Hugo Weber Biography

Hugo Weber




Hugo Weber (1918-1971), painter and sculptor, was born May 4, 1918, of Swiss parents in Basel, Switzerland. He apprenticed to the sculptor Ernst Suter beginning in 1937 while attending the University of Basel. In 1939, Weber went to Paris where he studied painting with Marcel Gimond and after his service in the Swiss Army (1939-1942), he worked with Aristide Maillol and Alberto Giacometti.


Weber immigrated to the US in the 1940s and in 1946, Moholy-Nagy appointed him professor at the Institute of Design in Chicago (Chicago Bauhaus). He later became professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and he also taught at the Pennsylvania State University and at the New York University. Weber held a membership in the Abstract and Concrete Artists Alliance between 1947 and 1953.


The Betty Parsons Gallery in New York represented Weber and solo exhibitions of his paintings were mounted in 1953, 1955, and 1959. Other solo exhibitions were held at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Institute of Design, Galerie 16 in Zurich, American University in Beirut, Galerie Hutter in Basel, and Finch College in Manhattan. Weber was included in numerous group exhibitions including the Salon des Realites Nouvelles in Paris, Sculpture Today at the Toledo Museum of Art, Directions of American Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago, Salon des Comparaisons in Paris, as well as shows at the Corcoran Gallery, Guggenheim Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Whitney Museum of American Art. His work is represented in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cincinnati Art Museum.


Weber produced two films: Vision in Flux in 1951 and Process Documentation by the Painter in 1954. The second film showed the artist painting and was explained by Weber, according to the New York Times, as an effort “to show its developmental aspect and the spontaneity of the artist’s continuous search for symbolic meaning.”


Weber moved to Paris in 1955, returning to New York in 1960. He lived in loft/studio building on Greenwich Street in the Village. He died at the age of 53 on August 15, 1971, in New York.


Sources: New York Times obit, Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists, Plattsburg Art Museum, Who Was Who in American Art, and Dictionary of Abstract Painting.