The present lot includes two portfolios of fourteen prints of paintings by Herbert Bayer. Included within the collection are reproductions of Red Square with Three Corners (1964), The Tree (1928), Tender Picture E (1928), Structure and Moon on Green (1962), Untitled (1964), Exfoliation (1964), Veil Mountain (1951), Composite Structure (1951), Winter Afternoon (1953), Distant Solution (1954), Cosmorama #9 (1957), Linear Grey with Six Blue Squares (1961), Celestial Body (1961), and one work from the series, Great Ideas of Western Man (1964).
The Great Ideas of Herbert Bayer
These prints were published by the Container Corporation of America (CCA), the company for which Herbert Bayer served as the art director from 1945 to the 1970s. Founded by Walter Paepcke in Chicago in 1926, CCA began as a manufacturer of paper and packaging goods but by the late 1930s, CCA was influential for using progressive modernist design in their branding. An early adopter of contemporary advertisement language that went beyond simply selling a product and instead marketed values, taste and overall lifestyle sensibility, CCA created a transatlantic style through employing avant-garde European émigrés like Herbert Bayer, László Moholy-Nagy, György Kepes and Max Bill, among others.
The Great Ideas of Western Man was an advertisement series Herbert Bayer created for CCA. The ground-breaking advertisements pair quotes from great 20th century thinkers with striking graphic designs.
This portfolio...presents the core of [Bayer's] thinking in the visual arts...Bayer has exerted a continual and deep influence on the whole of our visual world, whether it be the buildings and landscape around us, the typography and layout of the magazines and books which we read and in the signs we encounter. The least known and at the same time the most pivotal work of the artist has been his paintings and drawings which have occupied his attention for over 40 years.
David Gebhard, Director, Art, Design and Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara