Willi Baumeister can be characterised from today's perspective as a "social hub". He was an excellent networker throughout his life, establishing important international contacts very early in his artistic career, which he was able to maintain for the most part even during the Second World War. His circle of friends included Hans Arp, Hanna Bekker, Max Bill, Robert Delaunay, Sonja Delaunay-Terk, Karl Otto Götz, Camille Graeser, Alexej von Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Oskar Kokoschka. But his far-reaching contacts in architecture (such as Le Corbusier, Alfred Roth or Richard Döcker) and in the world of commercial art (Ella Bergmann-Michel, Robert Michel, Kurt Schwitters and others) also proved extremely fruitful for the wide-ranging development of an essentially intermedial oeuvre that was not limited to painting.
The Gunzenhauser Museum in Chemnitz owns the third largest public collection of Willi Baumeister paintings in Germany after the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and together with the Domnick Collection in Nürtingen. Today, the collection comprises 39 works from the artist's various stylistic phases. This collection, which has never been shown in its entirety before, offers an ideal starting point for a large-scale Willi Baumeister exhibition dedicated to this exceptional artist and all his work phases and media, his art theoretical and artistic attitudes. In addition to further loans from museums, a special focus will be on making visible works from artists' estates that have rarely been shown before.
In addition, a broad selection of films, letters, postcards and photographs illuminates the artist as a cultural-political cosmopolitan, advocate of abstract art and extraordinary university teacher. Finally, additions of receipts and artworks by third parties illustrate the high regard and esteem in which he has been held.