The 1920s were a decade of both progression and backlash. At no time in the 20th century was the desire for change more intense. Urban visions were created and cities grew at breakneck speed.

From Josephine Baker to Thomas Ruff

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Conventional role models in society and marriage were questioned and upended; disadvantaged and oppressed minorities made their voices heard. Improved conditions for workers went hand in hand with a growing leisure industry. The spirit of innovation fed through directly into art, with experimentation in all disciplines. Remarkably, none of its products have lost any of their relevance.

Unlike many exhibitions devoted to the 1920s, this presentation does not examine movements such as Bauhaus, Dada, New Objectivity or the design and architecture icons of modernism in isolation, but instead places them in dialogue, shedding light on the stylistic heterogeneity of those transformative years.

Focusing on Berlin, Paris, Vienna and Zurich, the exhibition incorporates all the prevalent media of the time, from painting, sculpture and drawing to photography, film and collage. It also offers a platform to less-known figures, notably women. Contemporary artists who explicitly engage with the formal language and topics of the 1920s bridge the gap to the present day.

With Kader Attia, Josephine Baker, Marc Bauer, Constantin Brancusi, Coco Chanel, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, Dodo, Liam Gillick, Friedrich Kiesler, Paul Klee, Fernand Léger, Jeanne Mammen, László Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, Alexandra Navratil, Man Ray, Lotte Reiniger, Hans Richter, Mies van der Rohe, Thomas Ruff, Christian Schad, Xanti Schawinsky, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, My Ullmann and others.

A co-production with the Festspiele Zürich

Curator: Cathérine Hug

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Image above:

Marianne (My) Ullmann, Modest, 1925, University of Applied Arts Vienna, art collection and archive, © Estate of Marianne (My) Ullmann

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