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Kunsthaus Zürich

Welcome

Dear visitors

If you had asked people 50 years ago to predict who would be Switzerland’s best-known 20th-century artist, they probably would not have answered ‘Alberto Giacometti’. He was controversial, his work was represented in just a few collections, and when he died in Chur on 11 January 1966, the foundation that bears his name had only just been created by a handful of farsighted friends of the arts. Some years ago, Bruno Giacometti, Alberto’s brother and a friend and patron of the Kunsthaus, presented us with a real treasure: those works in plaster, clay and Plasticine that had been stranded in the artist’s studio and on which he had worked virtually until the moment of his death. Now, following a highly demanding programme of restoration, they are being shown to the public, most of them for the first time ever. These are in the truest sense of the word unique and moving masterpieces we have on display for you in the great exhibition hall.
Anyone passionate about modern art knows Edvard Munch, of whose works the Kunsthaus possesses the largest group outside his homeland of Norway. Our collection is closely associated with the deposit of the Herbert Eugen Esche Foundation, whose outstanding pieces were recently enhanced by a highly significant permanent loan, thanks to a generous patron. Reason enough to tell you the story of a headstrong textile manufacturer from Chemnitz with a taste for modern art, in an informative hanging of Munch’s portraits of the industrialist’s family (alongside the original furnishings of the clan’s home, by van de Velde). Zurich’s Peter Wechsler (born 1951) has long lived and worked in Vienna, and we are looking forward to a guest appearance by this very talented graphic artist. We will pair the idiosyncratic imagistic worlds he creates with pencil and India ink on large-format sheets with earlier pieces to present a compact retrospective of his work on paper.
What’s next? The 2017 Annual Programme has just appeared, and it promises plenty of diverse attractions: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s most creative period – in the hurly burly of Berlin and on the tranquil Baltic island of Fehmarn; an experimental project on the art of performance with international protagonists; the colourful premiere of the wonderfully amusing Neapolitan “Cantastorie” and a fresh look at the development of French art, from the Romantics to the Impressionists, with major pieces representative of the long-overlooked salon painters. The Reformation 500 years ago, finally, and its implications for art, is the subject of our Picture Ballot!

Christoph Becker

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