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High Points: Richard Carter introduces Herbert Bayer

Paul E. Anna
High Points
The Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies houses the life work of Herbert Bayer.
File photo

World-class. 

We live in a place where there are a number of things that meet that description. Start with our world-class ski mountain that has been near the top of the list of great skiing venues since 1951 when the FIS World Cup was held on Aspen Mountain. Or, how about the wine list at the Little Nell Hotel, which annually receives Grand Awards from Wine Spectator as one of the 100 or so best wine lists on the planet? Then, there is the renowned Aspen Music Festival that draws top talent from, yes, around the world.

And, that’s just the beginning of our embarrassment of riches. 



Now, add to that list the recently opened Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies over at the Aspen Institute. This new gallery is a world-class gem that celebrates the life and works of legendary artist, designer, architect, thinker and innovator Herbert Bayer, who was instrumental in the development of modern Aspen. 

Bayer — who came to the community in 1946 at the behest of philanthropist Walter Paepcke and his wife, Elizabeth — was a leading figure in the Bauhaus Movement of design that became influential in the early 1900s in Germany and resonates to this day. During his three-decade tenure here, through the 1970s, he created a design template for Aspen crafting the plans for the Aspen Institute, renovating both the Wheeler Opera House and the Hotel Jerome and building the original Sundeck hut atop Aspen Mountain, amongst a number of significant projects. 




This week it was announced that renowned local artist, and one of the founders of the original Aspen Art Museum, Richard Carter will be conducting monthly tours of the current exhibition at the Bayer Center: Herbert Bayer An Introduction.

Carter, who is just coming off a successful exhibition of his most recent works at Basalt’s Art Base, is uniquely qualified to share the works of Bayer, because, well, he worked with the Bauhaus artist as his studio assistant in the early 1970s. “I’m looking forward to guiding visitors through the Bayer Center by sharing personal stories and anecdotes that will give people an insight not only into his work, but him as a person and artist.” 

Next Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 3 p.m., and on the first Wednesdays of the following four months  (Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Jan. 4, and Feb. 1) Carter will lead registered guests (sign up at http://www.thebayercenter.org) on 60-minute tours through the exhibition that was organized by Bernard Jazzar, curator of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Collection.

Best of all, these tours are offered free of charge to those who register. The exhibit, arranged chronologically through 13 galleries, is the first major retrospective of Bayer’s work since 1973 and and is built upon an assembly of over 150 paintings, drawings, gouaches and watercolors, complemented by tapestry, sculpture, publications, works on paper, ephemera and historical photographs. Nowhere else in the world will patrons be able to experience a retrospective of this sort except at the newly constructed exhibition space on the campus of the Aspen Institute.

Carter, whose own work has been presented in 50 solo exhibitions and 60 group shows since 1968 when he first began working in Aspen, is intimately familiar with the pieces in the show as he primarily worked with Bayer on his painting projects. In the announcement of the Carter-led tours, Lissa Ballinger, acting director of the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies said, “We are grateful that Richard Carter is offering this opportunity for the community to hear his unique perspective of the artwork and the working methods of Bayer.”

World-class. Only in Aspen.