Create an installation for an under-appreciated artist worthy of the artist's history and vitality.
When Sotheby's commissioned us to design an installation of Rudolf Bauer paintings we looked to architect Frederick Kiesler's 1942 Art of This Century gallery, a precursor to the Guggenheim Museum. In the 1920-30's Bauer was considered more significant than his friends Kandinsky and Klee, and became the core of Solomon Guggenheim's collection. Bauer's fall to obscurity is the stuff of soap operas. Guggenheim, a copper baron, had been introduced to abstract art by his lover, Baroness Hilla von Rebay. Bauer was working in Germany and in 1938 was incarcerated for creating degenerate art. With cash given her by Guggenheim, Rebay secured Bauer's release from the Nazi prison camp and brought him to the U.S.A. (It was Bauer who said that the viewing of paintings in Guggenheim's proposed museum should not be interrupted by stairs, but should be on a continuous ramp.) Eventually Guggenheim realized that Bauer and Rebay were also lovers. Thus began a feud that led to the removal of Bauer's work from the new Guggenheim Museum.
Our installation design echos Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum rotunda. The design's simple but dramatic moves, and our strategic use of color, endeavor to highlight Bauer's great influence and reinstate him as one of the Abstract Movement's pivotal artists.