Kunsthaus Zürich joins forces with Fondation Hubert Looser to exhibit 70 works

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Kunsthaus Zürich joins forces with Fondation Hubert Looser to exhibit 70 works
Willem de Kooning, Triptych (Untitled V, Untitled II, Untitled IV), 1985 (detail). Oil on canvas, 203,2 x 177,8 cm / 195,6 x 223,5 cm / 203,2 x 177,8 cmİ 2012 ProLitteris, Zurich.

ZURICH.- An outstanding private collection of modern and contemporary art is coming to the Kunsthaus Zürich, thanks to a new agreement with the Fondation Hubert Looser. Focusing on Abstract Expressionism, Minimal Art and Arte Povera, the Looser Collection will be exhibited in the Kunsthaus extension on long-term loan from 2017, and will ideally complement the museum’s own holdings.

Born in 1938 in Vilters (St. Gallen) and now living in Zurich, patron of the arts and former businessman Hubert Looser has, over a 40-year period, assembled a dazzling collection of contemporary art. His objective is to keep key groups of works and individual masterpieces together and make them available to the public on a long-term basis. Now, the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft and the Fondation Hubert Looser have signed an agreement under which the Kunsthaus Zürich can select 70 works from the private collection and exhibit them on long-term loan in the Kunsthaus extension.

The Looser Collection is an outstanding addition to the holdings of the Kunsthaus Zürich. Six new works – including earlier pieces – by the American artist Cy Twombly will enrich the important group already held by the Kunsthaus. The art of John Chamberlain and David Smith will provide a striking counterpoint to the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock. The Kunsthaus will for the first time be able to display a representative gathering of wall-mounted sculptures by Donald Judd. Ellsworth Kelly and Al Taylor, too, have until now been significantly under-represented. One particular highlight is the ensemble of nine works by Willem de Kooning, including a triptych from 1985 and two bronze sculptures, one of them the celebrated ‘Hostess’ from 1973. There are also two paintings by the important abstract artist Agnes Martin as well as prints by Brice Marden, while two paintings by Robert Ryman will establish a dialogue with those in the Kunsthaus collection. The mythical and archaic qualities of nature, hitherto represented primarily by the works of Joseph Beuys and Mario Merz, are afforded new prominence with the addition of installations by Giuseppe Penone, while sculptures by Lucio Fontana complement the ensemble of his ‘Concetto spaziale.’ The Looser Collection also includes a major sculptural installation by Tony Smith that will be exhibited outdoors.

The Looser Collection is the product of an approach that abjures modish trends, choosing instead to foster dialogues and productive tensions and, in so doing, to enable encounters with art that are replete with new experiences and revelations. This is perfectly in tune with the Kunsthaus Zürich’s aim once the extension by David Chipperfield opens in 2017: a dynamic presentation featuring annually changing constellations of works from the Kunsthaus and Looser collections together with thought-provoking juxtapositions of differing genres and formats.

The Hubert Looser Collection is currently receiving its first public showing: it is on display as part of the Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna until 15 July. The Kunsthaus Zürich will be presenting selected works in the exhibition ‘The New Kunsthaus. Great Art and Architecture’ from 5 October 2012 to 6 January 2013. A book and catalogue entitled ‘The Hubert Looser Collection,’ recently published by Hatje Cantz, offers an insight into a private life with art. Over some 250 pages it features more than 120 illustrations – some of them large-format – of the works represented in the Collection, including pieces by John Chamberlain, Lucio Fontana, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Anselm Kiefer, Willem de Kooning, Richard Long, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Giuseppe Penone, Robert Ryman, Sean Scully, Richard Serra, David Smith, Al Taylor, Cy Twombly, Fabienne Verdier, Andy Warhol and many more besides. It will be on sale in the Kunsthaus shop from mid-May this year, at a price of approximately CHF 48.

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