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From Holbein to Trockel

Highlights from the Kupferstichkabinett

Hauptbau, Zwischengeschoss / 04.05.–11.08.2024 / Curators: Anita Haldemann, Ariane Mensger

The Kunstmuseum Basel presents the finest works from its Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings): in the exhibition From Holbein to Trockel, around one hundred and ten drawings trace an arc from the early fifteenth century to the present. For once, the museum has allotted the entire mezzanine level of its Hauptbau venue for a presentation of works on paper.

Featuring well-known highlights like the portrait of Bonifacius Amerbach by Hans Holbein the Younger, Pablo Picasso’s Study for the Demoiselles d’Avignon", and Maria Lassnig’s self-portrait Double autoportrait sans pitié*, the display also showcases works that only recently entered the Kupferstichkabinett’s collection or that have never been on public view.

The display samples the abundant variety of the fine art drawings the museum preserves, including eminent works by renowned artists like Albrecht Dürer, Eugène Delacroix, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Andy Warhol, Rosemarie Trockel, and Kara Walker. The spectrum of drawing techniques extends from silverpoint, pen, and brush to chalk, watercolor, and pencil and, more recently, felt-tipped and ballpoint pens. Contemporary artists also employ experimental techniques, collaging, tearing, and cutting up drawings. In terms of motifs and genres, too, the exhibition covers a wide range, with religious and mythological depictions, portraits, landscapes, allegories, still lifes, genre scenes, and abstract compositions. Several contemporary artists’ works make explicit reference to the Kunstmuseum’s collection; examples include Ciprian Muresan’s All Images from The Dance of Death. 41 Woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Vishwa Shroff’s drawing Kunstfloor.

Because works on paper are highly sensitive to light, they cannot be put on permanent display. That is why the exhibition From Holbein to Trockel offers visitors a singular opportunity to experience the ample treasures of the Kupferstichkabinett in all their variety and outstanding quality.

The Kunstmuseum Basel’s Department of Prints and Drawings is Switzerland’s largest publicly held collection of hand drawings, watercolors, and fine art prints and one of the most important such collections in the world. Its nucleus goes back to the celebrated Amerbach Cabinet, which the City of Basel acquired from the jurist and art enthusiast’s heirs in 1661.


Events for this exhibition

Tue 18 Jun

RENDEZ-VOUS AM MITTAG

Hauptbau, Zwischengeschoss
12:30–13:00

Rendez-vous am Mittag: Michael Armitage und Kara Walker in der Ausstellung «Von Holbein bis Trockel. Highlights aus dem Kupferstichkabinett»

In German. Mit der Kuratorin Anita Haldemann. Kosten: Eintritt.

Tue 30 Jul

RENDEZ-VOUS AM MITTAG

Hauptbau, Zwischengeschoss
12:30–13:00

Rendez-vous am Mittag: Schongauer und Dürer. Zeichenkunst des 15. Jh. am Oberrhein in der Ausstellung «Von Holbein bis Trockel. Highlights aus dem Kupferstichkabinett»

In German. Mit der Kuratorin Ariane Mensger. Kosten: Eintritt.