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The Kunsthaus Zürich to present its most famous paintings and sculptures in Japan
Giovanni Segantini, La vanitŕ, 1897. Oil on canvas, 77 x 124 cm. Kunsthaus Zürich, purchased with a contribution from the UBS, 1996.

ZURICH.- From September 2014, the Kunsthaus will be presenting its most famous paintings and sculptures in an exhibition entitled ‘Masterpieces from the Kunsthaus Zürich’, first in Tokyo and subsequently in Kobe. An exhibition devoted to Japan is planned at the Kunsthaus in 2015. The space left in the collection will be filled by the artist Peter Fischli, with a project on Ferdinand Hodler and Jean-Frédéric Schnyder.

European Impressionist and Classical Modernist art is highly regarded in Asian countries. One reason for this is that a significant number of European artists working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries drew inspiration from Asian art – notably the woodcut and calligraphy. In February 2015, the Kunsthaus Zürich will be staging an exhibition that examines these influences. But before ‘Monet, Gauguin, van Gogh. Inspired by Japan’ opens its doors, the Kunsthaus is presenting the highlights of its own collection in Japan.

The masterpieces from the Kunsthaus will be shown at the National Art Center, Tokyo from 25 September to 15 December 2014 and the Kobe City Museum from 31 January to 10 May 2015. The exhibition is organised around eras and the great masters. There are separate rooms devoted to Claude Monet, Marc Chagall and Edvard Munch, while Swiss art will be strongly represented in the shape of Alberto Giacometti, Ferdinand Hodler and Félix Vallotton. Cubism (Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque), the Surrealists (Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and Max Ernst), and French painting from Paul Cézanne and Edgar Degas to Henri Matisse will be gathered together in galleries devoted to their respective periods. Japanese audiences are particularly interested in pre-1950 art. Working closely with the curators of the exhibition venues, the Kunsthaus has selected 67 paintings and seven sculptures that will be presented in an area of around 1,500 m2. The tour, which has been planned and organized in association with The Asahi Shimbun newspaper company, is expected to attract over half a million visitors. To encourage them to visit Zurich, the Kunsthaus will also be printing its 2015 programme in Japanese and distributing it during the tour.

The Kunsthaus will be far from empty while the 74 works are on their travels. More than 300 paintings and sculptures will remain in the collection galleries in Zurich. Additionally, the space left vacant by the loans to Japan will be filled by the artist Peter Fischli. Fischli took up an invitation from the Kunsthaus to view its extensive holdings of works by Hodler, many of which are in storage, and select some of them for display in an exhibition. His project involves Ferdinand Hodler’s work in a dialogue with pieces by the contemporary Swiss painter Jean- Frédéric Schnyder (b. 1945). This combined collection and exhibition presentation opens on 12 September 2014, shortly before the works from the Kunsthaus arrive at their first destination in Japan.

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