Through some 160 paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, sketchbooks and a selection of fabrics, sculptures and photographs, this exhibition explores the work of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in his Berlin period from 1911 to 1917. The drawings, prints and paintings created during those six years are among the most remarkable of their kind in early 20th-century Europe. At the heart of the exhibition are the works Kirchner produced in the bustling metropolis of Berlin and on the idyllic Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn. Between 1912 and 1914, these two contrasting places of inspiration marked the high point of Kirchner’s Expressionist oeuvre. The co-founder of the Brücke artists’ association, who is best known in Switzerland for his pictures of the unspoilt mountain scenery around Davos, appears here in what for Swiss audiences is a less familiar, edgier guise.

A century after Kirchner moved to Switzerland, Kunsthaus curator Dr Sandra Gianfreda, in association with Prof. Magdalena M. Moeller, Director of the Brücke-Museum in Berlin, has brought a remarkable selection of works on loan to Zurich. They include exhibits from the Städel Museum, Frankfurt; the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; and the popular Kirchner Museum Davos. Private lenders are supplying works that, in some cases, have never before been shown in public. There is also a reconstruction of the mansard niche of Kirchner’s second Berlin studio – again, for the first time in Switzerland. The artist decorated it with fabrics he designed himself, featuring Fehmarn motifs.

This exhibition, with its exceptionally valuable loans, lavishly produced catalogue and exciting programme of events, was made possible thanks to the support of the Vontobel Foundation, the Federal Office of Culture, Ars Rhenia, the foundation for the transregional promotion of art and culture, the A-Charity Foundation, the Truus and Gerrit van Riemsdijk Foundation and the Dr. Georg and Josi Guggenheim Foundation.

The exhibition was conceived in cooperation with the Brücke-Museum, Berlin.

On the pages that follow, you’ll find an overview of all these offerings. We hope to see you in the exhibition soon – somewhere between vibrant metropolis and idyllic nature.



Beginnings in Dresden

At the age of 21 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner moved from Chemnitz to Dresden, where he studied architecture from 1901 to 1905. On 7 June 1905, together with his fellow students Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, he founded the artists’ association Brücke. The notion of the unity of art and life, of man and nature played an important role in their works and in their everyday lives. The artists got together regularly to draw from a model. They felt a bond with everyone ‘who directly and honestly depicts what drives him to create’, as they proclaimed in the Brücke programme. With their revolutionary art and way of life they sought to emancipate themselves not only from classical depictions of the nude and conventional visual language, but also from the societal constraints of the Prussian empire.

Streetcar in Dresden, 1909

Oil on canvas, 70 x 78.5 cm, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, on loan from a private collection © bpk / Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Kirchner’s early work does not yet reveal a clearly defined style; he was still searching for an artistic signature of his own. Only in early 1909 did what came to be known as the Brücke style, with its radiant planes of colour and darkly contoured forms, begin to emerge. In 1908 Kirchner paid his first visit to the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn; later, when he was living in Berlin, it would become his preferred summer destination. In addition to cityscapes of Dresden and depictions of nudes both in the studio and in nature at the Moritzburg Ponds, he also pictured motifs from the city’s nightlife. The haunts of pleasure-seekers – the music hall, theatre and circus – were favourite places that gave him a chance to study complex sequences of movement and people in refreshingly unforced poses and capture them in art.

Artist – Marcella, 1910

Oil on canvas, 101 x 76 cm, Brücke-Museum, Berlin

From Dresden to Berlin (1911–1912)

In the autumn of 1911 Kirchner moved from Dresden to Berlin, where the other members of the Brücke also settled. As in Dresden, he fitted out his studio as a place to live and work, with fabrics and furnishings he had made himself as expressions of his unconventional, bohemian lifestyle.

Mexico Bay, Fehmarn, 1912

Oil on canvas, 50.5 x 50.5 cm, Private collection, Germany

His extremely productive Berlin years are characterized by dynamic impressions of the big city, its amusements and vices, as well as his stays during the summer months on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn. The move from Dresden also brought about a change in Kirchner’s style. He abandoned the softly rounded forms and planes of colour from his last years in Dresden in favour of sharp, angular forms and swiftly executed, hatching-like brushwork. At the same time, he moved away from strongly contrasting colours towards more muted hues and tertiary colours.

