The exhibition features painting, sculpture, graphic art and photography by a total of twenty-one artists.

It addresses body, gesture and space in two senses: on one hand, representational, as in the depiction of a human figure, the movement of a hand or a natural landscape; on the other hand, concrete, as in a three-dimensional visual object, an identifiable physical modification of material or a real pictorial space.

The representation of the human body naturally includes the representation of human gestures. Wherever gesture and affect make a deliberate appearance in painting or sculpture, they do not merely attest to non-verbal communication. If the body is not formally confined to the plane, such gestures also embed it in space, actively and organically, enabling it to be perceived in depth and perspective.

At the end of the 19th century, the mimetic representation of the visible world underwent substantial change, not least in response to new expressive needs. Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism no longer cultivated the illusionist depiction of body and space. Instead, under the impression of radical change brought about by science and technology, these movements rendered the world in stylised, symbolic or formulaic terms to the point of banishing illusionist depiction altogether in abstract and constructive art. This tendency goes hand-in-hand with increasingly tangible emphasis on the means of artistic expression, that is, the emancipation of material and colour from their function as tools of depiction.

This process continued after the end of classical Modernism as well and has led, since the 1950s, to entirely new forms of art, initiated by fundamental enquiry into both the nature of reality and traditional art genres. Thus, some pictures do not depict bodies but are themselves 'bodies', which merge with the paint into an organic whole. Gestures do not function 'narratively' in a work but belong to the physical entity itself as an expression of its material existence. And space becomes real where the artist has slashed the picture plane with a knife, simultaneously undermining the prerequisite of brush and paint for the illusionist representation of perspectival depth.

Works by Umberto Boccioni, Lucio Fontana, Gotthard Graubner, Ferdinand Hodler, Leiko Ikemura, Callum Innes and Thomas Struth, among others.

The exhibition is curated by Uwe Wieczorek, curator of the Hilti Art Foundation.

 

More pictures to this exhibition

  • Body – Gesture – Space
    Exhibition view, photo: Stefan Altenburger, Zürich © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein / Hilti Art Foundation
  • Body – Gesture – Space
    Exhibition view, photo: Stefan Altenburger, Zürich © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein / Hilti Art Foundation
  • Body – Gesture – Space
    Exhibition view, photo: Stefan Altenburger, Zürich © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein / Hilti Art Foundation
  • Body – Gesture – Space
    Exhibition view, photo: Stefan Altenburger, Zürich © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein / Hilti Art Foundation
  • Body – Gesture – Space
    Exhibition view, photo: Stefan Altenburger, Zürich © Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein / Hilti Art Foundation
  • Guided tours
  • Thu, 2.12.2021
    18.00