24 April 2010

Kunsthaus Zurich: The Bührle Collection

Last week, I went to the Kunsthaus to visit the Bührle Collection. This collection used to be housed at their private museum, but they got robbed in 2008 and decided to close the museum. Two major pieces by Cézanne and Degas are still missing.

I had never made it to the old museum so headed up to the Kunstaus to see some 180 exhibits of that collection. Let me tell you that the security was no joke to them. If your purse was too big, you had to leave it at the coat check. In the entrance fee, a pricey CHF 18.- quite usual to the Kunsthaus, the audioguide was included (D/F/E). I really recommend taking it or joining a guided tour: you’ll just learn so much more about art in general, the painter, the painting, the era, etc.

The exhibition is very famous for its impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. It includes, amongst others, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Cézanne, Manet, Monet, Degas, Gauguin, Signac, Picasso and Braque. But it also comprises older works from the Middle-age- a series of Gothic sculptures- and some paintings from the 16th to 18th century. Even though I did not fully appreciate this first part of the exhibition, I understood the need of Emil Bührle to include it in his collection to demonstrate the origine of the Impressionist movement. So I just went through quite quikly and headed to the next part.

The impressionist and post-impressionist paintings were the most important part and most enjoyable part of the exhibition to me. They had masterpieces everywhere and the audioguide comment were very interesting. It was just so impressive to be amongst so many masterpieces at the same time. I particularly like the Signac and the various works from Toulouse-Lautrec. The Nympheas from Monet, part of the permanent collection of the Kunsthaus, but a guft from Emil Bührle, had been relocated to this temporary exhibition too. There always such a pleasure for the eyes! Hard to believe that these cost almost nothing as their format is huge and they were seen as under-work back then.

So, I highly recommend to visit before it’s too late! It’on until 16 May 2010. afterwards you will have to wait another five years to see them back at the Kunsthaus Expansion.

03 April 2010

Geschmack: an exhibition about taste at the Mühlerama

I just visited the exhibition “Geschmack” at the Mühlerama, located at the train station Tiefenbrunnen. It was such a great experience! You go through the show blind (with something over your eyes) and an iPod. There is a railway guiding you through the various stops. At every place mat, you need to stop and listen to various people telling you their story about food. There is a blind lady saying how she cooks and shops (well she can’t!). Some scientistst talk about how taste works or how the industry works with (too much) aromas. We also get to hear a famous chef. Sometimes to make their point better understood, they will have something to touch, to smell, to drink or to eat. I don’t want to spoil your experience, but the slow food comparison was so great. I think it really helps that you don’t see a thing, as all the others senses really take over.

Unfortunately, the narration exists only in German / Swiss German. It is not my native tongue. In fact, German is my 3rd language, but I understood most of it. But I’ve been here for 12 years now, so you need to know if you will be able to understand. Perhaps it’s worth a try with the iPod, being blind and being able to really concentrate on the voices.

The Mühlerama has a very interesting store too. They sell kitchen items, spices, food postcards and fresh bread (or flour) made on site. I higly recommend taking some bread home. Have a look at their website for opening hours, admission fees and other visitor information.