Théodore Bally | Architectural drawing 1 | 1959
Graphite drawing on paper made in 1959.
Dimensions (with frame): 60.5 x 60.5 cm
Theodore Bally was born in Säckingen in 1896. He grew up and studied in Basel. At the age of twenty, he decided to become a painter and spent several months in Munich. He returned to Switzerland and stayed for a year with Cuno Amiet (1916-1917). The following year (1917-1918) he also worked in the studio of Jean-Jacques Lüscher.
He settled for several years in Zurich, from where he frequently escaped to Holland, Tunis, Spain (with Louis-René Moilliet in 1935) or Sicily. In his numerous trips throughout Europe, he was often accompanied by his friend and great collector Josef Müller.
From 1939 onwards, he settled in Montreux, devoting himself solely to his research, far from the artistic centres, but always informed of the movement of ideas.
After briefly devoting himself to figurative painting, at which point he destroyed all his previous works (his 1920 images on religious themes and social criticism were lost), he turned to abstraction. He produced wire reliefs, as well as countless paper collages enhanced with discreet constructed drawings. As an admirer of Piet Mondrian, Théodore Bally began to produce constructivist works, monotypes and collages in the 1940s. After 1960, he decided to abandon colour to combine elementary forms and black and white collages.
For Theodore Bally, the interest lies in creation. He has never painted except in solitude and for himself, remaining, in fact, almost unknown. However, he showed an important series of monotypes at the Galerie Ferdinand Möller in Cologne in 1953, then collages at the first Swiss Exhibition of Abstract Painting in Neuchâtel in 1957, which was moved to Winterthur and Berlin in 1958, and then another interesting group of works in the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1958. In addition, there were two exhibitions at the Lienhard Gallery in Zurich in 1959 and 1960, of which fine catalogues with a preface by Hans Neuburg remain.