Werner Graeff (1901–1978), a significant Bauhaus artist and influential representative of Constructivism in Germany, unveils a captivating glimpse into his eventful life in his autobiography, "Hürdenlauf durch das 20. Jahrhundert" (Hurdle Race through the 20th Century). As a student at the Weimar Bauhaus and a member of the esteemed De Stijl artist group, Graeff played a pivotal role in shaping the German art scene of the 20th century. His unique connection with Mies van der Rohe not only influenced his artistic development but also added a profound dimension to his body of work.
This volume presents, for the first time, a representative selection from Graeff's diverse oeuvre, showcasing paintings, pictograms, multiples, drawings, and graphics. This broad spectrum underscores Graeff's artistic versatility, spanning various disciplines from painting to typography, and from photography to sculpture. After an early phase of intensive involvement in the film and photography industry, Graeff returned to the Ruhr region from Swiss exile in 1951, dedicating himself increasingly to his work as a freelance artist. The curated texts in this volume offer an in-depth journey through Graeff's life and artistic contributions, revealing how his works not only reflect artistic movements but also encapsulate his personal evolution and the challenges of the 20th century.