margrit linck, hedi mertens
A great quality of Swiss artists is mastery of their specific handicraft. By this is meant not a form of arts and crafts, for instance, but the craftsmanship that underlies every art movement—be it painting, sculpture, carpentry, watercolour, textiles or ceramics, to name but a few. Craftsmanship is the starting point of a successful development and guarantees confident dealing with substance, material, colour and shape. Margrit Linck (1897–1983), from Berne, and Hedi Mertens (1893–1982), from Eastern Switzerland, had perfect command of their handicraft and employed it (as their basis) to create an oeuvre that was headstrong and, in its way, sensuous in each woman’s case. Margrit Linck was Switzerland’s most prominent ceramic artist, Hedi
Mertens one of the most compelling, albeit seldom publicly talked-about concrete painters. For the first time, the exhibition Two Swiss at Galerie Mueller brings together a representative selection of works by the two artists. In Margrit Linck’s case, representational and non- representational objects emerged over nearly forty years of work; in Hedi Mertens’s case, concrete abstract paintings of the 1960s and 1970s exclusively (with the exception of two self-portraits from her early figurative oeuvre). Both artists followed their own path with their own gravitas and aplomb. Both were born in the same decade of the century before last, and neither of them arrived at their own formal vocabulary and unmistakable form of expression until a relatively late date—after the Second World War—, and in defiance of interior and exterior obstructions. The comparison of a selection of works by the two artists opens up not only a view onto two positions of 20th-century Swiss art that were hitherto little-known in Basel, but also a field of tension between ceramic and painting, surrealism and abstraction, man- nerism and geometry.
With works by Margrit Linck and Hedi Mertens.
1918 I 2018
Wir glauben an eine kunst
The exhibition was an hommage to a show called Das Neue Leben (The New Life) that took place a hundred years ago at Kunsthalle Basel. The group show united 22 artists, men and women, from different parts of Switzerland and Europe and over 260 works of art from different kinds of medias. Galerie Mueller organised a small selection of 11 artists and over 60 works that were included in the 1918 show.
With artworks by Héléne Amande, Alice Bailly, Fritz Baumann, Irma Kocan, Otto Morach, Heinrich Müller, Franzisca Stoecklin, Fritz Stoecklin, Niklaus Stoecklin, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Alexander Zschokke.
Al Held, nicholas krushnick,
The exhibition Three Americans. Al Held, Nicholas Krushenick, Kimber Smith is a cooperation between Galerie Mueller in Basel (September 8th until October 20th 2018) and Galerie Ziegler in Zurich (September 15th until November 16th 2018). For the first time in Switzerland it unites works by the three American painters Al Held, Nicholas Krushenick and Kimber Smith. Switzerland played an important part in the lives of all three artists. Each gallery shows the work of two artists at length and one work of the third artist as a reference respectively. The work of all three artists was affected by an intense exploration of painting, the use of color and acrylic in particular, the play with form and surface and their relationship with canvas or paper.
Galerie Mueller focuses on Krushenick and Smith. In the artist-run-spaces of Manhattan and in close exchange and friendship with Al Held, Krushenick in the 1950s developed his own form of Pop Art, Pop Abstraction, while Smith starting from 1954 in Paris created his own version of lyrical Abstract Expression-ism. In Basel Felix Handschin showed Smith's works already at the beginning of the 1960s in his gallery, while Galerie Beyeler showed Krushenick's works as late as 1971 at the height of the artist's professional career. Galerie Mueller begins its exhibition activity with the pairing of these two tendencies of American post war painting: Smith came out of Abstract Expressionism, all be it with a Parisian coining, Krushenick was the only Pop artist, who succeeded in combining the popular with abstraction in painting.
With artworks by Al Held, Nicholas Krushenick and Kimber Smith.