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Kunsthaus Zürich

Welcome

Dear visitors

Uniquely in 19th-century art, French painting proclaimed the cultural pre-eminence of an entire nation, and indeed has become virtually synonymous with its global stature. What can audiences and art critics possibly have seen to ridicule? French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism have been showered with praise for a century now. The Kunsthaus itself holds a remarkable collection of both: one that, in a few years’ time, will be spectacularly enlarged when the Bührle Collection arrives. And yet: hasn’t the result simply been to popularize a historical avant-garde and a handful of artists representing a form that flourished briefly at the end of a century? The same names and themes are served up to the public time and again: no doubt with good reason, but there is a whiff of opportunism about it all – and there are pitfalls. Isn’t there a risk that, after the thousandth presentation of Monet the ‘painter of light’, his appeal could become so dulled that no amount of burnishing will restore its lustre? Our major exhibition on French art between 1820 and 1880 therefore takes a different tack: we set out to offer a broader view of art history and arouse curiosity about artists and works that have – unjustly – disappeared from our visual consciousness. Visit the large exhibition gallery to experience a surprising wealth of art that (literally) sheds new light on an entire era.

By the time the Bührle Collection takes up residence in David Chipperfield’s Kunsthaus extension, the foundation it now belongs to will have achieved an exceptional feat of provenance research. It has recently investigated and published the origins of every work in the former collection of Emil Bührle. Based on this, the respected historian Matthieu Leimgruber and his team will be delving further into the entrepreneur and art collector, and the results will feed into the documentation on the Bührle Collection at the Kunsthaus.

As autumn turns to winter outside, what better time to visit the Kunsthaus? Come for an exhibition (be sure to check out ‘Reformation’), a guided tour or a workshop, or to view our fabulous Impressionist collection. Incidentally: did you know that we’ve recently overhauled and expanded the range in our shop? Just in case you need an attractive, sensible, practical and competitively priced gift some time soon.

Welcome to the Kunsthaus!

Christoph Becker

Christoph Becker
Photo © Severin Jakob
Christoph Becker
Photo © Severin Jakob