The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 23, 2019

Gardens of the World: A major special exhibition on view at Museum Rietberg
Laurent de la Hire, Die Arithmetik, 1650.
 l auf Leinwand
 Sammlung Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle und Heino/Wijhe, Niederlanden.

ZURICH.- Gardens of the World is the first attempt ever to present a comprehensive survey of the gardens of the Orient and the Occident in a single exhibition. Museum Rietberg in Zurich invites visitors to take a stroll through gardens from Japan to England and from Ancient Egypt right up to the present day. Works of art, photos and videos show how people in different cultures and epochs longed for gardens and how they created them.

Is it actually possible to stage an exhibition on the subject of gardens? Albert Lutz, director of Museum Rietberg, was convinced that it was, even before he came up with the concept for Gardens of the World. Yet simply to show the historical development of the garden under a number of headings would surely have fallen short of the mark. Gardens need to be experienced; after all, they are the only art form that appeals to all the senses. “Museum Rietberg is the ideal place for a garden exhibition because it is located in the middle of the magnificent Rieterpark”, says Lutz.

The thirty stories of gardens told in the museum’s exhibition rooms begin with paradise worlds. This opening section shows how, both in Europe and in Asia, paradise was usually depicted as an enchanted garden. It includes an installation by the German artist Wolfgang Laib, who has strewn pine pollen to create a radiant field of microscopic yellow dust. It symbolises the quintessence of the garden as the beginning of plant life.

This section is followed by a more or less chronological tour: from the gardens of Ancient Egypt to those of Islam, from Japanese and Chinese gardens to European horticulture. Among the more special exhibits is an entire room devoted to the famous insect book by the eighteenth-century Japanese master of woodcuts Kitagawa Utamaro. For Gardens of the World, the two pieces of an Egyptian limestone relief – showing tree goddesses – that are normally housed in two different museums have been reassembled for the first time. The highlight of the Oriental gardens section is a painting on loan from the Louvre that is probably the world’s most beautiful garden painting in Islamic art.

The exhibition also features some of the big names of art, such as Claude Monet, Carl Spitzweg, and Max Liebermann. There are garden paintings from Switzerland, too. Works by Paul Klee show how radically his work and his preoccupation with the garden motif changed over the course of his life. Paintings by the Thurgau artist Adolf Dietrich illustrate how one and the same subject – in this case his neighbour’s garden – can repeatedly inspire new works.

Contemporary works of art that reference historical gardens are a further focal point of the exhibition. They include copies made by Ai Weiwei of the fountain figures from the garden of Beijing’s summer palace, which no longer exists. Photocollages by David Hockney present some unusual views of what is probably Japan’s most famous garden, the Ryoan-ji stone garden in Kyoto. Roman Signer is also represented, with a video from the garden at Wrlitz, Germany’s oldest landscape garden.

Numerous other multimedia installations convey some of the more unusual aspects of gardens. Excerpts from fifteen feature films from the years 1940 to 2011 have been edited together to show a series of garden scenes – of persecution and murder but also of seduction and love. An app created especially for the exhibition turns one of the world’s oldest garden plans, from Ancient Egypt, into a 3D experience.

The show continues outside the exhibition rooms. The so-called changing garden right by the entrance – an urban, vertically structured garden – provides a link to the twenty-first century. There is a connection to the exhibition too, as many of the climbing and flowering plants growing on the frames are also depicted in the artworks on display.

The Rieterpark, the museum’s villa garden, forms the magnificent backdrop to the exhibition. It is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful landscape gardens and has been planted specially for the exhibition with the kind of flowerbeds that would have been fashionable in the nineteenth century. To allow visitors to admire the garden from an unusual perspective, the loggia of the Villa Wesendonck will be open to the public for the first time ever.

The extensive programme of events planned under the auspices of Gardens of the World is also designed to allow visitors to experience gardens in a number of different ways: there will be a market devoted to herbs, a garden festival celebrating life in the great green outdoors and a English-style afternoon tea, bringing a piece of English gardening culture to Zurich. Concerts, talks, garden tours and film evenings will complete the programme.

Why did the museum take the bold step of mounting an exhibition on a subject that is so inherently complex and vibrant? “Because it is a great subject”, says Director Albert Lutz, “one that not only appeals to all the senses but touches everybody in some way.”

Today's News

August 15, 2016

Exhibition in Berlin explores Dadaist responses to non-European cultures

Carriageworks presents first major exhibition in Australia of acclaimed Italian artist Francesco Clemente

The Contemporary Austin to reopen Jones Center site with exhibitions by Monika Sosnowska and Jim Hodges

Jailed Egypt photographer says he's been 'forgotten'

Gardens of the World: A major special exhibition on view at Museum Rietberg

French artist JR leaves giant imprint on Rio Olympics

Major Australian works on view at Sculpture at Barangaro

A night behind bars in Slovenian prison-turned-hostel

English phone bidder bests American collectors to set $193,875 world record

'Picture postcard' French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs

Exhibition by Peter Blake comprising three print series opens at the De La Warr Pavilion

SMU's National Center for Arts Research launches free, diagnostic dashboard

Vast archive of illustrator Carlos Diniz is now housed at UCSB's Art, Design & Architecture Museum

Exhibition of works by Curtis Ripley on view at William Turner Gallery

projects + gallery updates leadership, adds key staff members

Jean Lowe and Kim MacConnel's "The Museum of Metropolitan Art" opens at Quint Projects

Tyler Museum of Art honors philanthropy of Faulconers with "Devotion"

Shulamit Nazarian now representing Amir H. Fallah

Heritage sets $152,000 record for America's first milled "Silver Dollar"

Solo exhibition of paintings by Vonn Sumner on view at KP Projects

Works from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection on view in Quito

Gardiner reveals final four proposals for new public sculpture

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lvy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

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
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
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