Augusto Giacometti in Aarau and Chur

Augusto Giacometti (1877 - 1947), Self Portrait 1941 Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur. Foto:TES

The exhibition Freiheit | Auftrag (Freedom, Commission) focuses on a multi-faceted artistic personality whose oeuvre counts among the highest expressions of art in the first half of the 20th century.

The exhibition travels along the “Freedom” and “Commission” issues to explore the relationship between free creation and commissioned art. It reveals the tension within which Augusto Giacometti (1877-1947) spent his productive life as an artist.

Currently, the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur is showing an exposition dedicated to the artist’s works on paper.

(See also a painting of Augusto Giacometti in the Flowers for Art in the Aargauer Kunsthaus)

Augusto Giacometti and his Works on Paper

Augusto Giacometti (Stampa 1877–1947 Zürich) Blühende Hymenocallis, 1897, Museo Ciäsa Granda

Augusto Giacometti (1877-1947) was one of the most important Swiss artists of the early 20th century. Born in Stampa in Bergell (canton Graubünden), he studied in Zurich and Paris and spent years in Florence before settling in Zurich.

Through his training in Paris, he became involved in Art Nouveau. He turned sketches of plants and animals into ornamental works and regular repetitions of the same elements.

These formed the basis for his pastel drawings, in which light and colour were the central means of expression. He was a pioneer who also translated the experience of transparent glass windows and the brightness of butterfly wings into his art.

From the beginning, drawings and works on paper were among his primary means of artistic expression. Here, he developed his visual language between figuration and abstraction. The exhibition focuses on his works on paper and thus shows the foundations of this oeuvre.

The Aargauer Kunstmuseum simultaneously shows the exhibition Augusto Giacometto. Freiheit und Auftrag.

An Egyptian pioneer and Paul Klee

Hamed Abdalla Asfour, 1955 Mischtechnik auf Seidenpapier und Masonit, Artist estate. Photo: Emmanuel Littot © Artist estate

Hamed Abdalla (1917-1985) is a pioneer of Egyptian modernism. The Zentrum Paul Klee dedicates a presentation to his work in the series FOKUS. FOKUS shows particular aspects of Paul Klee’s work or contributions to the global reception of this artist within the permanent exhibition Kosmos Klee.

Abdalla was born in Egypt. His origins, mainly the villages and landscapes of the Nubian region and Cairo, were motifs at the beginning of his career. From the 1950s, Abdalla lived in Copenhagen and Paris, but he continued to refer in his works to the political situation in his homeland.

As an artist of the Hurufiyya movement, which explored new artistic possibilities of the Arabic alphabet, Abdalla developed his own “creative words”: he translated Arabic words into colours, bringing together abstraction and human figuration, the secular and the sacred, and the poetic and the political. Abdalla also experimented with different techniques and materials.

He also studied European modernism, especially Paul Klee and how Klee incorporated non-European visual languages such as Egyptian hieroglyphics into his art. Abdalla looked at Klee from a new perspective by identifying and highlighting those elements in which the Bauhaus artist had appropriated non-European motifs.

With around 50 works, the exhibition showcases these and several other focal points from Abdalla’s oeuvre.