Category Archives: News

Frozen Gesture

In 1965 Roy Lichtenstein created his famous «brushstrokes» and in so doing transformed the subjective gesture of heroic Modernism into a trivial comic drawing, transposed into the large format of a museum. The spontaneous movement of the brush on canvas mutated into a quote, the emotional exploration of depth morphed into a Pop surface in signal colors. The purported immediacy of the expressive painterly act thus became an ironic reflection on the medium of painting using the means of mass culture. This distanced and self-reflective approach had defined contemporary painting since the end of Modernism. It highlighted the fundamental elements of the image, such as the appearance of the colors and the pigment, the color fields and their limits, and not least the application of paint in the form of a gesture.

This gesture had long since abandoned directly expressing existence in favor of any number of different discursive strategies and painterly approaches. To this day, artists underscore the problematic nature of the impact of the application of color and are forever reinterpreting it – from the gesture as a semiotic abbreviation for painting through to its diverse transformations in images.

In the form of the extensive «Frozen Gesture» exhibition Kunst Museum Winterthur is presenting the sheer range of gestures in contemporary painting. The exhibition brings together important individual pieces by outstanding protagonists of Abstract Art, such as Gerhard Richter and David Reed, with extensive work groups of contemporary artists such as Franz Ackermann, Pia Fries, Katharina Grosse and Judy Millar – to create a fascinating display of works of exceptional painterly quality and inconceivable sensory appeal.


Günther Uecker
Günther Förg
Antoni Tàpies
Heinz Mack
A. R. Penck
Otto Piene
Katharina Grosse
Eduardo Chillida
Helge Leiberg
Elvira Bach
Armin Göhringer
Paul Flora
Feng Lu
Gerhard Rießbeck
Peter Hermann
Manfred Sillner
Peter Ernst Mehr

The Way We Are 1.0

Starting at the end of March 2019, the collection presentation “The Way We Are 1.0” will be featured on two floors constituting more than half of the overall exhibition space of the Weserburg. The exhibition includes works from a large number of collections, some of which have enjoyed a long association with the institution while others are new additions; also on display will be works from the Weserburg’s own collection as well as loans by artists who will be participating in a show at the Weserburg for the first time. The Way We Are 1.0 investigates more than one hundred and forty works by eighty artists from various contexts and times with regard to both their contents and their form. This focus gives rise to a succession of spaces which identify the thread connecting works of art from the 1960s all the way to today and which approach the themes of these works from various perspectives. The exhibition tracks down images of nature or special aspects of daily life; it explores such themes as the body, time or memory; it turns its attention to urban spaces or characteristics of language; and it presents fundamental positions of painterly abstraction or minimalist formal language.


The focus of the collection at the Graubünden Art Museum is on Swiss art with reference to the canton Graubünden, and for several years now also on international contemporary art relevant to the mountain canton. Part of this is the impact of the mountain landscape as well as the interplay between emigration and tourism. Mountains are places of myths but also of conquest. When the English travelled through Europe during their “Grand Tour” they discovered the Alps as being a spectacular site for their adventures. Today’s identity of the Alpine region is significantly characterised by this external viewpoint.
While artists grapple with vistas, panoramas, topographies and specific places, they also shape our ideas of landscape. In the collection presentation TRANSVERSAL, which includes selected items on loan, various aspects of landscape representations are thematised.

The Collection (1) | Highlights for a Future

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, S.M.A.K. is presenting ‘The Collection (I): Highlights for a Future’ which includes about 200 works from the collection and, like the opening in 1999, it will occupy the whole museum. In this exhibition, S.M.A.K. wants to look mainly at the present and the future. Well-known classics, outstanding newer works and also recent additions to the collection are to be used to show the position of the museum and of art in contemporary reality and to make new links with other, sometimes surprising and less well-known works in the collection.

NEWS! Acquisitions in the context of the collection

Collecting art was what prompted the establishment of the Kunstgesellschaft Luzern in 1819, and in addition to preserving, exploring and mediating art it is still a major objective of the Kunstmuseum Luzern to this day.

News! presents new treasures in the context of works that have been in the collection for some time already. Thus the Bezauberte Knabe (Enchanted Boy) by Ferdinand Hodler meets Sharon Lockhart’s photographs of the Polish girl Milena, José Júlio de Souza Pinto shows how a grandfather teaches his grandson, while Laure Prouvost spins stories about her lost grandfather. Visitors can look into the starry sky with Ugo Rondinone and Claude Sandoz, take a walk in the forest with Hans Emmenegger, Robert Zünd and Jos Näpflin, or visit Cuno Amiet or Markus Raetz in their studios. This unfailingly surprising encounter between and with works is sensual, profound and humorous and demonstrates just how well the new acquisitions can be integrated into a collection that has existed for 200 years.basum


What are young artist who live and work in Vienna interested in? What subjects are in the air, what strategies do they use? The exhibition On the New. Young Scenes in Vienna is conceived as a stroll through local art communities: it brings together 18 individual artistic approaches as well as 12 independent exhibition spaces. In this show, specifically produced works are juxtaposed with specially arranged exhibitions within the exhibition; artistic and curatorial formats combine to create a dynamic entity that will change over the course of the show.


