September 20, 2020 to January 10, 2021

BeZug - Works from the Collection

Annelies Štrba, Aya 003, Koi, 2001, colour photo, mounted behind glass, Kunsthaus Zug, donated by the artist, © 2020, ProLitteris, Zurich

Nothing is the same anymore, even though everything recently seemed so certain. A virus has changed our perception of the world and all we took for granted. We have suddenly been compelled to stay at home, returned to the confines of our local area and our near environment. This unusual situation invites us to ask critical questions about our relationship to ourselves, to our surroundings and to the world.

The exhibition BeZug (a play on the name of our city and on the German for connection/reference) asks these very questions, and by displaying works from our collection, it puts a focus on what is our own. An outside perspective is expressly included in this, for the exhibition brings together international artists whose works refer to Zug, alongside artists from our own region. What is our “own”, anyway? What characterises it? Ólafur Elíasson’s Analemma for Kunsthaus Zug offers a perfect example of this complex relationship with what is “ours”, for over the course of a whole year, at the same time every day, he photographed the Sun through the skylight of the Kunsthaus. This work simultaneously represents both the universal passing of time – with the Earth circling the Sun – and the specificity of location unique to our Kunsthaus. The artists Tadashi Kawamata and Till Velten similarly took an outsider perspective when they engaged with the city of Zug, its Nature and its people. But BeZug also takes us back to our own roots: the beginnings of modern art in Canton Zug are explored here in works by Louis Ammann, Werner Andermatt, Armin Haab, Eugen Hotz, Hans Potthof, Christian Staub and Alex Stocker. When looking at these works, created at the time of the Second World War, one can sense that Switzerland was cut off from the rest of the world. Is there perhaps a parallel here to our present-day situation?

BeZug unites drawings, paintings, video works and works made of experimental materials. Visitors will here find things well-known and familiar, but also new. For example, there are the drawings of Fritz Roth, which will be shown in all their breadth for the first time. His sculptures will also enter into a dialogue with works by his earlier flatmates Rut Himmelsbach and Hanna Villiger. Then there are large-scale works by Guido Baselgia and Lukas Hoffmann that will encounter the photographs of Annelies Štrba. Artists since time immemorial have engaged with their own circumstances – their own sense of perception, their own bodies, their transitoriness, their families, their surroundings – but for many people in these times of Corona, this is a new challenge. Or perhaps it will become a voyage of discovery.

Curated by Matthias Haldemann