The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, May 24, 2018

Exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel Explores Karl Im Obersteg's Friendship with Artists
A visitor passes the work 'Dead Pheasant, 1926/27' by Russian artist Chaim Soutine, at the exhibition 'Artists' friendships - Karl Im Obersteg in conversation with Amiet, Chagall, Jawlensky' at the Kunstmuseum Basel, in Basel, Switzerland, 05 August 2011. The exhibition lasts from 06 August to 16 October 2011. EPA/GEORGIOS KEFALAS.

BASEL.- This integral overview at the Im Obersteg Foundation focuses on Karl Im Obersteg's artist friendships. It presents some 100 paintings, drawings and bronze sculptures, as well as a large selection of letters from the Foundation's collection.

It all began in Ticino, southern Switzerland, in 1919: Karl Im Obersteg, a young haulage contractor from Basel, was recovering from the Spanish flu as Eastern European artists were finding refuge in Switzerland. They all headed for the small town of Ascona whose southern climate and Italian ambiance attracted many artists and intellectuals. As several hundred letters testify, Im Obersteg's casual encounters with artists grew into friendships. While some correspondence was business-related, many letters reflect the artists' intensifying personal relationships with the collector. A particularly moving example are Alexej von Jawlensky's letters which repeatedly allude to his great suffering from an incurable rheumatic illness that caused him to live in seclusion, suffering paralysis, and eventually brought about his death. Unique for Switzerland, Karl Im Obersteg's friendship with Jawlensky enabled him to collect over 30 pieces spanning the painter's various periods.

Im Obersteg's copious correspondence with Cuno Amiet, Robert Genin, Marc Chagall, Alexej von Jawlensky and others illustrates how his collection grew, and re-creates the spirit of the period from 1920 until 1950. Events during and between the two World Wars were decisive for European art. Many artists banned in their home countries found refuge and were able to make a living in neutral Switzerland, where individuals such as Im Obersteg were able to provide them with the necessary support. The economy of a country unscathed by the war also meant that private collectors were able to avail themselves of unique opportunities to buy high-quality art.

The collector's letters exchanged with Marc Chagall not only describe the fascinating history of how five of Chagall's early works came to be purchased by the collector, but also demonstrate his connoisseurship. Irritated by the discovery of literary references alluding to a second version of Jew in Black and White, Im Obersteg demanded clarification. The letters prove that the painting in the Im Obersteg Collection is the original work created by Chagall in Witebsk in 1914, which served as a model for two further versions created in Paris in the 1920s. Im Obersteg was one of Chagall's early collectors and promotors, and a close personal friend.

The exhibition illustrates the fact that the Im Obersteg Collection is the result of personal friendships with artists and art dealers rather than of anonymous purchases through galleries and auction houses – a fact that makes this one of Switzerland's great, organic art collections, and part of the country's cultural heritage.

Today's News

August 7, 2011

Exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel Explores Karl Im Obersteg's Friendship with Artists

Rare Indian Bronzes Spanning Fifteen Centuries at New Orleans Museum of Art

Survivor Treasures Mother's Last Letters in Holocaust Museum's Photo Project

The Estate of Miroslav Tichy Organizes Exhibition at Galerie Walter Kellerin Zurich

New Portrait of Sir James Dyson by Julian Opie on Show at the National Portrait Gallery

Young Curators Project Inspired by Damien Hirst Artist Rooms Exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery

Brazilian Collective Brings their Fresh Approach to Art to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Australian Born Photographer Russell James' "On the Beach" Opens at Young Gallery in Knokke

Anne Elizabeth Moore Deconstructs Denim Jeans at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Japanese City of Hiroshima on Saturday Marked the 66th Anniversary of Bombing

Pair of Unique Ford Concept Cars to Be Auctioned for Charity at RM Auction's Sale

George Eastman House in Rochester Presents Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera

Solo Exhibition of New Works by the New Delhi-Based Artist Samit Das at Nature Morte

PowerHouse Books to Publish Vivian Maier: Street Photographer

Fuller Craft Museum Presents a Lighter Hand: The Glass Drawings of Michael Janis

Alzheimer's Patients Benefit from New Detroit Institute Arts Pilot Program "Minds on Art"

Faye Toogood to Launch Third Furniture Collection at Phillips De Pury & Company

Sheldon Museum of Art Contest Aims to Name Nebraska Arts Magazine

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful