Annual Media Conference Thursday, January 20, 2011
Manifold Attractions for Enjoying Art: The Familiar and New Discoveries
The Kunstmuseum Bern is offering an extensive program in 2010 with ten exhibitions that appeal not only to our regular audience but also entice new groups of the community to come and visit. It will be showing familiar artworks from novel perspectives and offer our audience the chance to discover novel treasures. In a comprehensive presentation our collection will be in the spotlight. Additionally, various projects initiated by the Kunstmuseum Bern will be further pursued: the new website will go online, the building project “Extensions Within” is being assessed, and we have appointed the project committee for evaluat-ing our collaboration with the Zentrum Paul Klee.
Exhibition program 2011: Diversity instead of blockbuster appeal
A small but high-profile presentation of Picasso prints from the Georges Bloch collection will launch the medley of coming exhibitions. Next in line is the artists’ project Dislocación. It was organized on the occasion of Chile’s independence bicentennial exhibition and could already be viewed in Santiago in 2010. The 15 artists involved are from Switzerland and Chile. The works they are exhibiting were produced especially for the show and analyze by way of art general living circumstances in times of globalization. The retrospective on Martin Ziegelmüller showing simultaneously in the Kunstmuseum Bern and in the Kunsthaus Langenthal will be the first comprehensive overview of this Swiss artist’s multifaceted work. And Ernest Biéler's diverse oeuvre can be rediscovered from June onwards. This large and comprehensive retrospective shows not only the artist’s early impressionist work as well as symbolist and realistic artworks, but also his paintings that were influenced by the Art Nouveau style - the zenith of Biéler's art. In commemoration of Cuno Amiet’s death 50 years ago, the Kunstmuseum Bern is providing fascinating insights into Eduard Gerber’s outstanding private collection of Amiet's work. Gerber and Amiet were lifelong friends. At the beginning of the 20th century, Hermann and Margrit Rupf laid the foundations for a collection that is now regarded as one of the leading of its kind for European modern art. The exhibition "Rectangle and Square" will, for the first time, give a comprehensive view of the acquisitions accumulated by the Rupf Foundation since it was established in the 1950s. The exhibition of Kurt Schwitter’s work deepens the image we have of the Merz artist with a selection of around 100 surprisingly varied drawings stemming from private collections and from the artist’s bequest. Most of the artworks in this exhibition will be on public view for the first time. The show substantiates the fact that Schwitters goes way beyond being "just" the Merz artist who revolutionized collages by creating pictures using cuttings from newspapers, advertisements, and throwaway images. The Flemish artist Berlinde de Bruyckere developed an exhibition concept together with the Kunstmuseum Bern. The result is a dialogue – overarching epochs and media – of her emotionally deeply moving figures with selected paintings by Lucas Cranach and sequences from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s films. Finally, as of the beginning of December, the Kunstmuseum Bern is organizing an exhibition that gives insight into Arina Kowner’s extensive collection of Russian contemporary art. The museum will be showing pictures by famous Russian nonconformist artists as well as works that were executed after 1989.
An emphasis on our collection
Our collection shown in Munich will return early April. The engaging presentation in the Kunsthalle of the Hypo-Kulturstiftung in Munich with 80,000 visitors was a great success, bringing our collection international recognition. The exhibition will now be shown in the Kunstmuseum Bern titled Back from Munich – Highlights of the Collection from Seven Centuries of Swiss Art. The collection will be shown in the same form as in the exhibition in Munich and will certainly again delight both its local audiences and those from abroad. The general presentation of the collection, which was curated personally by our director Matthias Frehner, comprises works from French romanticism and realism to painterly approaches in contemporary art.
The Kunstmuseum Bern online
We are implementing our web redesign in 2011 and the new Kunstmuseum Bern website will go online. In connection with this, we also plan to produce audiovisual podcasts featuring highlights of the collection. They can soon be downloaded at www.kunstmuseumbern.ch among other sites. Our already existing Facebook platform is currently being improved and will be fostered more assiduously in the future.
Project "Extensions Within"
For our building renovation and extension project "Extensions Within" we plan to convert an existing floor of the Atelier 5 building. This whole new exhibition level will provide sufficient space; fulfills museum standards in regard to security, structural load capacity, and air conditioning; makes it possible for us to further pursue our initial goal of presenting contemporary art in the context of historical art; and, as everything can be exhibited under one roof, helps keep running costs as low as possible. We are currently in the process of assessing costs and funding of the project.
Collaboration with the Zentrum Paul Klee
The Kunstmuseum Bern and the Zentrum Paul Klee have previously worked together in different areas. In 2011 we will be investigating whether we can collaborate even closer in order to heighten Bern’s image as a city with exceptional museums. This additionally requires strategies for furthering culture in the canton of Bern, to be modified by a planning statement of the Grand Council. A joint project committee has been appointed that is investigating the preconditions, targets, and general conditions for boosting collaboration between the two museums. Both presidents, a member of each foundation’s management council, and two further representatives of both foundations’ management councils, as well as the interim director of the Zentrum Paul Klee and director of the Kunstmuseum Bern form the committee. Furthermore, outside experts will also be consulted.