The Collection—Breton Duchamp Kiesler
Surrealist spaces, 1947
The progeny of another world, witnesses to dreamscapes and fantastical beings. To begin its anniversary year, the Kunsthaus Zug shows what was a focus of the collection right from the start: Swiss surrealist and fantastic art.
It might have seemed a surreal step in itself when the Zuger Kunstgesellschaft began contemplating setting up its own collection towards the end of the 1970s. How could they differentiate themselves from the established art institutions? The maverick, idiosyncratic aspects of the surreal and fantastic trends in art are what remain attractive about this collection focus, down to the present day.
The exhibition “Fantastic Surreal” addresses different varieties of Surrealism – which was more an attitude of mind than a style. With Meret Oppenheim and Kurt Seligmann, those Swiss artists who participated actively in the Surrealist scene in Paris are also represented. This exhibition will open up new perspectives on a collection that continues to grow: some works have never before been put on display, while unexpected connections will emerge between objects that we thought we already knew.
Curated by Marco Obrist, Curator of Collections
Breton Duchamp Kiesler
Surrealist spaces, 1947
“A Surrealist exhibition to outdo all others!” That was the aim of the Surrealist exhibition in Paris in 1947, organised by André Breton, Marcel Duchamp and Frederick Kiesler. The architectonic staging of it was the work of the Austrian architect, theatre reformer and artist Frederick Kiesler. He was one of the first to understand that the mise-en-scène could also be an artistic aspect of an exhibition. Thus the rooms in which the Surrealist exhibition of 1947 was held were part and parcel of its artistic concept. Architecture and art here became a unity and an experiential space for the visitor. The remarkable exhibition will be recreated in Zug, using some 100 original sketches and photographs overall. This is the first time it has been shown in this form outside Vienna. Visitors will make their way through the mysterious labyrinth of the exhibition, as if they were back in the original in Paris in 1947. This exhibition is being realised in collaboration with the Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation, Vienna.
Curated by Matthias Haldemann, Director and Gerd Zillner, Kiesler Private Foundation Vienna