Seven Shows to Check Out in Zurich During Manifesta 11

Featuring Zaha Hadid's tribute to Schwitters and a conceptual pitch black café.

Rochelle Feinstein, Wrong. Courtesy Francesca Pia gallery
Undine, ou la Danse, 1913 Oil on canvas, 300 x 300 cm

Francis Picabia, Undine, ou la Danse, (1913). Courtesy Kunsthaus zurich

As Manifesta 11, titled “What People Do for Money,” approaches and members of the art world prepares to head to the Swiss city of Zurich for this latest edition of the European Biennial, minds must also turn to the city’s reputation for fantastic exhibitions and great love of art. The peripatetic biennale was last held in St. Petersburg in 2014 and Christian Jankowski’s 2016 edition, which will also include a floating island on lake Zurich complete with a swimming pool, has high expectations to live up to.

While we are sure that you will be occupied with all Manifesta, has to offer—including Mike Bouchet’s collaboration with the city’s sanitation department for the work Zurich Load (2016)—we have put together some suggestions of other great shows on in Zurich at the time.

1. “Francis Picabia: A Retrospective” at Kunsthaus Zurich
Kunsthaus Zurich continue a great roster of exhibitions with “Francis Picabia: A Retrospective.” In celebration of the 100 years of Dada, which is taking over the city of Zurich this spring and summer, the huge exhibition will feature 200 artworks taking in Picabia’s entire oeuvre.

Presenting his Impressionist works as well as exploring his contribution to the Dada Movement, the exhibition will tell the story of Picabia’s life while analyzing his place in the history of art.

“Francis Picabia: A Retrospective” will be on view at the Kunsthaus Zurich from June 3 – September 29.

Torbjørn Rødland, <i>Black Goo White Lace </i> (2015) Photo: © Torbjørn Rødland courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich

Torbjørn Rødland, Black Goo White Lace (2015) Photo: © Torbjørn Rødland courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich

2. Torbjørn Rødland “Mathew Mark Luke John and Other Photographs” at Galerie Eva Presenhuber
Norwegian photographer Torbjørn Rødland’s analog photographs, sometimes figurative and sometimes abstract, always hold more than they immediately appear to. “Mathew Mark Luke John and Other Photographs” will be comprised entirely of new works, and will be on view concurrently with his exhibition for the Manifesta biennial.

Rødland’s Manifesta work is a collaboration is with a dentist, Dr. Danielle Heller Fontana, and the results will be exhibited directly opposite Galerie Eva Presenhuber, at the LUMA Foundation in the same building, the Löwenbräu Areal.

“Mathew Mark Luke John and Other Photographs” will be on view at Galerie Eva Presenhuber from June 12 – August 27.

Rochelle Feinstein's <i>Wrong</i> (2002) Photo: courtesy Francesca Pia

Rochelle Feinstein, Wrong (2002). Courtesy Galerie Francesca Pia

3. Rochelle Feinstein at Galerie Francesca Pia
New York born Feinstein will be showing paintings ranging from the early 2000s up to the present day. Just the subject of a retrospective at Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneve which is now on at the Lenbachhaus in Munich, the exhibition will next open Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover, and fittingly end its run at the Bronx Museum in 2018.

The current attention directed at Feinstein’s oeuvre is well-deserved and well-overdue, making this exhibition definitely one to see.

“Rochelle Feinstein” will be on view at Galerie Francesca Pia from June 9 – August 19.

David Smith <i>Circles Intercepted</i> (1961) Photo courtesy Hauser & Wirth

David Smith Circles Intercepted (1961). Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

4. David Smith “Form in Color” at Hauser & Wirth
American artist David Smith is the subject of “Form in Color,” Hauser & Wirth’s first exhibition of Smith’s work since they began working with his estate in 2015.

“Form in Color” focuses on work created between 1958 and 1964, the final years of Smith’s life. These years are now considered as the most important period of his oeuvre, which is credited with redefining sculpture. The exhibition therefore takes a close look at Smith’s combining of the 3-D with the 2-D through his spray paintings and painted steel sculpture.

“Form in Color” is on view at Hauser & Wirth from June 12 – September 18.

Hannah Höch<i> Collage auf Karton</i>(1924 –1928) Photo courtesy Museum Rietberg

Hannah Höch, Collage auf Karton (1924 –1928). Photo courtesy Museum Rietberg

5. “Dada Afrika” at Museum Rietberg
“Dada Afrika” (German spelling) brings together traditional artworks and artifacts that have inspired Dada artists, and presents them alongside works by the European Dadaists.

Some 100 years ago, the Dadaists felt strongly that art from Africa should be viewed on the same level as Western art and had themselves exhibited African art alongside their own. This exhibition brings together works by Hannah Höch, Jean (Hans) Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and Man Ray as well as items from African, Asia, and Oceania.

The exhibition has been put together by both the Rietberg Museum and the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin where the exhibition will travel to in August.

“Dada Africa” is on view at Museum Rietberg until 17 July.

Untitled (Heavy Relief) 1945 by KURT SCHWITTERS Courtesy Galerie Gmurzynska

Kurt Schwitters Untitled (Heavy Relief) (1945) Photo: courtesy Galerie Gmurzynska

6. “Kurt Schwitters: Merz” at Gmurzynska Gallery
This hotly anticipated exhibition will see a collaboration, of sorts, between the Dadaist Kurt Schwitters and the late architect Zaha Hadid, who tragically passed away in March. This is a passion project of Hadid’s: she persuaded Galerie Gmurzynska to donate money to restore one of Schwitters’s “Merz Barns” in Cumbria, in the UK, which was damaged in a storm. She recreated the original design of Schwitters Merz Barn in Hanover to house the works that will be on view in the large gallery in central Zurich.

“Kurt Schwitters: Merz” at Galerie Gmurzynska will be on view from June 12 – September 30.


Render Schwartzcafé Photo: LUMA Foundation Facebook.

Render Schwartzcafé Photo: LUMA Foundation Facebook.

7.  Schwarzescafé at LUMA Westbau
After you’ve soaked up the best of art that Zurich has to offer, you might need a break and a cup of coffee. Why not stop at a café which is also an artwork?

Head to the LUMA Westbau, and you’ll soon find yourself sitting in a café conceptualized by multi-disciplinary Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig who has created the Schwarzescafé, an architectural intervention comprising a screening room, an exhibition space, and a reading room hosting Kunsthalle Zürich’s library.

While you enjoy your coffee you can admire the space’s first exhibition “HOME”, which features work from Morag Keil, Karen Kilimnik, Georgie Nettell, Sam Pulitzer, Emily Sundblad, Frances Stark, and Phillip Zach among others.

The first phase of Schwarzescafé is on view from 12 May – 18 September.

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