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Kunsthaus Zürich Closes Anniversary Year with Best Result Since 1989
Installation view of the Picasso exhibition at Kunsthaus Zurich. Photo ©

ZURICH.- The Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft closed the centenary of the Kunsthaus with a record of over 400,000 visitors – its best figure in 20 years. And the 2011 programme promises highlights both Swiss and international. The Picasso exhibition ends with extended opening hours on 30 January. The Kunsthaus Zürich’s 2010 programme garnered the museum a veritable storm of visitors in its centenary year, along with increasing additions to membership rolls. For their part, the exhibitions ‘Van Gogh, Cézanne, Monet – The Bührle Collection’ and ‘Picasso’, with well over 100,000 admissions each, contributed to a record total of 420,000 visitors (cf. 228,000 in 2009).

The calibre continues high in 2011: the ongoing Picasso exhibition can be visited until 30 January daily except Monday until 9 p.m. In the autumn, with the world’s first presentation of the top-flight Nahmad Collection, the Kunsthaus will once again amaze its guests with works of French painting and classical modernism. And come summer, one of Switzerland’s leading contemporary artists, Franz Gertsch, will see nearly three decades of creativity fêted.

In February the Kunsthaus will take over from New York’s Museum of Modern Art the informative thematic exhibition ‘The Original Copy’. From May on, the museum will host a revival of Joseph Beuys’s eco-political work, and families are the main focus at ‘Beastly Good!’, an art education exhibition and outreach project. To round things out, Roman Ondák and soon-to-be international player Haris Epaminonda present their latest works to a public open for experimentation.

The provisional 2010 statement posts a surplus in revenues. The audited statement and the annual report will be presented to members of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft at the general assembly on 30 May. Membership in the Kunstgesellschaft shows pleasing development, with some 19,500 names on the roles in 2010 as against just under 19,150 in 2009. As explained by Walter Kielholz, President of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, at the press conference, the society is expecting a decline in revenues in 2011, although income from sponsoring is stable. The partnership with Credit Suisse, now 20 years old, has just been renewed. Foundations and other sponsors have remained loyal to the Kunsthaus, and have been joined by some new names.

The Kunsthaus extension is in the preliminary design phase. At year’s end professional planners and architects were tasked with identifying potential project risks and cost drivers. The building client is awaiting the results of this study before deciding whether to approve the preliminary project. Since December of 2010 visitors have been able to review the status of the project by means of an architectural model on a scale of 1:50 in the entrance area. As future user of the facility, the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft is working on a strategy for the efficient running of the New Kunsthaus on both sides of Heimplatz. A business plan, prepared pro bono for the Kunstgesellschaft by the Boston Consulting Group, is to be presented in the spring.


The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today 25 February to 15 May
A critical assessment of the aesthetic and theoretical intersections of photography and sculpture. Some three hundred outstanding photographs by more than one hundred artists from the 19th century to the present day sketch out photography’s potential to influence and to challenge our conception of sculpture. The exhibition does not stop at a study of the reasons for sculpture’s emergence as a subject for photographers, but also demonstrates how 20thcentury photography enhanced the realm of the sculptural. With works by Eugène Atget, Hans Bellmer, Herbert Bayer, Constantin Brancusi, Brassaï, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Christo, Marcel Duchamp, Fischli / Weiss, Robert Frank, David Goldblatt, Rachel Harrison, Hannah Höch, André Kertész, Man Ray, Bruce Nauman, Gillian Wearing, Hannah Wilke and many others. The exhibition was organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Alberto Giacometti – The Art of Seeing. 11 March to 22 May 2011
Seeing is the basis of all visual art, and few artists have focused so centrally on the process of seeing as Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966). The exhibition examines his reflections and experiments on the subject, with the help of works from all phases of his career.

DogCatMouse at the Kunsthaus Zürich. Exhibition and summer workshop. 1 April – 31 July 2011
Human beings have been inspired by their nearest relatives, the citizens of the animal kingdom, since they first began creating art, and are still at it today. The Kunsthaus contains numerous testimonies to this artistic preoccupation. The exhibition is a chance for all – young and old – to explore the collection and take a trip through the history of art at the same time. Guided tours, ateliers and excursions also available (summer workshop).

Joseph Beuys. Difesa della Natura. 13 May – 14 August 2011
Defence of nature. For decades, Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) would spend a few weeks each year in Bolognano, Abruzzi, working on an aesthetico-ecological project. Numerous sculptures, drawings, photographs, prints and brochures were created to accompany his wide range of local activities.

Franz Gertsch. Seasons. 10 June – 18 September 2011
The opening of this exhibition by Franz Gertsch (*1930) coincides with the completion of his masterful 'Four Seasons Cycle'. Although the Kunsthaus show focuses on this piece, it goes well beyond it to present a retrospective of Gertsch’s work since the 1980s. Gertsch, one of Switzerland’s leading contemporary artists, has acquired outstanding international renown with his hyper-realist paintings as well as with his woodcuts, unique both technically and in format. The exhibition is being staged in close collaboration with the artist. Supported by Swiss Re – Partner for contemporary art.

Roman Ondák. 10 June – 28 August 2011
The Kunsthaus Zürich is the first museum in Switzerland to mount a solo show of work by Slovakian artist Roman Ondák (*1966). Among the leading members of a young generation of conceptual artists, Ondák works with a variety of media, creating drawings, photographs, sculptures and performative works depending on the context. He is creating a new piece especially for the Kunsthaus, which will be on show exclusively in Zurich.

Haris Epaminonda. 16 September – 27 November 2011
Born in Cyprus in 1980, Haris Epaminonda has participated in major international group exhibitions and aroused interest with solo shows at the Malmö Konsthall and Tate Modern, London. Her work is based on the principle of collage, and she often uses images from books or re-edits television films and series from the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to existing works, she will also be showing a film produced especially for the Kunsthaus show. Supported by Swiss Re – Partner for contemporary art.

The Nahmad Collection. 21 October 2011 – 15 January 2012
The far-flung Nahmad family, based in Monaco, collect major works of art; indeed, now in its second generation, their patronage has seen the family name appear frequently in some of the more spectacular auctions of recent times. Now, for the first time ever, one hundred major pieces from what is thought to be a one-of-a-kind private collection are to go on show in an exclusive exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich. Picasso, with a breathtaking selection of work from all phases of his career, is one of the best-represented artists in the collection; but there are also Matisse, Modigliani and Kandinsky, with whole series of brilliant pieces; and Claude Monet, one of the ancestors of the modernist movement, with late, luminous images of his travels in the south. But although the Nahmad Collection is ostensibly committed to the orthodox canon, it has its eclectic touches too, including works by proponents of late Impressionism (Renoir, Degas and Seurat) at the end of the 19th century, through advocates of Cubism and Abstract Art all the way to the Surrealists: Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst rub shoulders with exceptional pieces by Joan Miró, for a truly astonishing tour of some great moments in modern art. The Nahmad Collection! A contribution to culture by Credit Suisse – Partner of the Kunsthaus Zürich.

Albert Welti – Landscape in Pastel. 16 December 2011 – 4 March 2012
Pastel painting has been a recognized technique since the 18th century. Albert Welti (1862–1912) was a master of the art with a style that was very much his own. Featuring fifty intensely coloured pastels, the Kunsthaus exhibition showcases Welti’s enthusiasm for the virtually irrepressible interaction of light and the human eye.

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