Discover Germany | Culture | Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
Ferdinand Gehr’s Eros (1937).
Interior of the Kunstmuseum.
Kunstmuseum St. Gallen:
Artistic treasures from past and present With a diverse collection from various eras, the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen has garnered international attention. Focusing on contemporary and modern art, the museum also stages temporary exhibitions. This year, for the first time, it is making its collection available to the public and, until the end of August, it will display Arp Gehr Matisse, a show examining three exceptional artistic voices of the 20th century. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS | PHOTOS: SEBASTIAN STADLER
Modelled after the Alte Pinakothek in Munich and its neoclassical style, the Kunstmuseum was designed by architect Johann Christoph Kunkler. The public opening took place on 8 October 1877 and, in the following hundred years, the Kunstmuseum accumulated an impressive collection. Valuable graphic reproductions by Dürer, Rembrandt and Callot, artistic heights of Dutch paintings and German paintings from romanticism to impressionism are all included in the collection. After closing due to deterioration in 1970, the museum was extensively restored and finally reopened in 1987. The Kunstmuseum is currently making use of additional new space in its building and has expanded the rotating displays of its own collection. This permanent show, offers insights into invaluable pieces from 46 | Issue 49 | April 2017
the Middle Ages to the present. Highlighted new entries include the old masters: Heinrich Iselin’s late gothic sculptures, Dutch landscapes and still life paintings from the 17th century and Italian Baroque artist Federico Barocci. Furthermore, the new show explores French and German paintings in the 19th century by exhibiting a number of outstanding works from Gustave Courbet to Carl Spitzweg and from Max Liebermann to Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet’s world famous Le Palazzo Contarini (1908). The second new exhibition, named Arp Gehr Matisse, connects Swiss painter Ferdinand Gehr with the international avant-garde, represented by Hans Arp and Henri Matisse. Gehr was one of the exceptional artists of the 20th century and the formal and content-related parallels
between him and his two colleagues are astonishing. In Gehr’s and Arp’s work, one can find the ability to integrate humans in the circular flow of nature and in religious contexts. Henri Matisse and Gehr further share a similar affinity for radiant colours and immense reduction. Lastly, the three artists are allied in the great significance they placed on printed works - an emphasis that will be showcased at the Kunstmuseum as it will show such magnificent pieces by all of them. www.kunstmuseumsg.ch
Claude Monet’s Le Palazzo Contarini (1908).
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