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Kunsthaus Zürich records 300,000 visitors and launches new programme
Contemporary Art. Photo ©

ZURICH.- The Kunsthaus Zürich welcomed 300,000 visitors in 2014. It aims to increase that number still further in 2015 with exhibitions such as ‘Monet, Gauguin, van Gogh ... Japanese Inspirations’, ‘Europe’, ‘Joan Miró’, ‘Tomi Ungerer’ and ‘John Waters’, as well as premieres of a number of private collections. The year opens with ‘Master Drawings’, celebrating 100 years of the Collection of Prints and Drawings.

The Kunsthaus Zürich enjoyed a solid year in 2014, recording 300,520 admissions (compared with 314,000 in 2013). The annual financial statements are expected to show that the Kunsthaus broke even, with a major contribution coming from the ‘Expressionism in Germany and France’ exhibition, which was viewed by 109,000 people. The number of visitors to the collection remained approximately unchanged, at 130,000 (2013: 135,000), despite the fact that more than 70 masterpieces from the Kunsthaus were on tour in Japan and a similar number of works by Alberto Giacometti were on loan to Vienna. As expected following the increase in fees, membership of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft declined from 21,329 in 2013 to 20,438. Assuming a rise in visitor numbers, this year is expected to produce a balanced result. Nine new exhibitions are scheduled, with the current presentations ‘Egon Schiele – Jenny Saville’ (until 25 January), ‘Ferdinand Hodler/Jean-Frédéric Schnyder’ (until 26 April) and ‘Picture Ballot! Monolithic Water’ (until 1 March) bringing the total to 12. In addition to regular new displays and rehangings, they ensure that space utilization in the collection areas remains high.

In 2015, the Collection of Prints and Drawings of the Kunsthaus Zürich celebrates its 100th birthday by displaying master drawings from six centuries, including works by Raphael and Dürer, Fuseli, Turner, Hodler, Cézanne, Picasso and Giacometti. Acquisitions in the fields of drawing, prints, photography, film, video, multiples and installation by artists including Jorinde Voigt, Aleksandra Mir, Erik van Lieshout and others bring the overview right up to date.

20 February – 10 May 2015

Japanese art is of fundamental importance to the development of European Modernism. For the first time in over 25 years, a comprehensive exhibition examines the phenomenon known as ‘Japonisme’. Artists such as Monet, Gauguin and van Gogh, Bonnard and Degas depicted imported artworks and everyday objects in their own paintings, adopted Japanese imagery and internalized the visual idiom of the Japanese woodblock print. This act of appropriation, combined with their own pictorial tradition, informed a creative process which gave rise to many and varied forms of artistic expression, the impact of which endured long into the 20th century. The presentation comprises some 350 prestigious exhibits. In addition to paintings and Japanese woodcuts by Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro and others, artefacts from Japan are also juxtaposed with corresponding pieces from Europe. Historical photographs and a selection of highly graphic poster designs complete the survey of how Europe viewed Japan in the 19th century.

EUROPE. THE FUTURE OF HISTORY. 12 June – 6 September 2015
‘A unified Europe would be the end of wars and it will come, but when?’ asked Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in 1924. This exhibition charts the various forms in which society’s ongoing desire for a peaceful Europe has been depicted through the history of ideas: the delineation and dissolution of frontiers, landscape as a factor in the construction of identity, the development of democracy, labour and mobility. The most comprehensive art exhibition on Europe in Switzerland since 1991 comprises some 100 works by 50 artists from all parts of the continent, in the media of painting, photography, video and installation. The artists represented include Kader Attia, Marc Bauer, Herbert Brandl, Honoré Daumier, Fischli / Weiss, Dani Gal, Ferdinand Hodler, Thomas Imbach, Anna Jermolaewa, Ilya Kabakov, Nikita Kadan, Bouchra Khalili, Paul Klee, Daniel Knorr, Christian Philipp Müller, Cy Twombly and Nives Widauer.

