A major contributor to the development of abstract art, German-born painter Rudolf Bauer associated with many key players in the early 20th Century avant-garde. Bauer worked closely with the legendary Der Sturm gallery in Berlin, participating in group exhibitions alongside Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, and Paul Klee. Although he remained in Berlin through the 1920s, his work traveled to the United States through the famed Société Anonyme. Bauer’s Non-Objective paintings began to gain notoriety, but it was the attention of Solomon R. Guggenheim that propelled the artist’s career. Guggenheim established a foundation of Non-Objective painting and purchased more than three hundred of Bauer’s works for the collection. He was Guggenheim’s favorite abstract painter and a primary inspiration for the collection that has become one of the world’s great museums.
Rudolf Bauer’s early work contains characteristics of Impressionism, Cubism, and Expressionism. By the 1920’s he began working in an abstract mode, setting aside representational painting and adopting the geometric style for which he is renowned. Artwork from Berlin in this period sought to affect the viewer without depicting recognizable subject matter. Bauer’s stirring compositions of form and color shaped his legacy as an originator of Non-Objective art.