He was an architect, artist, set designer, interior designer, exhibition designer and a visionary. And one of the most fascinating personalities of the 20th century: Frederick Kiesler (1890–1965) was born in Czernowitz in Austro-Hungary (today Chernivtsi in Ukraine), educated in Vienna, and remains to this day an inspiration for creative artists from all manner of disciplines. A multi-faceted artist such as is born once in a generation, he is still waiting to be discovered by many. Before becoming active as an artist in 1947, he was known primarily as an architect and a theatre reformer. For his artist friends, he staged idiosyncratic exhibitions that themselves became art installations. Kiesler spanned the eras of Viennese Modernism, De Stijl, Surrealism and the American avantgarde of the 1960s. His circle of friends reads like a “who’s who” of the art world, from Egon Schiele to Hans Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. Probably no other artist has worked so expansively and for so long in such different worlds. The exhibition Us, You, Me at the Kunsthaus Zug explores Kiesler’s visual art – an aspect of his oeuvre that has been rarely examined until now. His innovative paintings and sculptures interact with their surroundings – nothing exists on its own. For this exceptional artist, life, like art, was in constant motion and transformable.
The Kunsthaus Zug has developed this exhibition over several years in collaboration with the Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation in Vienna and The Estate of Frederick Kiesler in New York, with loans from Germany, Austria and the USA. This exhibition features many works that have rarely been seen before, if at all, and it is on view exclusively in Zug. A series of events will be held in parallel, and a scholarly book published to accompany the exhibition.