Shortly after arriving in Berlin, Kirchner met the sisters Gerda and Erna Schilling, who earned their living working as dancers and became his important models. He spent the summer of 1912 on Fehmarn with Erna, his new girlfriend. Kirchner not only used the island as an escape but also made it his own personal Arcadia. The importance of his visits to the island in the summer months of 1912, 1913 and 1914 is obvious from the large number of works in various techniques with Fehmarn motifs. The island’s characteristic landscape and the search for a unity of man and nature – which he had begun at the Moritzburg Ponds – inspired him to paint a large number of bathing scenes and nudes.

Street at Schöneberg City Park, 1912/13

Oil on canvas, 121 x 151 cm, Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs Harry Lynde Bradley

Back in Berlin, in the second half of 1912 he began painting a series of cityscapes in addition to nudes in his studio and portraits. He chose both architectural motifs and everyday metropolitan subjects that he had previously captured in his sketchbooks on his frequent wanderings through the city.

Berlin and Fehmarn – Between Big City Dynamism and Island Idylls (1913)

Within half a century Berlin had grown into a modern metropolis with two million inhabitants, and in the years before the First World War it was one of Germany’s most exciting cities for artists. But Kirchner’s early period in the capital was a struggle for survival, marked by the failure of the art school he had set up with Max Pechstein and the break-up of Brücke in May 1913. Despite these hardships, Kirchner was fascinated by the metropolis and would continue to explore it artistically for the next two years. He soon established a circle of new acquaintances centred around Herwarth Walden, founder of the gallery and journal Der Sturm, and the intellectuals of Der Neue Club.

Street, Berlin, 1913

Oil on canvas, 120.5 x 91 cm, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchase, 1939, © 2017. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence

The summer of 1913 was again spent with Erna on Fehmarn. There Kirchner developed his painting style still further. Instead of using outlines and shading to model his forms as he had until the previous year, hatching now covers the entire picture surface, adding excitement to the wild, pristine nature.

Girls, Fehmarn, 1913

Oil on canvas, 125 x 90.5 cm, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg

After a number of weeks by the Baltic, Kirchner embarked on a series of street scenes. These were unlike the cityscapes in which the figures were merely incidental: in the group of works produced between late 1913 and early 1915 that includes a number of paintings, numerous pastels, drawings and prints, people become the principal actors in the dynamic metropolis. In these street scenes Kirchner combines artistic depictions of the night-time activities of the big city with the subject of prostitution, which could be practised only discreetly on the street. Cocottes, as prostitutes were called at the time, were among the tolerated attractions of Berlin nightlife. With the motif of streetwalkers and his now characteristic vibrant painting style, Kirchner found an artistic equivalent for the sensory overload and animation of the modern metropolis before the First World War. Movement, dynamism and multiple perspectives typify Kirchner’s work during the Berlin years, in what, looking back, he characterized as a ‘painting of motion’.

Mansard niche in Kirchner’s live-in studio, Berlin-Friedenau, 1914/15

Glass negative, 24 x 18 cm, Kirchner Museum Davos, gift of the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Estate 2001

Berlin and Fehmarn – In the Maelstrom of the Metropolis and Farewell to Arcadia (1914)

Kirchner continued to work on the street scenes in 1914. He took a sketchbook along wherever he went, capturing everything around him in quick pictorial shorthand: intuitively and swiftly he registered his surroundings on paper, then later reworked these snapshots in his studio using other techniques. In his attempt to capture the dynamism of the metropolis, Kirchner also turned to motifs from the demi- monde of dance, the circus and music hall. Eroticism and the depiction of movement were important aspects.

Railway Overpass, 1914

Oil on canvas, 79 x 99.5 cm, Museum Ludwig, Cologne

At the end of October 1913 Kirchner had moved from Berlin-Wilmersdorf into a larger studio apartment in Berlin-Friedenau. From one of the windows of his new studio he could look out at the urban landscape. The view of the tracks, the railway overpass, the passing trains and trams and the backs of the apartment blocks across the way inspired numerous pictures. He saw the motorized world as an expression of modern mobility in the metropolis.

In addition to the fascinating motifs it offered him, the city was filled with the tense atmosphere that accompanied the outbreak of the First World War. Kirchner’s oeuvre contains numerous self-portraits that attest to his observation and depiction of himself in various roles. Notably, after war was declared his artistic self-examination greatly increases, and in part documents the fears that plagued him when faced with impending conscription.

Curving Bay (Laburnum Tree), c. 1914

Oil on canvas, 146 x 123 cm, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

When Germany entered the conflict on 1 August 1914, Kirchner was together with Erna on Fehmarn for one last time. The island was declared a strategically important military zone and they were suddenly required to leave. Back in Berlin he furnished one of his two mansard niches with fabrics he had designed himself, depicting the carefree life on Fehmarn.

