A highly original Swiss painter, Max Gubler (1898 – 1973) produced an oeuvre that was strongly informed by a very expressive realism. While Gubler was seen as the «only genius in Swiss painting» until well into the 1960s, he was all but forgotten after being committed to the care of a psychiatric clinic. The works he painted in the last four years of his artistic career were locked away for a long time and are only now open to the public. The Kunstmuseum Bern is organizing the first real retrospective of Max Gubler’s work in response to a significant part of his artistic legacy becoming part of the museum’s collection in 2010.
The Exhibition offers a representative insight into contemporary Swiss artistic creation from the early 1980 through to the present, with its selection of artworks of the collection Kunst Heute Foundation, founded in 1982 and based in Bern. In cooperation with some of Bern’s patrons of the arts, the Foundation set itself the goal to put together an independent collection of recent Swiss art. Until a short while ago, the collection has been constantly expanded by the purchasing committee, comprised of young art mediators and artists. The works selected for the current show investigate what is characteristic for the reality of our lives today, for the contemporary world we call post-modern.
One of Bern’s best-kept secrets
The Bernese artist Meret Meyer-Scapa is one of our city’s best-kept secrets. Despite the fact that she had many friends in the dance and art scenes, she always kept her own art a secret. She did not pass any knowledge on to outsiders about the creation, dates, and contents of her pictures, collages, and three-dimensional objects. To date, it was only once possible to persuade her to have her work exhibited.
At latest since romanticism, crystal is a leading source of inspiration for artistic work—either its formal structure serves as a model for design in art or its symbolical value comes into play. Crystal rock is something rare; it is valuable and difficult to mine. Although a material thing of hard, cold stone, crystal radiates a light that is seemly not of this world. The exhibition «Stone of Light: Crystal Visions in Art» looks at how the different art epochs viewed crystal.
Despite its asymmetry, Piet Mondrian's painting emanates harmony and serenity. Find out more about why the Dutch artist decided to compose only with rectangles and black lines in his paintings. From the podcast series featuring highlights of the Kunstmuseum Bern Collection.
Meret Meyer Scapa. Devoting a Life to Art
The Bernese artist Meret Meyer Scapa (*1930) is a great intimate of the art and dance scene. Among the many contacts she cultivated are names like Daniel Spoerri, Harald Szeemann, Meret Oppenheim, Jean Tinguely, or Niki de Saint-Phalle. She realized for herself only her own artistic career as a painter, draftswoman, and sculptress. To date, she only once could be persuaded show her work in a small solo exhibition. The artist is now stepping out of hiding on the occasion of her 85th birthday with a concentrated view of more than sixty years of art production and her comprehensive oeuvre spanning this period.
Max Gubler. A Life’s Work, 13.03. - 02.08.2015
Right into the 1960s, Max Gubler (1898 – 1973) was seen as the “sole genius of Swiss painting.” In the 1950s, he was probably the most celebrated and most exhibited artist in Switzerland. Max Frisch and Friedrich Dürrenmatt were among his great admirers. But still we have never had the chance to review his oeuvre in its entirety because his late work was kept under lock and key until only recently. The exhibition Max Gubler: A Life’s Work now makes it possible to gain a comprehensive view of the artist’s brilliant painting oeuvre.