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Special issue. SWITZERLAND–RUSSIA: ON THE CROSSROADS OF CULTURES
The issue of the magazine you hold in your hands is quite an unusual one. It is devoted to artists whose lives, art or posthumous fame have somehow come in touch with the cultures of two nations, which, at first glance, appear hard to compare in respect of either the size of their territories or population, or their way of thinking. I believe that even the artistic tastes of the Russians and the Swiss, both in the past and in the present, have more differences than similarities. In view of that one cannot help marvelling at the fact that over the centuries we have been witnessing a constant need for dialogue with one another, including a dialogue in the arts.
Ambassador of Switzerland to the Russian Federation
This Russia-Switzerland special issue of the "Tretyakov Gallery" magazine is dedicated to the cultural ties between our two nations. With its alpine landscapes, ancient cities, age-old castles, picturesque meadows, and Lake Geneva and its surroundings, Switzerland has long enchanted poets, artists and musicians alike with its romantic, soulful spirit. In his "Letters of a Russian Traveller", Nikolai Karamzin was the first to give an extensive and clear account of the unforgettable impression that Switzerland had made on him. We remember the great historian and writer's words: "Why am I not a painter! Why couldn't I, that very instant, commit to paper the fertile, green Hasli Valley that unfolded in front of my eyes like a most beautiful garden in bloom, surrounded by wild, rocky mountains rising up all the way to the skies!"
Editor-in-chief Alexander Rozhin
Co-editor Natella Voiskounski
THE GREAT SWISS ARTIST, POET AND THINKER MERET OPPENHEIM WOULD HAVE CELEBRATED HER HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY ON 6 OCTOBER 2013. IF THIS WERE NOT SUFFICIENT REASON TO BRING OUT OUR COLLECTIONS AND TAKE ANOTHER INTENSE LOOK AT THEM AFTER THE MAJOR RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION IN 2006, TODAY THE QUESTION IS - WHAT STATUS CAN HER ART CLAIM AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF RECENT ARTISTIC OUTPUT FROM SWITZERLAND?
An unparalleled overview of Ferdinand Hodler's work opened on April 9 2008 in the old building of the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern, in rooms specially designed for the exhibition. This show is one of the most important and comprehensive of Hodler's exhibitions, with over 150 major works from all periods; it will remain there until August 10 2008. The exhibition was arranged in collaboration with the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, and offers a unique overview of Hodler's work, clearly establishing the international significance of this Swiss painter. His large symbolist figure paintings are shown alongside his best landscapes. The exhibition is rounded out with his unique group of works dealing with the sick and dying Valentine Gode-Darel, his mistress, and with a selection of self-portraits.
The exhibition 'Alberto Giacometti. Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings" is the latest in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts' series of large-scale international projects, which in themselves reflect much more than ideas brought about by the long examination of its own collections. The museum researchers' inquiring minds and painstaking efforts have always been aimed at projects illustrating different stages of arts history that fill in the gaps of the museum's existing displays. Such projects introducing Modernist artists and classics of 20th-century avant-garde art have included exhibitions devoted to Pablo Picasso (the first in Russia), Amedeo Modigliani, Raoul Dufy, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Piet Mondrian, and Andy Warhol. 40 years ago such shows were a veritable cultural shock, a bold display of a different art language against the background of the 'aestheti-cized mythology" of the totalitarian state.
"For Arp, art is Arp" - this proclamation made by Marcel Duchamp in 1949 arouses a curiosity to get to know Arp's understanding of art, presented at the exhibition in the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck*. There are many reasons to consider the painter, sculptor, and poet Hans (Jean) Arp (1886-1966) to be among the most influential artists of the 20th century. In Zurich in 1916, together with his artist colleagues Hugo Ball, Richard Huelsenbeck, and Tristan Tzara he founded Dada, a protest movement against war and human despotism. With mostly provocative, sometimes playfully-ironic artistic means of expression, the Dadaists tried to surmount existing social and aesthetic norms, and in doing so, revolutionized the art scene in only a short time. "Happenings" and "performances", significant forms of expression even in today's art, are directly rooted in Dadaism, and "concrete poetry" is wholly in the tradition of the poet Arp as well.
