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Allegro

This print closely relates to two 1951 oil sketches With Red Circle and Colored Movement from a group of images known as Mogador (named after a town in Morocco). They feature a rhythmical arrangement of simple shapes in primary colors against a flat, white “wall.” Although much of Baumeister’s later imagery lacks subjectivity, the linking lines in this image suggest a figure seated at an instrument. The title adds an evocative musical connotation: Allegro (a quick, lively tempo).

The piece’s cheerful palette reflects a change in Baumeister’s work around 1950 away from the archaic to a kind of playful phantasmagoria. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection has an abstract painting Monturi 6 (White Ellipse) (Eskenazi Museum of Art 57.31) from the same period with a similar color scheme and a melodious title (an –i ending indicating a bright sound). Baumeister found the silkscreen process to be the perfect tool for capturing his bold designs and used it to produce about seventy prints after 1950. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes another 1950 silkscreen print Amenophis (Eskenazi Museum of Art 98.312).

Willi Baumeister
German, 1889–1955
Allegro
1954
Color silkscreen on paper
Image: 14 1/16 x 19 1/2 in. (35.7 x 49.5 cm); sheet: 22 3/8 x 30 1/2 in. (56.8 x 77.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Collection of Diether Thimme, 98.313

Large image not available.