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Exhibition Title

Ferdinand Hodler – Alberto Giacometti
 - Eine Begegnung

Ferdinand Hodler – Alberto Giacometti. An Encounter

April 21 – August 19, 2018, Kunst Museum Winterthur
Curator David Schmidhauser

For the first time ever, the Kunst Museum Winterthur unites the two great Swiss artists of the 20th century, Ferdinand Hodler and Alberto Giacometti, in a single exhibition. The painter of turn-of-thecentury symbolism meets the artist of post-war existentialism. The exhibition resolutely breaks new ground by no longer simply contextualising Hodler as a national painter on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of his death, but by contrasting him with Giacometti in order to advance new intellectual and aesthetic approaches.

Hodler and Giacometti

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Ferdinand Hodler's death. A reason to pay tribute to the oeuvre of this great Swiss painter of the turn of the century and present it to a broad public with a radically different view. Accordingly, we are resolutely breaking new ground by no longer looking at Hodler in the context of his time, but rather in a dialogue with a second and equally outstanding artist. This advances unconventional intellectual approaches and allows us to study the artist's oeuvre as to its dimension in terms of content and relevance for future generations, including us. In a surprising exchange with Alberto Giacometti, the existential quality of his work is clearly perceivable. Fundamental questions about humanity, which make his work surpass the cultural phenomena of his era, come to the fore. It is precisely this intense preoccupation with man, one's own ego, as well as dying and death that are as relevant as ever for today's generations. The same applies to Alberto Giacometti, whose work has also been studied and researched under various aspects in recent years. In his encounters with Ferdinand Hodler, whose work he was well acquainted with, traditional lines emerge, from which Giacometti developed his genuine imagery that exemplifies the attitude towards life of the post-war period. Surprising analogies can be found in the permanent questioning of human existence. There are also parallels at a formal level. Sofar, these have been more or less ignored;this concerns for example the compositional schemes and the gradual formfinding process in his graphic work, which intensively revolves around and explores individual subjects. While Hodler's depiction of the impressive Alpine landscape has long since entered into Helvetic pictorial memory, Giacometti's figures exemplify the existentialism of the post-war era. Thus, the exhibition presents two icons of modernity, whose timeless pictorial inventions have significantly contributed to twentieth-century art. The dialogue between Ferdinand Hodler and Alberto Giacometti opens up unfamiliar perspectives on their work and promises to date unknown insights into the oeuvre of the two great Swiss artists.

The Exhibition

Ferdinand Hodler – Alberto Giacometti. An Encounter brings together more than seventy exhibits, including major works and particular ones that have never been seen in public before. In the extension of the Kunst Museum Winterthur | Beim Stadthaus, they are presented as part of a thematic structure that engages selected motifs of the artists in direct dialogue with each other:
The Figure, The Groups, Ego – Alter Ego, Love and Suffering, Mountain Worlds, Drawing as Form Finding.

Source: Press Release