Sound, vision, film, a destroyed piano: What happens when musicians make use of ideas and strategies from the art world? And what kind of pictures result when painters are influenced by music? To be interested in the lives of others, to pursue the unknown, to copy it, to use it in one’s own work – in short: to conduct a cross-mapping between the worlds of music and the visual arts: this is the subject of the exhibition HYPER! A JOURNEY INTO ART AND MUSIC curated by the former editor-in-chief of Spex and Electronic Beats, Max Dax.

Writing the History of the Future (The ZKM Collection)

The collection of the ZKM | Karlsruhe is one of the largest media art collections in the world. It exemplifies the transformation of art in the face of changing production, reception and distribution technologies. Artists react to the change in the media and sometimes anticipate developments that will become self-evident for society as a whole only years later: they are the story of the future.


Blue Is the Color of Your Eyes is an exhibition where works by Louise Bourgeois guide us through an examination of issues of materiality and abstraction. The exhibition features, apart from Bourgeois, a group of internationally active artists who discuss and challenge sculptural and painterly expression in a variety of ways. The title Blue Is the Color of Your Eyes is taken from a work by Bourgeois that is on view in the exhibition.

Dezember-Ausstellung Focus

The traditional December exhibition is the highly acclaimed platform for art production from the city and region of Winterthur. For a month, artists gather for an artistic rendezvous and mutual exchange. Biennially a large overview exhibition takes place at the Kunst Museum Winterthur in cooperation with the artists’ organization Künstlergruppe and the Kunsthalle Winterthur. The biennial exhibition alternates with an individual show at the Kunst Museum Winterthur, as will take place in 2018. This exhibition intends to offer new perspectives on the regional art scene, concomitantly investigating the work of selected artists. The curators work with the artists invited to create a concise group of works for the show. As a result, the December exhibition at the Kunst Museum Winterthur provides not only a sight onto the work of local artists, but also into it.

Image and Sight – Seeing in Modernism

“The viewer is in the picture” – this formulation coined by the art historian Wolfgang Kemp indicates that the artist considers the viewer in the conception of his work and thus determines his standpoint before the picture. The path of abstraction in the 20th century is accompanied by a concentration on painterly means as well as the handling of the surface of the canvas. It poses the question concerning the impact of foregoing figurative and narrative elements on the perception of the picture. What role is assigned to the viewer when the canvas no longer functions as the ‘open window’ (‘una finestra aperta’) described by the Italian artist and writer Leon Battista Alberti?

For the viewer, focusing on the surface of the canvas – and thus on painting itself – gives rise to varied possibilities. While the strict geometrical areas cast the viewer’s gaze back to his own realm of reality, gestural techniques like those employed by Jackson Pollock generate the illusion of a space behind the canvas. White paintings, which simulate infinity as a targeted depiction of nothingness, have similar effects. Rhythmic structures, by contrast, fix the viewers gaze on the surface of the canvas. Beginning in the 1960s, artists invited the viewer to enter into a direct if not even physical interaction with the work of art.


The cooperation between the Art Museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne and the Roman-Germanic Museum raises the question of the existential, multifaceted conditions of being human. Issues such as time and standstill, identity and creation, power and family, beauty and joie de vivre, but also the expectation of death and the longing for death have a fundamental significance in view of the current world situation.

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published by modo Verlag on the occasion of the exhibition at Kunst(Zeug)Haus, Rapperswil-Jona from April 7 until June 19, 2011.
with essays by Invar-Torre Hollhaus and Daniela Hardmeier.


The Archive in the Worm

Verlag für Moderne Kunst, with essays by Andrés Duprat, Carl Friedrich Schröer and Raimund Stecker.
Published on the occasion of the eightpart transcontinental exhibition in Argentina, Germany and Switzerland.
«Martín Mele lives in a foreign land, it’s uncertain how foreign, how distant or familiar it is. For he has lived abroad for some time, actually forever. …»

Four Honest Outlaws – Sala Ray Marioni Gordon

published by Michael Fried for the Yale University Press
In this strongly argued and characteristically original book, Michael Fried considers the work of four contemporary artists: video artist and photographer Anri Sala, sculptor Charles Ray, painter Joseph Marioni, and video artist and intervener in movies Douglas Gordon.
«Four Honest Outlaws» takes its title from a line in a Bob Dylan song, «To live outside the law you must be honest», meaning in this case that each of the four artists has found his own unsanctioned path to extraordinary accomplishment, in part by defying the ordinary norms and expectations of the contemporary art world.
Michael Fried will moderate a symposium «PAINTING NOW: A discussion taking off from the work of Joseph Marioni»,
The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC (USA), December 10, 2011