Category Archives: Shows

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.

40 Jahre KUNSTKABINETT

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.

TRANSVERSAL. LANDSCAPES FROM THE COLLECTION

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.

FURKA – ART ON THE PASS FROM 1983

The area of the Furka is rough. The scenery fascinated travelers already at the end of the 19th century.

They liked to stay in the Hotel Furkablick, built in 1895.

Between 1983 and 1999, more than 60 artists on Furkapass set signs on rocks, peaks or stones, staged performances and were inspired by the place in a great way. The Furk’art project, initiated by the Neuchâtel gallery owner Marc Hostettler around the Hotel Furkablick, was a pioneering and unique project.

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.

Peinture en promo

Ian Anüll présente un univers polyphonique. Ses œuvres dialoguent avec celles de sa collection, créées par plus de 60 artistes de différentes générations. Peinture en promo réunit ainsi critique sociale et art de la rue ou encore abstraction – avec une peinture murale de Jan van der Ploeg.

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

Common Things

When does a form become a thing, when does color on canvas become representation? Abstraction and figuration – these are the poles between which Fabian Treiber’s latest works are situated. The emphatic search and finding of figurative elements in purely abstract works is playful for Treiber. The opening up of his painting to the intended figurative and to genres such as landscape and still life seems only consistent. The latest works act as visual arguments of a courageous attitude. What once seemed liberating – the abstraction in its sincerity of wanting to be no more, than what it is – over time became a self-chosen cage for the artist, from which he consciously breaks out. It is the simple things that surround us, which in the series »common things« get their way into the picture, a table, a vase, a carpet that embeds the scene. Nevertheless, these new paintings seem like a challenge to the viewer, or as Fabian Treiber puts it: “There was always something disturbing”.

THE FUTURE AND THE PAST PERFECT

Judy Millar (* 1957 Auckland) is New Zealand’s most important painter. At the latest by her spectacular installation Giraffe-Bottle-Gun on the occasion of the 53rd Biennale di Venezia 2009, she was also known in Europe. Thanks to the regular presence of her work in our Gallery, Switzerland has been well informed since 2004 and loves her open, expressive work against well-practiced viewing habits. For the first time, the Kunstmuseum St.Gallen offers the opportunity to survey the entire oeuvre that has been created in Auckland and Berlin over the past 40 years. In addition to the well-known serial paintings and the installation paintings in the room, which the artist often created for New Zealand museums, early drawings from the 1980s will be the basis of her work.

ON THE NEW – YOUNG SCENES IN VIENNA

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.

HYPER! A JOURNEY INTO ART AND MUSIC

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.

INVENTAIRE

In September 1978, Marcia Hafif published in the American magazine Artforum an article, entitled “Beginning Again” in which she analyzed the context of her return to painting six years before. Her pictorial career really took off when she was based in Rome between 1961 and 1969, during which she explored programmatically a form of abstraction.* Then followed a conceptual Californian parenthesis in which the media of photography and video acted as her preferred ways of working.
In 1972, after moving to New York, Marcia Hafif started by drawing series of vertical parallel lines, beginning in the upper left corner of the sheet, until the page had been covered by similar lines. She then reproduced the same process on variously formatted canvases, with the “undeniable elements of painting … canvas, paint, the tool for applying the paint and the artist’s hand … [to] … cover the surface of the canvas with paint, no more, no less … The strokes of the brush are developed according to the qualities of the pigment.” Initially, she used just one pigment at a time, focusing on the fundamental aspects of monochrome painting, developing the questions raised during the early years of the 20th century by the European avant- gardes and American painting currents after the Second World War.
After having studied and presented over a long time the works produced during her years in Rome, MAMCO is extending its reflections about Marcia Hafif’s painted oeuvre by showing a selection of drawings and canvases produced as early as 1972 and belonging to the corpus which the artist has entitled “the Inventory.”

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.

Fabian Treiber. A Minibar in a Large Scale Room

At what point does a square shape become a table, a rectangle a living room carpet or a triangle a flower vase? When do two pink ellipses think of a pair of fluffy slippers, and when does a green square associate with a ping-pong table? Where is the demarcation line, where an abstract-geometric form becomes a familiar object?

The Kunsthalle Nürnberg presents works by Fabian Treiber, the current Marianne Defet Painting Fellow, in a solo exhibition at the Kunsthaus. The paintings of the artist, born in 1986, are reminiscent of surreal living landscapes and provide a view into an interior equipped with the most diverse protagonists of a bourgeois Existence: table, chair and mini bar, candle holders and house plants, carpet and curtains. Image composition and motifs are reminiscent of the painting style of the interior and at the same time an exuberant still life of everyday things.

But even if the viewer can recognize and name a multitude of painted objects, what they see remains strangely vague and inexplicable. The impression of familiarity is combined with a moment of irritation, because like in a dream or a nebulous memory there are no reliable parameters. This impression arises because Fabian Treiber resists the urge for concretization and completion during the production process. He succeeds in creating a kind of hybrid painting that appears both abstract and figurative and cleverly negotiates the elementary questions of painting in terms of form and structure, color and composition, spatiality and distribution of space.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication “Late Night on the Floor, What Language Is I Speaking”, with texts by Invar-Torre Hollaus, Harriet Zilch and an interview with Fabian Treiber and Marcus Weber.

