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Grand Gestures

Four Decades of Swiss Abstraction

HAUPTBAU EG / 16.05.2020–24.10.2021 / Curator: Eva Reifert

A fierce stroke of the brush that means the world?—Par for the course in the painting of Art Informel. Blending inspirations from Paris and New York, this variety of expressive abstraction caught on in Switzerland in the 1950s and developed into a richly diverse genre over the decades that followed.

The Kunstmuseum’s collection reflects the colorful spectrum of forms of expression, ranging from Lenz Klotz’s and Maria Vieira da Silva’s seismograph-like recordings of psychological states to Martin Disler’s eruptions of chromatic violence. Unbound by any rules of art and with unrestrained creative energy, artists like Wolf Barth, Samuel Buri, Franz Fedier, and Rolf Iseli mold the physical matter of paint into confident assertions, hieratic signifiers, or lyrical evocations of atmospheres, in works that are now calligraphic, now ecstatic and always supremely subjective.