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The Hidden World - Jim Shaw Didactic Art Collection with Jean-Frédéric Schnyder & Friedrich Dürrenmatt

24 August – 7 December 2014

Graphic design: The Bells Angels
Graphic design: The Bells Angels

Under the auspices of an exhibition with belief as its central theme, the Centre Dürrenmatt proudly presents a first showing in Switzerland of the fascinating didactic art collection belonging to the internationally acclaimed Californian artist Jim Shaw (*1952). The framework for the event entails a comparison with religiously themed works by Swiss artists Jean-Frédéric Schnyder (*1952) and Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990).

Jim Shaw's didactic art collection comprises thousands of objects-books, posters, magazines, T-shirts, record sleeves and other illustrations-as commissioned by various sects, secret societies and spiritual movements of all kinds. For the most part, the collection objects have been produced anonymously and are the fruit of projects in a pedagogical, often religious vein: as such, they are impossible to classify. Visitors will find themselves immersed in a world teeming with imagery drawn from myths and folk beliefs popular in the United States.

In his pictorial and literary works, Friedrich Dürrenmatt also frequently took up the theme of belief and various religious topics. This show includes several of his works on such religious topics as the Crucifixion, Engels and Popes. Also included are other works of a similar tenor by Jean-Frédéric Schnyder (b. 1945), a Swiss artist presented at the Biennial of Venice in 2013: viewers will see the latter's metaphysically oriented "Landscapes".

Guest curator: Marc-Olivier Wahler

Walter Ohlson, Jesus-Spokeman to Distorsion (The Bethel Series), 1960, Collection Jim Shaw.
V.T. Houteff, The World’s History in Prophetic Symbols, 1931, Collection Jim Shaw
Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Dritchi VIII, 1986, Öl auf Leinwand, 159,7 x 120,1 cm, Kunstmuseum Bern Sammlung Toni Gerber, Schenkung 1993, © J.-F.Schnyder.
Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Landschaft IV, 1990/91, Öl auf Leinwand, 21 x 30 cm, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, © J.-F.Schnyder
Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Kreuzigung I, 1939/1942, Federtusche auf Papier, 48,5 x 36 cm, CDN, © Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft.
Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Hundeliebender Papst, 1966, Öl auf Leinwand, 64,5 x 53,5 cm, CDN, © Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft.

© Simon Schmid, Bibliothèque nationale suisse
© Simon Schmid, Bibliothèque nationale suisse
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Further information

Type: PDF
07.08.2014 | 485 kb | PDF

Federal Department of Home Affairs FDHA - Swiss National Library NL