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Artists' friendships

Karl Im Obersteg in conversation with Amiet, Chagall, Jawlensky

HAUPTBAU / 06.08.–16.10.2011 / Curator: Henriette Mentha

At the exhibition’s center stand the letters by artists from the Im Obersteg collection, which let important works by Picasso, Chagall, Jawlensky, or Soutine as well as works that have rarely been shown to the public appear in a new light. The extensive correspondence with Amiet, Jawlensky, Chagall, Kirchner, and Kandinsky offers insights into the history of the collection’s origins, bringing the spirits of the decades between 1920 and 1950 back to life. Events during and between the two World Wars had a profound impact on European art. Many artists who were ostracized in other countries found refuge in neutral Switzerland, where they survived thanks to important collectors like Karl Im Obersteg, who lent them urgently needed support. Conversely, the unscathed economic prosperity of our country meant that its private collectors enjoyed unique opportunities to buy art of the highest quality.