War and Crisis (1915–1917)

At the height of his Expressionist phase Kirchner’s life was turned upside down, first by the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 and then by his own mental and physical collapse in September 1915. Despite, or perhaps because of, his deteriorating health – Kirchner suffered panic attacks and, over an extended period, signs of paralysis in his hands – he produced works of the highest poignancy during his crisis.

Artillerists’ Bath – Bathing Soldiers, 1915

Lithograph on yellow paper, 50.5 x 59.0/4 cm, E.W.K. Collection, Bern/Davos

In spring 1915 Kirchner volunteered for military service and on 1 July he was posted to the Mansfeld Field Artillery in Halle an der Saale. Unable to cope with the rigours of army drill he collapsed with exhaustion and was initially granted temporary leave. In the months that followed he turned to alcohol and drugs in excess, and so in part helped to make himself unfit for service. To avoid being called up again he declared his readiness to check into a sanatorium. In December 1915, he sought treatment at Dr Oskar Kohnstamm’s sanatorium in Königstein im Taunus. His moves were also frequently associated with changes in subject matter: whereas his military training in Halle had inspired several motifs from the life of soldiers, his stays in Königstein and the hilly Taunus landscape heightened his interest in motifs from nature, some executed on-site, some in his Berlin studio, where he could work undisturbed, far away from the therapeutic regimen and other patients.

Self-Portrait in Morphine Rush, 1917

Reed pen and ink on gessoed paper, 50 x 38 cm, Brücke-Museum, Berlin

From Berlin to Davos

Kirchner’s condition had worsened despite his release from military service and repeated stays in sanatoriums in Königstein and Berlin, and in January 1917 he paid his first visit to Davos to be treated by Dr Lucius Spengler. After only two weeks he departed in haste because he found it too cold. In early May 1917 he returned and spent the summer in the Rüesch hut on the Stafelalp above Davos Frauenkirch. His heavy misuse of medications had weakened him physically. Kirchner suffered paralysis and a loss of feeling in his hands and feet, which made any kind of artistic work difficult. In September 1917, at the urging of his friend the architect Henry van de Velde, he transferred to the Sanatorium Bellevue in Kreuzlingen, where he stayed for almost a year.

Rhaetian Railway in Snow, 1917

Oil on canvas, 94 x 94 cm, Deutsche Bank Collection

Once in Switzerland, he began to tackle themes he had not dealt with before. Though at first he mainly produced portraits of the people taking care of him as well as a number of self-portraits, his choice of motifs soon reflects his new immediate surroundings: mountain landscapes, their inhabitants and animals in their everyday lives.

Moonrise on the Stafelalp, 1917

Oil on canvas, 80 x 90 cm, Kirchner Museum Davos, on loan from the Rosmarie Ketterer Foundation

Kirchner’s condition was considered incurable at the time; yet it is astonishing how much he accomplished during his first years in Switzerland, despite his poor state of health. At first the move to Switzerland, where Kirchner would spend the rest of his life, did not lead to a change in style. Some of his early Swiss works feature the same broad brush-strokes as in the paintings produced in Berlin and similar changes of perspective. The shift to a flatter, more ornamental style with less agitated brushwork would only appear after 1921, as he began to recover both physically and mentally.


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938)

Self-portrait in the live-in studio in Berlin-Friedenau, 1913/1915

Glass negative, 13 x 18 cm, Kirchner Museum Davos, Gift of the Estate of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 2001


Born on 6 May 1880 in Aschaffenburg, Germany.


Studies architecture at the technical universities in Dresden and Munich in accordance with his father’s wishes. But he really aspires to become an artist.


On 7 June, together with his fellow students Erich Heckel, Fritz Bleyl and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, founds the Brücke artists’ association. With its vibrant colour palette and gestural pictorial language, together with coarse woodcuts and rapidly executed drawings, the group revolutionizes art in Germany.


First stay on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn.


Moves to Berlin in October, almost simultaneously with Schmidt-Rottluff and Heckel. There, together with Max Pechstein, he founds the MUIM Institute (Moderner Unterricht in Malerei / Modern Instruction in Painting). Frequents Herwarth Walden’s gallery Der Sturm and the literary circle of Der Neue Club. It is probably during this year that he meets the sisters Gerda and Erna Schilling, who earn their living working as dancers and become his important models.


