Liaisons-collections ll

Chantal Michel

9. May – 1. June 2003


Public and private collections have very different prerequisites and geneses. A museum collection is in the interests of a broad public and is influenced by a variety of people, donors and lenders, museum curators and commissions. By contrast, a private collection is answerable to no one and is determined purely by the preferences and interests of the collectors. Nevertheless, in "Liaisons-Collections II" an astonishing number of parallels between the two collections became visible. What they both have in common is an emphasis on Swiss art of the 20th century. Thus both collections contain works by Cuno Amiet, Wilhelm Gimmi, Otto Morach, Ernst Morgenthaler or Albert Schnyder. The Suters have devoted their energies to cultural life in Thun for many years, have always had a close relationship to the museum, and have maintained close contacts with many artists.

The official opening of the rooms on the ground floor of the Thunerhof in 1948 marked the starting point for the Thun art collection, while since the early 1950s the Suters have been collecting works which impressively represent art in Thun and the region. As is the case with the art collection of the city of Thun, the qualitative focus of the Suter Collection is on works on paper (drawings, lithographs, etchings, woodcuts etc.). In addition to painting, both collections have sculptures and works involving the new media. Today the collection of the Kunstmuseum Thun amounts to 7000 works, that of the Suters to more than 1200. The artists are represented in the exhibition with work groups, so as to focus on significant aspects of their oeuvres. The choice of artists and works – determined by the two collections – facilitated striking encounters with some of the important representatives of recent Swiss art. The time span ranged from the 1910s, with paintings by Otto Morach, to contemporary art.
The two collections complemented each other delightfully, as both contain individual works or smaller work groups which could be correspondingly expanded in the exhibition and presented in integral ensembles. Although the focus was clearly on painting, the exhibition also included photographs and videos, especially in the contemporary art section, where wonderful correspondences were to be found: Chantal Michel, the internationally famous artist from Thun, is represented in both collections with a work group of photographs and videos; indeed, her work has a special place in the exhibition.

Artists in the exhibition:
Cuno Amiet (CH 1868-1961), Baurice Barraud (CH 1889-1954), Arnold Brügger (CH 1888-1975), Wilhelm Gimmi (CH 1886-1965), Reto Leibundgut (CH *1966), Eugène Martin (CH 1880-1954), Chantal Michel (CH *1968), Otto Morach (CH 1887-1973), Ernst Morgenthaler (CH 1887-1962), Alexander Müllegg (CH 1904-1982), Albert Schnyder (CH 1898-1989), Fred Stauffer (CH 1892-1980), Viktor Surbek (CH 1885-1975), Rudolf Zender (CH 1907-1988)