Leopold Rabus


Photo: Musée d'art et d'histoire, Neuchâtel

Romanticism, melancholy, nature and oil paintings are the concepts that characterise the work of the Swiss artist Leopold Rabus (1977). Through the mix of contemporary and old art, his work forms a dialogue with art history. Rabus’ work looks realistic but often takes on a surrealistic and parodic character. In this exhibition, his work is placed in the perspective of several works selected by him from the museum.

Handbags


Photo: Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Bags have not always been cult objects for women only. In earlier times, both men and women carried pouches and bags. During the course of fashion history, the unisex bag gradually transformed into the handbag exclusively for female use. It was not until 1875 that a handbag with a handle was introduced. Women quickly got used to always carrying a bag with a handle. It was in the 20th century that handbags experienced their great boom. Bags such as the so-called Kelly bag became absolute cult objects and icons. Some of the greatest and most influential bag designers, including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci and Prada, started in the saddler business and originally produced luxury travel luggage. The fact that the handbag became known as a symbol of femininity and an object of female desire had a lot to do with fashion staging. Throughout history, one thing has remained the same: the handbag is a very personal object. The exhibition with around 400 items provides insight into the history of handbags beginning from 1550.

Bauhaus and Johannes Itten


Photo: Kunstmuseum Bern

When the Bauhaus was founded, Johannes Itten (1888-1967) had already adopted a radical position as an artist in his pursuit of the uttermost dematerialisation of individual objects, and he formulated this idea programmatically in the famous Bauhaus almanack Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit. Key exhibition pieces are his newly researched diaries and sketchbooks. They were integral to his artistic practice from 1913 onward and have never been shown on such a broad scope before. They not only help us understand his art-theoretical reflections on colour but also his thoughts on the principles of art and his hitherto unknown study of the old masters.

The exhibition retraces his development from his beginnings in Switzerland through the periods he spent in Stuttgart, Vienna, Weimar and Herrliberg, also covering his pursuits in Berlin, Krefeld and Amsterdam. This comprehensive presentation presents a new angle on his hitherto concealed understanding of the world and on his artistic working processes that were based thereon.