Herbert Bayer Maquettes
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Herbert Bayer created numerous maquettes or models which he envisioned would be realized into full size sculptures. Indeed, Mr. Bayer did go on to fabricate sculptures from many of his maquettes during his lifetime. In the interest of carrying Mr. Bayer’s work, his estate has agreed to allow Peyton Wright Gallery to reproduce any maquette in three sizes in editions of six in each size. In this exhibition you will see thirteen different sculptures we chose to make from nine different maquettes. For three of the maquettes we have begun two editions, so you can see the same piece in two sizes. For the remaining five maquettes we have begun the edition of the tabletop sizes on display throughout the gallery.

The tabletop editions are the smallest, being roughly 38 to 42 inches. Freestanding editions will be approximately seven to nine feet. Finally, the pieces installed on the lawns are outdoor editions, and can range from twelve to eighteen feet. The exact dimensions of any edition will depend on what is suitable for the given maquette. Bayer designed these sculptures with mathematical precision, and so the reproductions in the various sizes must match the proportions and geometry of his original maquettes exactly.

The colors or finishes of the pieces are also based on Bayer’s maquettes. In some cases Mr. Bayer may have indicated alternate colors in his notes or other documentation. In such cases, the sculptures in any given edition could be fabricated in any of the colors Mr. Bayer intended.

About the Artist
(1900 - 1985)
Herbert Bayer (1900-1985) was born in Austria, where he entered into an apprenticeship under the architect and designer, Georg Smidthammer, with whom Bayer learned drawing, painting, and architectural drafting, inspired by nature and without formal knowledge of art history. In 1920, Bayer discovered the theoretical writings of the artist Vassily Kandinsky, as well as Walter Gropius’ 1919 Bauhaus manifesto, in which Gropius declared the necessity for a return to crafts as a source of true creativity and inspiration. 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.

In 1928 Bayer moved to Berlin together with several members of the Bauhaus staff including Gropius, Moholy-Nagy and Marcel Breuer. He found work as a freelance graphic designer, particularly with German Vogue, under its art director Agha. When the latter returned to Paris, Bayer joined the staff full time, and also worked increasingly with Dorland, the magazine's principal advertising agency. It was in the period from 1928 to his emigration to America in 1938 that he developed his unique vision as an artist, combining a strongly modernist aesthetic sense with a rare ability to convey meaning clearly and directly. This seamless combination of art, craft and design mark Bayer as true prophet of Bauhaus theories.

Bayer followed Gropius to America in 1938, and set his breadth of skills to work later that year in designing the landmark Bauhaus 1918-1928 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Bayer flourished in New York as a designer and architect, but it was his meeting with the industrialist Walter Paepcke in 1946 that allowed him to harness his concepts of 'total design' to the postwar boom. Paepcke was developing Aspen as a cultural and intellectual destination, and found in Bayer the perfect collaborator. Bayer was designer, educator and indeed architect for Paepcke's Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies (later The Aspen Institute), which promulgated the very Bauhaus project to encourage cooperation between art and industry and the role of the arts in society. From 1965 he fulfilled a similar role in advising Robert O. Anderson, chairman of the Atlantic Richfield Company.

His work is represented in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin, Schubladen Museum, Bern, Switzerland, Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany, Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City.

In August 2019 The Aspen Institute announced a major donation by Stewart and Lynda Resnick for the creation of the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies. This will allow the Institute to showcase and exhibit its Bayer works, grow its collection, borrow from major cultural institutions, and create new exhibitions that will educate the public about Bayer’s remarkable legacy. The center opened in the spring of 2022.

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