The opening of the Paul Klee Centre in Bern in July 2005 was an important page in the history of 21st century museum life. In the eyes of its creators, this contemporary museum was to act as a cultural forum, enabling visitors to develop their creative potential through in-depth acquaintance with the artistic legacy of Paul Klee.
The exhibition "Paul Klee. Carpet of Memory',' which ran at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, brought to a thrilling conclusion the oriental "Grand tour" the Zentrum Paul Klee initiated with the exhibition "In Search of the Orient" and which leads visitors through time and space. The focus of this particular exhibition is the oeuvre of Paul Klee and the works that emerged from his trip to Tunisia in 1914 and Egypt in 1928, as well as his later exploration of a host of Orient-inspired themes. The exhibition also includes early Orient-themed photographs and examines the image of the Orient that photography helped to convey.
The Zentrum Paul Klee celebrates its 5 years with the exhibition "Klee meets Picasso" - an homage to two giants of art history, presenting these two imposing exponents of modern art and taking as its theme Klee's analysis of Picasso. The exhibition reveals unknown interwoven links between Klee and Picasso. It comprises over 180 works from the Zentrum Paul Klee, from numerous museums and private collections, such as famous collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum Picasso, Barcelona, the Museum Berggruen and the Neue National Galerie, Berlin and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The exhibition project is supported by the Picasso und Klee families.
The exhibition "Russian Artists Abroad. Marianne Werefkin (1860-1938)"'opening at the Tretyakov Gallery, is a part of the Ticino Year in Russia - the year dedicated to the Swiss canton of Ticino in Russia - and is timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the artist's birth. Regrettably, the general public in Russia knows little about Marianne Werefkin, although she is a fascinating personality in many respects. Some viewers will be more interested in her evolution as an artist - from her "Peredvizhniki"-style realism, through symbolism and other schools that nearly all artists of her age engaged with, towards a very distinctive, idiosyncratic expressionism. Others will probably take an interest in her life story, so unusual for a 19th-century woman, including many dramatic turns of fate, and resolute decisions taken in the course of it.
Five St. Petersburg museums - the Russian Museum, the Academic Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, the St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre and Music, the Yelaginoostrovsky Palace-Museum and the Russian Ethnography Museum - were exhibiting the works of Alexander Benois di Stetto (1896-1979). His works, never before shown in Russia, reaffirmed the reputation of the illustrious family of artists as the most significant, and artistically most prolific and versatile dynasty of its time
The Museum of Fine Arts in Bern has devoted an important exhibition to Swiss artist Rolf Iseli, presenting paintings, objects, sculptures and prints that survey the artist's 50 years of work. Arranged in thematic groups the works show the explosive energy of an outstanding artistic life -Iseli's main subject is man and his natural environment.
Masterpieces from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art at Martigny
By lending 50 masterpieces of Western European art to the Fondation Pierre Gianadda the world-famous Metropolitan Museum is sending out a clear message: it trusts the foundation implicitly. The memory of the mysterious story (with a happy ending) when the collection of French paintings from Moscow's Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts was arrested after the closure of the exhibition remains fresh in the minds of many. At the time, some Russian journalists and museum officials said in no uncertain terms that the Swiss partner did not quite live up to the standards of the Pushkin museum.
Hans Holbein in Basel
From April 1 to July 2, the Kunstmuseum Basel hosted an exhibition dedicated to Hans Holbein the Younger. There are many reasons why the exhibition occurred in Basel: Holbein, born in the German town of Augsburg in 1497 (or 1498), moved to the Swiss city-republic of Basel in 1514 with his brother Ambrosius, who was also a painter. Erasmus of Rotterdam also lived in Basel; the city had a university and excellent publishing houses.