Jun 3, 2020 · 5:36 PM

Highlights from our Collection

Michael Riedel - Sammlungshighlight

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Between art and graphic design

Michael Riedel (*1976) is known as a conceptual artist who intervenes in the “descriptive” system surrounding the production of art, carrying it forward and utilizing it in endless loops for his own works of art. Standing at the beginning (and the end) of these processes of appropriation and repetition Riedel are art mediating tools such as posters, invitation cards, art magazines or exhibition catalogues.

The work Untitled (Display) from 2014 is part of the so-called Poster Paintings. The series is based on selected websites on which Riedel's art is digitally mediated in image and text. These sites are printed out as posters in HTML format - a text-based programming language that defines and structures the content of a website. The posters in turn serve as a template for the silkscreen prints on canvas. The technical-reproductive system is thus made visible and presented as material made from and for art. Common terms used in art and in graphic design such as "color", "drop" or "display" (corresponding to the title of the work) are emphasized just as much as the repeating motif of the (semi-)circle. The basic geometric shapes structure the composition of the posters on the canvas and, as "turning wheels" on the computer screen, symbolize an overload of the system, which Riedel translates from the digital into the analog space of an exhibition.

Michael Riedel
Untitled (Display), 2014
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv

Eugen Gomringer - Baumwind

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Es rauscht im Buchstabenwald

«Baum» und «Wind» – die acht Buchstaben dieser beiden Wörter dienen Eugen Gomringer als Bausteine für das quadratische Wortbild von 1961/2014, das als exemplarisches Beispiel visueller Poesie betrachtet werden kann. Inspiriert von den Zürcher Konkreten – Gomringer war einst Sekretär von Max Bill an der Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm – initiierte der 1925 in Bolivien geborene und in der Schweiz aufgewachsene Sprachkünstler den Begriff der Konkreten Poesie im deutschsprachigen Raum. In der Arbeit baumwind findet man die acht schwarzen Buchstaben in 13 verschiedenen Ansichten quadratischer Anordnung wieder – als wäre der «Wind» in den «Baum» gerauscht und hätte dessen Buchstaben wie Blätter durcheinandergewirbelt. Die scheinbar zufällig entstandenen Kombinationen schwarzer Zeichen auf weissem Grund lassen diverse Lesevarianten und Assoziationen zu. – Und die Betrachter*innen dürfen ihr Auge durch Gomringers Buchstabenwald wandern lassen, wie man im Herbst durch verwehtes Laub geht.

Eugen Gomringer
baumwind, 1961/2014
Sammlung Museum Haus Konstruktiv

Clare Goodwin, Paul, 2019

Thursday, 7 May 2020

In her artistic practice British-Swiss artist Clare Goodwin (*1973) mainly engages with painting. She develops her work in series, each of which revolves around a different approach to color and composition. Her works always have British first names as titles, which seems to lend them the character of a portrait.

Paul is the title of the mural in our collection with which Goodwin implemented one of 200 unique pieces conceived as designs on the occasion of the 2019 group show Concrete Contemporary – Now is always also a little of yesterday and tomorrow; she initially produced it the year before as a special edition for Museum Haus Konstruktiv. Identical to the selected original, this mural’s free geometric abstraction refers to suprematist compositions although their stringent color concept is broken by Goodwin via subtle yellow, salmon and pink hues.

Clare Goodwin
Paul, 2019
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv

Verena Loewensberg - Sammlungshighlights

Monday, 27 April 2020

Grande Dame among Concretists

Hardly any other movement has shaped the Swiss art landscape as profoundly as the art of the Zurich Concretists. It makes up an important part of the collection of the Museum Haus Konstruktiv. Particularly noteworthy is Verena Loewensberg (1912-1986), who was the only woman to belong to the inner circle of this scene otherwise dominated by male colleagues. Unlike her colleagues, she neither wrote theoretical texts nor gave titles to her paintings. She was always striving to let her paintings speak for themselves. And this is what the two collection works do: behind the playful paintings, executed in her unique colouring, are hidden mathematical systems which the artist translated into color forms with analytical astuteness and great sensitivity.

Verena Loewensberg
Untitled, 1963
Photo: Stefan Altenburger

Verena Loewensberg
Untitled, 1978
Photo: Stefan Altenburger

Ryan Gander - Sammlungshighlight

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Two highlights for one!

It is the mission of Museum Haus Konstruktiv to keep the art historical heritage of constructivist-concrete art alive and link it to the international contemporary art scene. Unlike any other piece from our collection, a series of photographs by Ryan Gander (*1976) epitomizes this bridging between the past and the present.

For his solo exhibition at the museum in 2010 the British conceptual artist took photographs of archival footage depicting works from our collection, such as Vier verbundene Gruppen [Four associated groups] by Richard Paul Lohse from 1952/1966. By choosing a section of the reproduced image that includes the customary color chart and by further adding a second chart, Gander draws attention to two very different uses of color that meet in these kind of reproductions: the color used by the artist, which in Concrete art is often based on strict systematics, and an intrinsically functional color chart, standardized according to industrial norms. Ultimately comprising two photographs, Investigation #15 – Although you’ve given me everything (Lohse) raises questions about different concepts of color, artistic authorship and documentation methods – a humorous, contemporary and respectful treatment of a significant artwork by one of the key figures of the so-called Zurich Concretists.

Further pieces of Gander’s Investigation-series for Museum Haus Konstruktiv include photographic reproductions of works by Fritz Glarner, Camille Graeser, and Thilo Maatsch.

Ryan Gander
Investigation #15 – Although you’ve given me everything (Lohse), 2010
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv

Erich Buchholz Thumbnail

Monday, 13 April 2020

Schöner Wohnen um 1920

Das Raummodell von 1922 gehört zu den frühesten Werken in der Sammlung des Museum Haus Konstruktiv. Geschaffen wurde es von Erich Buchholz (1891-1972), der als deutscher Grafiker, Maler, Bühnenbildner und Architekt in den 1920er-Jahren eine konstruktivistische Bild- und Raumästhetik entwickelte, die vom Suprematismus geprägt ist. Um 1922 gab er die Malerei auf und wandte sich fortan der Architektur und dem Design zu. Aus dieser Zeit stammt auch das besagte Raummodell. Es zeigt ein formal reduziertes, malerisch-plastisches Raumensemble, das zu den ersten konstruktiv-konkreten Raumgestaltungen in Deutschland zählt.

Erich Buchholz
Raummodell, 1922 (ausgeführt)
Sammlung Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Foto: Stefan Altenburger

Max Bill - Collection Highlight

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Seeking some structure in your day? Look no further than this orderly 15-part series of lithographs by Max Bill, quinze variations sur un même thème, from 1938 The basis of this iconic work on paper by Swiss artist Max Bill is a spiral-like form. 

It emerges as a complex sequence of lines of equal length. They are configured in such a way that various geometric shapes – an equilateral triangle, a square, a regular pentagon and so forth – seamlessly merge into each other. In subsequent sheets, the resulting framework of lines with a regular octagon as the outermost boundary is edited through various treatments such as the use of colour, the superimposition of circular elements or the connection of the meridian points and vertexes. This simultaneity of two opposing design impulses – the mathematically calculated and the sensually playful artistic approach – is precisely what engenders the fascination with this outstanding piece by one of the key figures of the so-called Zurich Concretists.

Max Bill
quinze variations sur un même thème [fifteen variations on one theme], 1938

Lithograph on paper
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Photo: Stefan Altenburger

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Jun 3, 2020
5:30:00 PM CEST