SENSE (UN)CERTAINTY. 19 June – 4 October 2015
Even in the 21st century, the ‘filter’ through which we most immediately experience the world around us is our own body. Artists have reflected in great depth on the interrelationship between the soul, the spirit and its physical ‘protuberance’ into the world beyond it. This is dramatically exemplified in the approximately 70 photographs, sculptures, paintings and video works from the collection of film director Thomas Koerfer. Making its first large-scale appearance in a museum, this private collection includes works by Nobuyoshi Araki, Nathalie Djuberg, Robert Frank, Jeff Koons, Sarah Lucas and Boris Mikhailov.

JOHN WATERS. HOW MUCH CAN YOU TAKE? 14 August – 1 November 2015
John Waters, the ‘enfant terrible’ of American cinema, has influenced the aesthetic of independent film-making like almost no other. Just as the world of film infiltrates our lives – nurturing dreams, awakening obsessions and longings – so it affects visual artists. In this exhibition, featuring some 35 small to large-format film photographs, assemblages, aphorisms and sculptural works from the Matthias Brunner Collection, the Kunsthaus Zürich pays tribute to this important area of John Waters’s work, and reveals a little-known facet of this extraordinary director.
Supported by Swiss Re – Partner for contemporary art.

A GOLDEN AGE. 28 August – 29 November 2015
The Kunsthaus already possesses important holdings of 17th-century Dutch art, in the form of the Koetser and Ruzicka collections. For this exhibition, they are joined by 40 precious Dutch paintings from a private collection in Zurich that have rarely been shown before. Most are small-format cabinet pieces of exquisite quality, captivating in their remarkable compositions and spectacular detail. They include cheerful genre scenes, magnificent still lifes and landscapes by outstanding representatives of Dutch painting such as Hendrick Avercamp, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Adriaen Coorte, Jan van Goyen and Aert van der Neer.

JOAN MIRÓ. WALL, FRIEZE, MURAL. 2 October – 24 January 2016
The art of Joan Miró (1893–1983) is informed by a directness that invariably foregrounds the materiality of his painting. In his personal accounts, he declared the wall to be the starting point of his painting. For him, a wall was not simply an object to be depicted: it also dictated the physical and tactile qualities of the painterly. Poured paint and deliberately placed splashes, whitewashed canvases as well as coarse burlap and unconventional materials such as masonite, sandpaper or tar paper are placed in the service of his imagination and play their part in creating Miró’s visual universe. At an early stage, Miró became interested in an extremely elongated yet very narrow format. Individual, site-specific works, large-scale triptychs and murals displayed in the 1,200m2 exhibition gallery exemplify this development.

TOMI UNGERER. INCOGNITO. 30 October – 7 February 2016
Tomi Ungerer (b. 1931) is an influential illustrator, storyteller, author, sculptor, builder, butcher and activist. The ‘sharpest line in the West’, as he has been called, continually shares his acid commentaries with the world. Less known is his work as an artist; yet the assemblages, collages and sculptures have been an integral part of his oeuvre since the 1950s. This surreal and humorous exhibition is the first to fully reflect this fact.

PICTURE BALLOT! 20 November – 17 January 2016
Alberto Giacometti has topped the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft ‘Picture Ballot’ with his celebrated Egyptianesque self-portrait, painted in 1921 at the age of 20. The picture will form the centre point of an exhibition devoted to the theme of the artist’s self-portrait. The Kunsthaus holds some exceptional examples of this genre from the 16th century to the present day by artists from the world-famous to the less known, which offer a touching insight into a very particular facet of artists’ exploration of the world.

Concerts with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra will accompany some of the exhibitions. In addition to guided tours and workshops for a range of target groups, our Art Education service is organizing a summer workshop for 2015. Running from May to September, it revolves around the concept of the ‘art tour’, and opens up access to destinations both familiar and foreign, inside the Kunsthaus and beyond. Presentations of new acquisitions and documentation of ongoing and completed restoration projects round off the programme. Information about current events at the Kunsthaus can be obtained at and via Facebook, the electronic newsletter and the Kunsthaus magazine.

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