18.12.2020 - 05.04.2021
OTTILIE W. ROEDERSTEIN - A Swiss woman artist rediscovered
During her lifetime, Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859 – 1937) was a successful and independent painter whose portraits and still lifes were highly regarded in Switzerland and Germany but who also, from 1883 onwards, showed her paintings to great acclaim in Paris.
First monographic presentation
During her lifetime, Ottilie Wilhelmine Roederstein (1859–1937) was the most important female Swiss painter. Her portraits and still lifes were widely admired not only in her homeland but also in Germany and France, and from 1883 onwards she successfully exhibited her work in Paris, London, Frankfurt am Main and Chicago. In 1912 she was the only female artist representing Switzerland at the seminal ‘International Art Exhibition of the Sonderbund’ in Cologne – alongside male colleagues including Ferdinand Hodler, Giovanni Giacometti and Cuno Amiet. Yet despite her considerable international renown, Roederstein lapsed into obscurity almost immediately after her death. More than 80 years on, the exhibition of some 70 works at the Kunsthaus Zürich is the first monographic presentation in Switzerland to place this artist’s stylistically diverse oeuvre once again before a wider audience.
From conventional to adventurous
Roederstein, who signed her works with the initials OWR, worked specifically for the art market, in order to make her living as a freelance artist. She adhered to the conventions that female artists were expected to abide by. Early in her career, that meant employing a dark-toned palette of colours and choosing portraits and still lifes as her subjects. Yet she soon found herself venturing beyond the allotted domain of women painters, producing religious images and nudes.
GERHARD RICHTER. LANDSCAPE
Comprising some 130 works, the exhibition covers all the media Richter has used to create his landscapes, from painting, drawing, printmaking and photography to sculptures and artist’s books.
Familiar and novel insights
The Gerhard Richter exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich celebrates one of the most important contemporary German artists. It is the first solo presentation of his work at the Kunsthaus and is devoted to a key genre within his oeuvre: landscape painting. On display are 130 works, most of which are being shown for the first time in Switzerland or have not been seen in public for decades; they include ‘Townscape PX’ (1968), spectacular ‘Seascapes’ from Berlin and Bilbao, and the energy-laden ‘Jungle Picture’ (1971) from a private collection. In addition to 80 paintings, there are drawings, photo collages, overpainted photographs, prints and artist’s books. Extending over 1,200m2, the exhibition guides visitors through Richter’s creative process from 1957 to 2018.
From the outset, Richter views the landscape through a medium of mechanical reproduction: photography. The photos that form the basis for his pictures are mostly ones that he has taken himself, and he uses them to create not painted landscapes, but paintings of photographed landscapes. The specifically photographic aesthetic that informs the composition, structure and colour palette remains clearly visible, as in the oil painting ëHouse in Forestí (2004), with its view of the staff building at the famous hotel in Sils Maria. Thus begins his critical reflection on the lost potential of painting.