Ding / Unding. The Artist’s Book Unbound

The exhibition Ding / Unding casts a glance at artists’ books in the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich. In the early 1930s, the writer Bob Brown (1886–1959) confidently declared that “books are antiquated word containers” – and although he was of the opinion, even then, that books were already on the way out, rumours of the death of the medium seem to have been greatly exaggerated. In the world of art, the book has far from disappeared. Time and again, artists have challenged our ideas of what a book might comprise. Does it have to be bound? Printed? Made of paper?

Forecasts about the future of the book have long been made, and still continue. Yet the prophecy that they have become superfluous in the so-called information age has not come to fruition. Fortunately not. In the world of art, engaging with this medium in all its many forms still plays an important role. Even the most fundamental elements of a book – pages bound inside a cover – are open to question, thwarting all attempts to define the artist’s book within any kind of fixed category. This exhibition looks at the reasons why artists continue to work with the medium of the book, asks whether and to what extent they overstep its boundaries, and explores the ways in which the artist’s book can assert its place in the digital and post-digital age. Today, more than ever, books oscillate between the physically tangible and the immaterially intangible.

BLUE IS THE COLOR OF YOUR EYES

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.

Reality Check

With “Reality Check”, the Urban Dictionary refers to the moment of disillusionment, when literally a dream bursts, the idea of ​​sober realities breaks down. The term may gain additional social relevance in the age of fake news, when globally communicated news dispenses with any basis in reality, the world becomes, as it were, independent in digital tweets.

The Reality Check at the Kunst Museum Winterthur ignores this parallel world and turns to the material reality of things. It must have been a shock to the art public at the beginning of the 20th century when Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque first integrated real objects into their paintings. The reality broke suddenly into the pictorial space – with far-reaching consequences for the art of modernity until today. The exhibition presents exemplary positions in which material thingness manifests itself in art.

At the Reality Check in the Kunst Museum Winterthur, the representational character of art is at the center of artistic research, formal ideas manifest themselves in striking sculptural works, materialize artistic visions. Selected individual works meet extensive groups of works by artists from the 1960s to today:Jean Tinguely, Daniel Spoerri, John Chamberlain, Arman, Mimmo Rotella, Dieter Roth, Imi Knoebel, Manfred Pernice, Jacques Villeglé, Eva Hesse, Richard Hamilton, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Reto Boller, Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Hains, Luciano Fabro und Manfred Pernice.

Big Picture – Large Work

The title of the exhibition Big Picture is programmatic: It features unusually large works, with the largeness not always relating merely to the format in terms of surface or volume. The phrase Big Picture is also used synonymously with “overall view,” “wider context” or “totality of a situation.”

OTHER EYES, FROM APOLLINAIRE TO TODAY

For this exhibition to be presented at three consecutive sites – the LAAC in Dunkirk, the Saint-Roch Museum in Issoudun and finally the Sainte-Croix Abbey Museum in Les Sables-d’Olonne – Daniel Abadie has chosen nearly 150 rarely or never before exhibited works that offer a new perspective on the past century’s artistic movements and their often-surprising inter-relations, while also echoing and shedding light on the LAAC collection.

This project was inspired by Daniel Abadie’s shock discovery in 1991 at the Albright-Knox Museum of Buffalo (New York), when confronted with the juxtaposition of three fundamentally different paintings dating from 1913, by the artists Vassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger and Robert Delaunay. He suddenly understood that what links the painters of any given generation is the lesson drawn from their predecessors, with each artist answering in his or her own manner the questions raised by the previous generation. This new approach to 20th-century painting differs from the established practice of observing multiple incompatible movements in a state of cohabitation.
Indeed, the exhibition underlines this fascinating paradox. “Other eyes, from Apollinaire to today” begins following the Second World War, in resonance with the LAAC collection and evoking the artistic explorations of the early 20th century.

The exhibition shows how successive approaches form unexpected ensembles, when one looks beyond their apparent contradictions. It links the questions raised with the proffered solutions, thereby offering a new view of this so-close century. And it reveals the extent to which each generation – within a context of uncertainties, debates and contradictions – reacts, echoes, resists or pursues the research and searchings of its predecessors.

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.

Le numerose irregolarita

Katharina Grosse & Tatiana Trouvé
French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici, Rome
curated by Chiara Parisi

This is the fourth and last exhibition in the UNE cycle, originated by Muriel Mayette-Holtz and curated by Chiara Parisi. UNE is an ambitious project which, through artistic, intercultural and generational confrontation, has given rise to surprising collaborations and interconnections, providing a contemporary vision of the French Academy in Rome.

Starting from positions and styles seemingly very far apart, Katharina Grosse and Tatiana Trouvé have also created an unprecedented and unexpected dialogue for this cycle. Thanks to their respective projects, different but complicit and complementary, the two artists both born in the 1960s have shaken up the limits of space at the Villa Medici.

PAS DE DEUX – RÖMISCH-GERMANISCHES KOLUMBA

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.