Hans Josephsohn et al.
Swiss Sculpture since 1945 (group show)
Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau
12 June – 26 September 2021
Bronze figures by Alberto Giacometti, kinetic constructions by Jean Tinguely, video objects by Pipilotti Rist – the sculptural work of the past 76 years in Switzerland has been incredibly diverse. The themes, materials and techniques change over the decades, even redefining what sculpture means.
This comprehensive exhibition inside and outside the Kunsthaus offers the public their first overview of an exciting chapter in Swiss art history. It shows 230 works by 150 artists from all linguistic regions of the country, including famous names such as Hans Arp, Germaine Richier, Max Bill and Meret Oppenheim, through to Fischli/Weiss, Roman Signer, Sylvie Fleury and Ugo Rondinone. The younger generations are represented as well, by artists such as Mai-Thu Perret, Claudia Comte and Latifa Echakhch, who was selected for the Swiss Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale. The exhibition contains much that is familiar, but also creates the possibility of new discoveries and re-discoveries. Works by Hans Josephsohn are included.
Hans Josephsohn, Albert Oehlen, Julian Schnabel, Rebecca Warren et al.
Albert Oehlen – “big paintings by me with small paintings by others”
5 September 2021 – 20 February 2022
From 5 September 2021 to 20 February 2022, Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI) present the exhibition titled Albert Oehlen – “big paintings by me with small paintings by others”. For this project Albert Oehlen is at the same time an artist, a curator and a collector. Iconic works embodying different phases of his painting career will be displayed alongside a selection of more than thirty international artists belonging to his private collection.
It is always very interesting when artists collect art, and this is particularly true in the case of a reserved, elusive and sometimes even cryptic artist like Albert Oehlen. This is the first time that masterpieces by Oehlen are exhibited alongside works from his private art collection in such an extensive form and in a display conceived by the artist himself in partnership with MASI. This project not only offers surprising insights into his work, but also allows visitors to discover, or rediscover, a series of exceptional artists. The core group of works, representing the essence of Oehlen's art, and the extraordinary chance to admire a part of his private collection in a museum, will enable visitors to engage with the depth and breadth of his pictorial exploration. For many years Oehlen has been expanding his collection with works by artists with whom he feels a connection, not in terms of likeness, but because they address ideas – often associated with the concept of painting – that are very relevant to him too. However, while all the works featured in the exhibition reveal inspiration and similarities (in some cases very evidently), we must not forget that the artist rejects all kinds of classification and rational analysis of his oeuvre. Indeed, Oehlen has always actively shunned interpretative methods that seek to define the meaning of form and content, or, more simply, rejects an approach focusing on the wish to understand art in general. Consequently, the exhibition does not aim to suggest comparisons between Oehlen's work and that of other artists or to insert his work in a “genealogy”, but rather to give visitors an exceptional glimpse into his private collection and allow them to engage – perhaps for the first time – with the work of important international artists in an original and exciting narrative that recounts the history of the art of recent decades from Oehlen's personal perspective.
The exhibition project designed by Oehlen presents both works by famous artists, including Willem de Kooning, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Duane Hanson, Franz West, Julian Schnabel, Konrad Klapheck, Richard Lindner, Richard Artschwager, Daniel Richter and Malcolm Morley, and works by equally stimulating but lesser-known artists such as Peter Brüning, Martha Jungwirth, Michaela Eichwald, John Graham, Eugène Leroy, Joyce Pensato, Christina Ramberg, Karl Wirsum, Ed Paschke, Gernot Bubenik and Gino De Dominicis. The intentionally provocative title of the exhibition immediately reveals Oehlen's irreverent attitude and the sense of humour of someone who takes his profession seriously, but plays with the art system, making fun of the conditions that it often entails.