Acquired by the family of the present owners in 1952
Bern, Kunsthalle, Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters, 1956, no. 31
IMPORTANT WORKS FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION
The works from this remarkable and diverse collection reflect a lifelong passion for the arts, influenced and enriched by direct personal relationships with many of the artists such as Marino Marini, Jean Arp and Diego Giacometti. Each individual work constitutes a distinctive interpretation of Modernism, which sought to capture the vast technological, social and cultural changes that transformed the world at the beginning of the 20th Century. The family's numerous acquisitions, often acquired directly from the artist or soon after a work's completion served to deepen a fascination with modern art that burgeoned over the last half century, leaving a unique legacy of modernist works.
Among the highlights of the collection is Juan Gris' La Mandoline noire, a stunning example of the mature work of one of modernism's leading protagonists. Henri Laurens' beautifully iconic composition La Guitare provides a marvellous compendium of this seminal figure's work whilst Jean Arp's spatial and tactile compositions are a wonderful testimony to the family's sensitivity to plastic form.
Taken as a whole this collection creates a powerful snapshot of the Modernist movement taken from a highly personal angle, providing many fresh perspectives on some of the masters of 20th-century art.
'Arp's sense of placing creates a great stirring and rustling among the forms, as if it were leaves in a summer gale and as if they were stars blown into random clusters by cosmic winds. He is a humorous and undemonstrative deviser of vast conceptions'
Robert Melville (quoted in Arp (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1958, p. 33)
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