Hilla von Rebay, born in Strasburg in 1890, grew up in Freiburg, Hagenau, and Cologne as a German general’s daughter. At a time when women were excluded from the state art academies, she marched off to study painting in Paris. Arriving in Munich, she witnessed the scandal of Kandinsky’s first abstract pictures. Soon she has her own exhibitions, experimenting with many techniques. In the midst of the first World War, she becomes a star of the Dada scene in Zurich where Hans Arp falls in love with her. She exhibits her avant-garde paper collages in Paris. In Berlin she falls in love with Rudolf Bauer, who belongs to the Avante-Garde Gallery scene. “The tempest” of a career as an abstract painter begins and he soon considers himself a genius. Out of a tension charged love a lifelong relationship emerges, which despite separations has its consequences. Without this love there would be no Guggenheim Museum today.
Drawing from many sources, Sigrid Faltin weaves the fascinating story of this exceptional artist. The rehabilitation of this head-strong woman can now commence.
“The German baroness Hilla von Rebay: thanks to her New York has the Guggenheim Museum – only now, four decades after her death, is she receiving due recognition... A highly entertaining book about the life of the ‘Queen of Art’.” (Ulrike Knöfel, Der Spiegel)