Stephan Melzl, Silvia BächliInterior – Exterior. The KWS Collection as Guest of the Museum Franz Gertsch
Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf, Switzerland
The exhibition in the Cabinet of the Museum Franz Gertsch provides insights for the first time into the collection of the Keller-Wedekind-Stiftung and features works by Silvia Bächli, Klodin Erb, Marc-Antoine Fehr, Bendicht Fivian, Silvia Gertsch, Thomas Huber, Georgine Ingold, Zilla Leutenegger, Stephan Melzl, Chantal Michel, Andrea Muheim, Josef Felix Müller, Thomas Ritz, Tobias Weber, Cécile Wick, Uwe Wittwer and Helena Wyss-Scheffler.
Characterising artists as the seismographers of our times attributes them with a special ability to sense various types of tremors and waves and to integrate them in their art: Tremors and waves of our world, but also their own worlds and their lives. At a time when we had to become reliant again on ourselves and our immediate families, withdrawing into the world of our own four walls and question many familiar habits and feelings of security, this collection presentation focuses on interiors and exteriors. On the one hand, there is the figure in the interior, meditative, looking inward and outward. What does our dwelling mean to us, how do we furnish our homes, what is the relationship to the outside? Then there is the figure in the exterior on the other, exploring and experiencing. Nature with the traces of civilisation and nature completely without humankind. How do we treat our environment, how have we changed it, how has it changed us? These are perhaps the questions with which the artists occupied themselves while at work, questions that visitors can pose when viewing these works.
The fine silent oscillations of everyday life and sensitivities are captured in this selection of circa 35 paintings, works on paper and photographs. The creative power of the artist’s hand is likewise evident in the exhibition: Not only is the production of something employing only limited means visualised here but also the suggestion of a possible destruction.
Proceeding from the new acquisitions made between 2018 and 2020, the exhibition in the Cabinet of the Museum Franz Gertsch provides insights for the first time into the collection of the Keller-Wedekind-Stiftung – and thus also insights into current figurative art in Switzerland. Promoting contemporary Swiss representational art was of such importance to the Zurich mechanical engineer, dentist, painter and art connoisseur Dr Walter Keller-Wedekind (1901–1994) that he decreed the founding of the Keller-Wedekind-Stiftung (KWS) in his will. The foundation was established upon his death in 1994 and is now an institution of concentrated art sponsorship in the sense of the foundation’s mission. The foundation makes annual purchases for the KWS Collection and awards the KWS Art Prize every two years. The collection currently encompasses circa 260 paintings, works on paper, prints, photographs, videos and sculptures. The artworks dating from the 1980s to the present are for the most part landscapes and figural representations, cityscapes, architectural views and interiors as well as still lifes.
The exhibition was curated by Anna Wesle
Image: Silvia Bächli, Ohne Titel, 2004, Ink on paper, 62 x 44 cm, KWS-Sammlung © Silvia Bächli