Among the Expressionists the focus is on Oskar Kokoschka and Edvard Munch, the founding father of Nordic Expressionism. With more than a dozen paintings, the Kunsthaus holds the world’s largest Munch collection outside Norway. The major group of works by Kokoschka illuminates every stage of his multifaceted artistic career, from the early portraits to the painterly riots of colour that typify his late years by Lake Geneva. Alongside these are several works by Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and the Basel group Rot-Blau. Herman Scherer’s ‘Lamentation of the Dead’ is one of the few figures that the sculptor painted in colour, and a key work of Expressionism.
Mondrian and the geometrical-constructive art of the De Stijl movement, the Bauhaus and its teachers Klee and Kandinsky met with an enthusiastic response in Zurich, where architects and designers such as Max Bill and Richard Paul Lohse took up their ideas and developed them further. Complementing their work are paintings by Delaunay, Moholy-Nagy, Albers and Loewensberg , and the substantial estate of Fritz Glarner.