See Herbert Bayer’s Surreal Photomontages at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Self Portrait (1932), Herbert Bayer. Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Self Portrait (1932), Herbert Bayer.
Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara Museum of Art

This summer, Santa Barbara is going Bauhaus in a big way. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art will stage the large exhibition The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: the Shape of Things to Come, but also a smaller show of works on paper, The Visionary Photomontages of Herbert Bayer, 1929-1936, on view from June 21 until September 27, 2015.

<i>Still Life</i> (1936), Herbert Bayer. <br>Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara Museum of Art</br>

Still Life (1936), Herbert Bayer.
Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Bayer was known for his universal typeface, a sans-serif, all-lowercase type designed for legibility. He also worked in advertising and commercial art; all of these interests are reflected in his surreal works that predate Pop, but hint at the 1960s movement’s interest in subverting the aesthetics of mass media and photography through collage (see Italian Pop Art Legend Mimmo Rotella Delights at London’s Robilant+Voena).

<i>Lonely Metropolitan</i> (1932), Herbert Bayer. <br>Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara Museum of Art</br>

Lonely Metropolitan (1932), Herbert Bayer.
Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara Museum of Art

The SBMA show will display works from early in the Austrian artist’s career, offering a rare look at a more obscure figure of Bauhaus history (see Bauhaus Museum Berlin Celebrates Rare Items in Final Show Before Closing).


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