The Brücke is invited to the Sonderbund’s International Art Exhibition in Cologne (25 May – 30 September), during which Kirchner and Heckel paint a chapel there. Second summer visit (from the end of July at the latest to at least mid-August) to the island of Fehmarn accompanied by Erna Schilling, who is now his partner, and by Heckel and his girlfriend, the dancer Sidi Riha. Meets the writer and practising psychiatrist Alfred Döblin, for whose texts Kirchner will produce woodcuts. In December the MUIM Institute is shut down owing to insufficient enrolment.


Kirchner composes the Chronik KG Brücke at the behest of the group’s members, but owing to differences of opinion about this text, the Brücke formally disbands on 27 May. Third summer stay with Erna Schilling on Fehmarn (from mid-June at the latest to at least the end of September); there he is visited by former MUIM pupils Hans Gewecke and Werner Gothein as well as fellow painter Otto Mueller and his wife Maschka. October sees his first one-man show at the Museum Folkwang in Hagen. In late October he moves to a larger studio apartment at Körnerstrasse 45 in Berlin-Friedenau that he and Erna fix up with their own handmade furnishings.


From February to March he stages an important one-man show at the Kunstverein Jena at the invitation of its director, the philosopher Eberhard Grisebach. Through him Kirchner is introduced into the intellectual circle in Jena that has formed around the archaeologist Botho Graef and his friend Hugo Biallowons, the writer Karl Theodor Bluth and the philosopher Rudolf Eucken and his wife, the artist Irene Eucken, all of whom become important friends and patrons of his art. With Erna he spends a last summer on Fehmarn from the beginning of July to the outbreak of the war, when the island is declared an important strategic zone. Suffers increasingly from attacks of nervous anxiety; consumes large amounts of absinthe.


In the spring Kirchner volunteers for the military, hoping to be able to choose which branch he will serve in. In July he is detailed to the mounted Mansfeld Field Artillery Regiment No. 75 in Halle an der Saale. Unable to stand the pressure he suffers a mental and physical collapse; in September, thanks to the intervention of the regimental riding instructor and former passive member of the Brücke Hans Fehr, he is placed on leave until 29 October. Kirchner spends this time in Berlin. Through the agency of Karl Ernst Osthaus he designs three wooden models for an ‘Iron Smithy’, which is to be set up in Hagen as an emblem of the war; his project is rejected by the committee. Osthaus thereupon purchases the three sculptural models for the Museum Folkwang – the first museum acquisition of Kirchner’s sculpture. At the beginning of November he is declared unfit for service until he recovers. After 15 December he travels to the sanatorium of Dr Oskar Kohnstamm in Königstein im Taunus, where he stays until the end of January 1916. Despite his precarious condition, he begins making large-format paintings and carves woodcuts for the Schlemihl cycle.


Further stays at the Kohnstamm sanatorium (March/April and June/July); in the intervening period, alternates between Berlin, Halle and Jena. On 9 July his friend Hugo Biallowons is killed near Verdun. In Königstein he produces wall paintings with motifs of bathers in the sanatorium’s well tower (destroyed after 1933). No improvement in his health; Kirchner is addicted to alcohol and drugs. In October, first exhibition in the gallery of Ludwig Schames in Frankfurt. In December, stays for a time in Dr. Edel’s sanatorium in Berlin-Charlottenburg.


Following his father’s intervention he is released from Dr. Edel’s sanatorium. First stay in Davos, from 19 January to 4 February, arranged by Eberhard Grisebach; makes the acquaintance of the Spengler family of physicians. Because of the unusually severe cold Kirchner hastens back to Berlin. In March, solo exhibition at the Kunstverein Jena. On 9 April Kirchner’s friend and mentor Botho Graef dies of a heart attack. On 8 May, begins a second stay in Davos, where he is treated by Dr Lucius Spengler and looked after by his wife Helene Spengler; commences a regimen of withdrawal from his morphine and Veronal addiction that will continue until 1921. For the summer he moves with a nurse into the Rüesch hut on the Stafelalp. On 15 September, at the urging of his architect friend Henry van de Velde, transfers to the Sanatorium Bellevue in Kreuzlingen, run by the leading psychiatrist Dr. Ludwig Binswanger. Erna Schilling remains in Berlin for the time being, tending to business and personal contacts; she regularly visits her partner in Switzerland until she finally moves to Davos Frauenkirch in 1922. Suffering from paralysis in his limbs and impaired consciousness, Kirchner mainly produces prints and drawings.


