"Looking is the most important thing" (group show)
Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen
5 September – 22 November 2020
Hans Josephsohn’s interest in sculpture was the human figure. He engaged with this subject with meticulous persistence over the course of sixty years. The result is an oeuvre of impressive power and a unique formal language. Josephsohn (1920–2012) would have turned 100 this year. Based on its own holdings, the Museum zu Allerheiligen will present an exhibition with works by the artist ranging from the 1950s to the 2000s on the occasion of this anniversary. In 1975 the Museum zu Allerheiligen organized one of the artist’s first institutional exhibitions. After gaining visibility over almost half a century, Josephsohn’s work will now once again be highlighted in Schaffhausen.
The exhibition title “Looking is the most important thing” is a quotation by the artist. This statement is characteristic of Josephsohn’s work on several levels: On the one hand, it describes the constant visual search for the right shapes and volumes. On the other hand, it encourages viewers to remain open to Josephsohn’s incomparable works without prejudice.
Museum zu Allerheiligen
Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI), Lugano (solo show)
19 September 2020 – 21 February 2021
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.