Hans Josephsohn

Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI), Lugano (solo show)
19 September 2020 – 21 February 2021

Installation view: MASI, Lugano, 2020. © Kesselhaus Josephsohn, St. Gallen. Photo: Katalin Deér
Installation view: MASI, Lugano, 2020. © Kesselhaus Josephsohn, St. Gallen. Photo: Katalin Deér

The exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Kesselhaus Josephsohn in St. Gallen, pays tribute to Hans Josephsohn, one of the foremost sculptors of the second half of the 20th century, on occasion of the centenary of his birth. It focuses on a series of brass sculptures made between 1950 and 2006, without claiming to offer a retrospective of the sculptor’s career. The works presented at MASI esemplify the central role played by the human figure in Josephsohn’s art and document all the types that the artist himself used to classify his work: standing, seated and reclining figures, half-figures and reliefs. While real models (mainly female, sourced among his circle of friends and relatives) were the starting point for his sculptures, Josephsohn’s work eschews a realistic approach, favouring spontaneity and liveliness, emphasizing anatomical features and aggregating several viewpoints that make it difficult to identify the frontality of the sculpture. The exhibition layout, designed by the Kesselhaus Josephsohn in St Gallen, has an intentionally provisional, unfinished look, which complements the characteristic spontaneity of Josephsohn’s work.

The exhibition is curated by Ulrich Meinherz and Lukas Furrer.

MASI Lugano


Hans Josephsohn, Albert Oehlen et al.

CAMBIO. New Additions to the Collection (group show)
Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen
5 December 2020 – 18 April 2021

Installation view: Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2018, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. Photo: Stefan Rohner
Installation view: Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2018, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. Photo: Stefan Rohner

Karin Karinna Bühler’s (*1974, Herisau) sculpture CAMBIO, which was created specifically for the Arte Castasegna exhibition project in 2018 and became the leitmotif of the exhibition, was donated to the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen in 2020 by the Lienhard Foundation. The latest presentation of works from the collection at the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen takes its title from this brilliant work. Made of polished chrome steel, the sculpture literally depicts change as well as the fact that the surroundings, including the viewer, are constantly reflected in it. To return the sculpture from Castasegna, the artist attached it to the roof of a delivery truck and drove back to Trogen. She describes the trip as “an odyssey due to the circumstances—the snowfall in the Alps meant I had to travel through Italy.” CAMBIO thus reflected many new landscapes and became the subject of the photo series CAMBIO ON THE ROAD, which is on view at the end of the exhibition.

The board of trustees of the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen decided not to wait for a thematically or chronologically fitting context to present the new acquisitions and donations, and instead to regularly create an exhibition out of the richness of these works. The donated works thus share a common denominator under the title CAMBIO, which forms the context in which they will be exhibited for the first time at the museum over the next five months. The rooms on the north side of the ground floor feature works that have been donated to the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen in recent years or that the Kunstverein St. Gallen and Kunstmuseum St. Gallen were able to acquire.

The exhibition begins with abstract formulations that initially seem devoid of all figuration and follows the traces of a painting that then allows for figuration in a basically abstract painting. Dan Christensen (*1942, Lexington, Nebraska; †2007, East Hampton, New York), Henry Codax (active since 2011), Raoul De Keyser (*1930, †2012, Deinze), Olivier Mosset (*1944, Bern), Albert Oehlen (*1954, Krefeld), and Matthias Zinn (*1964, Tegernsee) are cornerstones of this tradition of painting. It culminates in a monumental landscape, two large-scale drawings, and a sculpture by Per Kirkeby (*1938, †2018, Copenhagen), which Heiner E. Schmid donated to the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. Classical figuration in Hans Josephsohn’s (*1920, Königsberg; †2012, Zurich) sculptures is combined with series of works by Fritz Wotruba (*1907, †1975, Vienna), one of the most important late modernist sculptors, who dissolved the figurative components in favor of geometric abstraction.

Curator: Roland Wäspe

Kunstmuseum St. Gallen