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Gegenlicht

Exhibition view Gegenlicht 2007, photo: David Aebi

Exhibition view Gegenlicht 2007, photo: David Aebi

Exhibition view Gegenlicht 2007, photo: David Aebi

11. February – 9. April 2007

Kunstmuseum

Works from the Collection of the Kunstmuseum Thun, plus new works by Adrian Schiess, Alex Silber and Erik Steinbrecher

For several years now, the Kunstmuseum Thun has been presenting its collection not in the form of a permanent exhibition, but of alternating exhibitions devoted to specific themes. For example, two years ago important work of 20th century Swiss art from the museum collection were on show, and last year the exhibition "Swiss Pop" presented a comprehensive selection of this focal point of the collection. This year, Roman Kurzmeyer has been invited as a guest curator. In his personal selection of works he will show not just highlights from the Collection but also paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints which have not been exhibited for many years and are thus relatively unknown.

"Gegenlicht" is an author's exhibition. It is not a parade of art-historically renowned works, but instead illustrates how artworks can themselves produce the conditions for their perception. It does this by confronting works from the collection with new works by the three Swiss artists Adrian Schiess, Alex Silber and Erik Steinbrecher. "Gegenlicht" is an exhibition in which works of art from different epochs and of varying art-historical importance enter into a dialogue about visibility, and in doing so draw attention to the act of showing as a principle of artistic work.

The exhibition opens with prints by the engraver Johann Elias Ridinger from Augsburg. Two female hunters, drawn by him in the 17th century, a pack of beautiful hounds and many animal tracks lead into the exhibition, along with works by Christian Marclay owned by the museum. Adrian Schiess has brought two new paintings from his work group "Vollmonde" to Thun, which, among others, will be shown in the light of his video works, together with the elegant and mysterious “Portrait einer Tänzerin" (c. 1932) by Wilhelm Schmid. The installation "Violation of Sight" (2006) by Alex Silber engages in conversation with landscapes by Cuno Amiet, Paul Klee and Johannes Itten, two portraits of boys by Otto Meyer-Amden and a photograph by Roman Signer. Erik Steinbrecher presents new sculptures arranged like lamps in the large room at the Kunstmuseum. These aluminium assemblages made up of everyday items are combined with paintings by, among others, Ferdinand Hodler, Klara Borter and Max Buri, a somewhat larger group of figurative sculptures by Karl Geiser and woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer, his pupil Hans Sebald Beham and Albrecht Altdorfer. What emerges is the theme of the everyday, the simple life, which artists have treated very differently in their time. A Parisian apartment block in the dazzling evening light by Cuno Amiet and a large aerial photograph of Mexico City by Balthasar Burkhard are exhibited together. Light is a major theme of the exhibition and it unfolds in very different directions through the combinations of works. The result are different atmospheric spaces. The themes of darkness and dazzlement are addressed, as is that of inner images. "Natascha IV" (1987) by Franz Gertsch is being shown together with the sculpture "Die Blinde" (1937) by Emmy Marti and the painting "Das Phantasmaskop" (1953) by Emile Chambon. Formal and thematic trails are laid which can be followed, but which also disappear again.