead at the airport Tegel, Berlin.