In January Karl Ernst Osthaus acquires four paintings, three of which find their way into the collection of the Museum Folkwang; this is the first museum purchase of Kirchner’s paintings. During his sanatorium stay Kirchner sorts and arranges his entire graphic work for Gustav Schiefler, an art enthusiast from Hamburg who wants to compile a catalogue raisonné. From March to April he takes part in an exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich. Returns to the Stafelalp in July. At the beginning of September Kirchner is granted permission to settle in Davos and moves into a house in Davos Frauenkirch.


Early in the year Kirchner temporarily conquers his morphine addiction. Embarks on a new stylistic phase in his work.


Vacates the live-in studio in Berlin in March.


In June a large one-man show is presented at the Kunsthalle Basel, which has a major influence on Basel’s young artists; in the years that follow they will visit Kirchner in Davos Frauenkirch to work with him. In October he moves into an old farmhouse on the ‘Wildboden’ in Davos Frauenkirch.


In June and July there is a large solo exhibition with works from his entire career at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, which does not go down well with the public. Resists being labelled an ‘Expressionist’.


In December, makes his first trip back to Germany, stopping off in Zurich and Basel on the way. In Zurich he meets Wilhelm Wartmann, Director of the Kunsthaus Zürich, who wishes to put together a major exhibition for him; the show, planned for 1926, is ultimately abandoned because of scheduling problems.


Until 11 March 1926 Kirchner continues his travels to Frankfurt, Chemnitz, Dresden and Berlin, where he visits friends, gallery owners and family members. He is honourably received wherever he goes. In the years that follow, many German institutions stage solo exhibitions of his work. Participates in group exhibitions internationally. First major publications on his work. The commission to create the wall paintings for the ballroom of the new Museum Folkwang in Essen is a kind of ‘life’s work’ up until 1934 – but in the end it never comes to fruition.


Owing to political developments, the state of the art market in Germany, so crucial for Kirchner, becomes increasingly uncertain. Kirchner once again becomes addicted to medication.


Major retrospective at the Kunsthalle Bern in March and April; the catalogue for the show includes his last essay under the pseudonym Louis de Marsalle, whom Kirchner now declares dead.


At an exhibition of modern German art at the Kunsthaus Zürich in late June Kirchner resumes contact with Wilhelm Wartmann and asks about the possibility of a one-man show. Although planned for 1936, the exhibition once again fails to materialize.


Political campaigns against modern art in Germany increase. Kirchner’s health deteriorates.


January sees a first solo show in the US at the Detroit Institute of Art. In July and August modern art is confiscated from German museums as being ‘degenerate’ and presented in an exhibition that travels through various German cities until 1941. Some 770 works by Kirchner (including 54 paintings) are removed from museums; some are later either sold abroad or destroyed.


Kirchner’s health deteriorates further. Germany’s annexation of Austria on 13 March sends Kirchner into a panic, as he fears that the Germans could march across the Austrian border into Grisons. In a letter dated 9 May Kirchner asks Wilhelm Wartmann about the planned exhibition of modern German art in London, and at the same time about the possibility of a show at the Kunsthaus Zürich. In May he applies to the Davos authorities for a licence to marry Erna but on 12 June he withdraws this request. On 15 June he ends his life with a pistol not far from his house. In July five Kirchner works are on view as part of the exhibition Twentieth Century German Art in London, presented as a riposte to the Degenerate Art show in Munich.


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in German and English:

Vibrant Metropolis / Idyllic Nature
Kirchner – The Berlin Years

Hirmer Verlag. Publisher: Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft/Kunsthaus Zürich
with contributions by Günther Gercken, Sandra Gianfreda, Charles W. Haxthausen, Martina Pfister, Karin Schick and Uwe M. Schneede

272 pages, approx. 220 illustrations in colour and black & white Format: 23 x 29 cm

Price: CHF 59     ISBN 978-3-7774-2729-4



Tuesday 7 March, 6.30 p.m.

«Kirchner ausstellen – damals und heute»

Podium discussion with Dr Lucius Grisebach (art historian), Dr Felix Krämer (curator, Städel Museum, Frankfurt) and Dr Sandra Gianfreda (curator, Kunsthaus Zürich)

CHF 10 / CHF 7 concessions. Free for members and those with a ticket to the Kirchner exhibition.

Tuesday 28 March, 6.30 p.m.

«Flanerie und Nervosität. Ernst Ludwig Kirchners Strassenbilder der 1920er-Jahre»

Tuesday 28 March, 6.30 p.m. Lecture by D. Thorsten Sadowsky (Director of the Kirchner Museum Davos)

CHF 10 / CHF 7 concessions. Free for members and those with a ticket to the Kirchner exhibition.

