May 13, 2021 - Sale 2568

Sale 2568 - Lot 238

Price Realized: $ 32,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000

WALTER DEXEL (1890-1973)


20x26 1/4 inches, 50 1/4x66 1/2 cm.
Condition A: mounted on artist board, tipped to mount. Framed.

A painter, typographer, graphic designer and teacher, Dexel was appointed as the director of the Art Union in Jena, a central German university town. Closely associated with the Bauhaus, he became one of the most prominent practitioners of Constructivism. Here, promoting the use of gas ["Always use gas for cooking, baking, heating, lighting / because it is practical, clean, inexpensive / Saves work, time, money,"] one sees the confluence of art and commerce, wherein the most mundane of advertisements can be presented in an elevated manner. Dexel's strict Constructivist style "used exclusively typography and abstract geometrical markers" (Avant Garde p. 64). He eschewed pictorial imagery for the "the use of ornament based entirely on the precise geometric forms of the rectangle and the circle, and the almost exclusive use of a geometrically based sans-serif type" (Word & Image p. 56). Dexel p. 56, Word & Image p. 64, Modern Poster p. 108, Avant Garde p. 152, Weill 250, Euro Deco p. 208, Berman / Juan March p. 193, MoMA 303.1937.