http://www.kunsthaus.ch/en/information/about-us/grusswort-mai/?redirect_url=title%3DM%3F%C2%A0%3F%3F%3F%3F%3F%20ac%2122%3F%C2%A9thodologie

Kunsthaus Zürich

Welcome

Dear visitors

You may have more experience of laying foundation stones than I do. In any event, I can tell you it’s a strange feeling to clamber into a fairly large hole clutching a spade, with the aim of burying a casket-shaped box in another, much smaller hole. For ever. Once this dignified and diverting ceremony was complete, we were rather glad to have secured a second foundation stone for the Kunsthaus extension that will be on show for all to see in the new building (also for ever): a work of art kindly presented to us all by Urs Fischer. For now, it will be taking its place in the entrance hall!

Last year we offered you Picabia and Giacometti; this year it’s Kirchner. They may have little in common at first sight; but Kirchner too was a phenomenon among 20th-century artists. He is associated with Expressionism; and now, with the help of some magnificent loans from the Brücke Museum in Berlin and around the world, we present for the first time in Switzerland the key phase of his artistic career from 1911 to 1917, when he divided his time between Germany’s capital and the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn. His is a rich and diverse body of work full of abrupt contrasts: dim lamplight, wet asphalt, crowded bars and empty absinthe glasses, versus artists’ communes, beach life and free love. Here in Switzerland we are familiar with Kirchner’s work after 1917, during what is known as his Davos period; but you will be amazed at just how wild and rebellious he was when he started out, and how dynamically early 20th-century Classical Modernism takes off – thanks to the youthful and exuberant Kirchner.

Change is in the air, with the entrance hall set to close for a period while the underground link to the Chipperfield building is constructed. Fear not, though: we’ve come up with an ingenious solution that will ensure you can get to and from the art at all times.

Christoph Becker

P.S. Don’t miss our highly topical ‘Art and Integration’ series, which focuses on
migration, contemporary art from beyond Europe, and a programme for people
with specific needs. It will be the topic for our Open Day on 1 April.

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