Tuesday 4 April, 6.30 p.m.

«Er war doch ein Grosser». Ernst Ludwig Kirchners Verhältnis zu Ferdinand Hodler

Lecture by Dr Sandra Gianfreda (curator, Kunsthaus Zürich)

CHF 10 / CHF 7 concessions. Free for members and those with a ticket to the Kirchner exhibition.

Tuesday 2 May, 6.30 p.m.

Mirko Bonné – Mein Fehmarn

A reading in cooperation with the Literaturhaus Zürich

CHF 20 / CHF 14 concessions. Free for members and those with a ticket to the Kirchner exhibition. Members of the Museumsgesellschaft Zürich: CHF 12

Limited seating capacity. A limited number of tickets is available as from now at the Kunsthaus ticket desk.

These events will be held in German language.

Public guided tours

English: Saturday 4 March at 1 p.m. and Sunday 19 March at 4 p.m.

German: Wednesdays and Thursdays 6 p.m., Fridays 3 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.

French: Saturday 11 March, 1 p.m.

Private guided tours

in various languages can be arranged on request.

Art education

Adults aged 16 and over

As liquid as water, as animated as the sea

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner opted for pastures new. He was looking for something completely different: liberated colours, off-kilter forms, transparent feelings. Wherever he looked and whatever he painted, his works are full of life, timeless and inspiring. Can you set off on new adventures, and free colours and forms through painting? Yes you can!

With Barbara Brandt

Thursday 23 March, 5.30 p.m. – 7.45 p.m.
CHF 40 / CHF 25 (members) / CHF 15 (young people)

Movement and momentum

Day and night, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner pounded the streets of Berlin, capturing the movements of people in his sketchbook. We’ll use his drawings and prints to inspire our own lines and strokes, and experiment with a range of drawing methods.

With Eveline Schüep

Wednesday 5 April, 5 p.m. – 7.45 p.m.
CHF 50 / CHF 35 (members) / CHF 15 (young people)

Family workshops

Colours in the wind

When colours and forms swirl, lighthouses defy the storm, waves break and yellow spreads across the canvas like golden rain, we know we’re looking at Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Draw inspiration from his way of seeing and paint wildly and colourfully, skew and straight, fast and slow.

With Barbara Brandt

Sunday 26 March, 10.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.
Adults CHF 10 / CHF 5 (children and young people) / CHF 25 (families)

Lots of trees – lots of colour

Our response to the green shoots of spring is the colourful and animated world of trees – with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and others to inspire us.

With Sibylle Burla

Sunday 30 April, 10.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.
Adults CHF 10 / CHF 5 (children and young people) / CHF 25 (families)

Ages 5 and over

Big city – open country

The ladies in the pictures are the height of fashion, with their furs and feathers in their hair. The men are equally chic. This is how Kirchner paints the hustle and bustle of the big city a century ago. What’s your idea of city life? Or perhaps you’re more a country dweller?

With Anna Bähler

Tuesday 14 February, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday 26 April, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
CHF 15

Ages 7 to 12

This is how I paint!

Compare the ‘signatures’ of leading artists such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Henri Matisse. Is it the colours and forms that appeal to you? Perhaps it’s the brush movements or the thickness of the paint? We’ll find out – and you’ll have a chance to find your own painting style. Bring lunch.

With Barbara Brandt

Thursday 16 February, 10.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.
CHF 25

More than just green!

The trees and forests of paintings by Kirchner and others are full of colour and movement. Let them inspire you! In this workshop, there’s time to paint and draw. Carbon pencil, crayons, brush and paint are the tools you need to create works of your own. Bring lunch.

With Sibylle Burla

Wednesday 19 April, 10.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.
CHF 25


Kunsthaus Zürich, Heimplatz 1, CH–8001 Zürich

+41 (0)44 253 84 84

Opening hours

Fri-Sun/Tues 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wed, Thurs 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

For public holiday opening see www.kunsthaus.ch

Admission incl. audioguide

CHF 23 / CHF 18 (concessions and groups).

Combination tickets including the collection and exhibition CHF 26 / CHF 19 (concessions and groups).

Admission free to visitors up to the age of 16.

Advance sales

SBB RailAway:

Combination ticket with discount on travel and admission: at stations and by phoning Rail Service +41 900 300 300 (CHF 1.19/min. by land line), www.sbb.ch/kunsthaus-zuerich

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