10 years messmer foundation

4/10/2015 – 07/02/2016

ANTES | BRAQUE | EVARD | FONTANA | CLOVER | MAGNELLI | UECKER| VASARELY

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the messmer foundation, the foundation opens its depots and presents a unique compilation of its most important works in the messmer art gallery. The exhibition brings together well-known artists such as Georges Braque, Carlos Cruz-Diez, André Evard, Lucio Fontana, Paul Klee, Alberto Magnelli, Günther Uecker and Victor Vasarely. Based on these important representatives of abstract art, the exhibition provides an exciting insight into the historical connections between classical modernism, op art, kinetic and concrete-constructive art.

One focus of the exhibition is dedicated to the art of the pioneering Swiss avant-gardist André Evard, from whose estate the donor Jürgen A. Messmer acquired a large part in 1978 and which is now managed by the messmer foundation. In his long life, Evard created an extremely multifaceted and highly individual work, which is why he is rightly called a pioneer of Swiss modernism. In the juxtaposition of his early enamel works and his important series, such as “Les roses”, “Le couvert”, “Symphonia”, “Composition abstract” and “Kabuki”, Evard’s unique artistic development from Art Nouveau to his constructive-geometric works clearly presented.

While the cubist and constructive works of André Evard, as well as those of Georges Braque, opened the door to abstraction in the first half of the century, artists after the Second World War expanded the non-figurative repertoire and penetrated into completely new areas: This is how the Op Art with the phenomenon of perception, kinetic art specifically incorporates movement into its work and the concrete-constructive directions seek a puristic way to embody the spiritual on the basis of mathematical-geometric principles. The broad spectrum ranges from the pulsating geometric compositions of Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, through the vibrant stripe paintings of Carlos Cruz-Diez to the perforated works of Lucio Fontana and the clear and harmonious constructions of Anton Stankowski and Klaus J. Schoen.

The collection, which today includes more than 1,000 works of art by over 150 important artists, provides a fascinating cross-section of “10 years of messmer foundation” with the exhibits on display. Featuring top works by some of the most important artists of the 20th century, this top-class exhibition offers a multi-faceted look at the various trends in abstract art.