Hodler – Segantini – Giacometti

Masterpieces from the Gottfried Keller Foundation

MASI Lugano
24 March – 28 July 2019

Ferdinand Hodler
Abend am Genfersee, 1895
Oil on canvas
Kunsthaus Zürich
© Kunsthaus Zürich


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The exhibition focuses primarily on nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings, with significant incursions into the previous centuries, documenting the production of some of Switzerland's greatest artists. The exhibition begins with Giovanni Serodine's La Vergine dei Mercedari (The Virgin of the Mercedari, 1620-1625, Pinacoteca Cantonale Giovanni Züst), continuing with important eighteenth-century works by Liotard, Petrini, Wolf, Füssli and Sablet and nineteenth-century works by Calame, Zünd, Koller, Anker and Buchser. Arnold Böcklin is represented by his masterpiece, Die Toteninsel (Isle of the Dead, 1880, Kunstmuseum Basel), a famous example of the painter’s evocative work. Ferdinand Hodler is represented primarily by his monumental Der Auserwählte (The Chosen One, 1893-94, Kunstmuseum Bern), in which the artist pursues his characteristic compositional principle based on symmetry. On this truly extraordinary occasion, Giovanni Segantini’s majestic triptych La Natura, La Vita, La Morte (Life, Nature and Death, 1896-1899, Segantini Museum), preserved in St. Moritz, is exhibited south of the Alps for the first time since 1899. Finally, the exhibition enters the twentieth century with Meyer-Amden and Auberjonois – among the first contemporary artists to be included in the Gottfried Keller collection – Amiet, Vallotton, Itten, Giovanni and Alberto Giacometti. The sculptor’s magnificent Busto di Annette (Bust of Annette, 1964, Musée d’art et d'histoire de Genève) is displayed in the exhibition.

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Ferdinand Hodler, Der Auserwählte, 1893-1894
Ferdinand Hodler, Der Auserwählte, 1893-1894
Oil on tempera, 219 x 296 cm
Kunstmuseum, Bern © Kunstmuseum Bern

Ferdinand Hodler
From the 1890s onwards, Ferdinand Hodler followed a compositional principle - known as Parallelism - which was based on symmetry and which became a distinctive feature of his symbolist paintings. Drawing this principle from nature, the artist sought to reflect its harmony in his works, where we often perceive a suspended, spiritual dimension that takes on a particularly religious slant in “Der Auserwählte” (The Chosen One).
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Giovanni Segantini, La natura, 1896-1899
Giovanni Segantini, La natura, 1896-1899
Oil on canvas, 235 x 403 cm
Giovanni Segantini Museum, St. Moritz © Museo Segantini, St. Moritz
Photo: FotoFlury

Giovanni Segantini
In “La Natura” (Nature), a painting forming part of the majestic Triptych inspired by the Alps, Giovanni Segantini focused on the representation of light, which played a central role in his artistic research ever since the earliest divisionist experimentations. The canvas depicts a landscape of the Maloja region in Engadin, in which the viewer can make the lake and houses of St. Moritz out in the distance.
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Alberto Giacometti, Buste d’Annette, 1964
Alberto Giacometti, Buste d’Annette, 1964
Bronze, 45 x 19 x 15 cm
Musée d’art et d’histoire, Genève © 2019 Prolitteris, Zurich / Giacometti Stiftung
Photo: Bettina Jacot-Descombes

Alberto Giacometti
Inner conflict and the feeling of never truly being able to complete his works led Alberto Giacometti to rework them tirelessly. In the sculpture “Buste d'Annette” (Bust of Annette), what stands out most is the face. This is marked by that energy and movement that characterise all of the artist's sculptures, while the shoulders and the body are merely hinted at.
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Giovanni Giacometti, Fanciulli al sole, 1910
Giovanni Giacometti, Fanciulli al sole, 1910
Oil on canvas, 91 x 100 cm
Kunstmuseum Bern © Kunstmuseum Bern

Giovanni Giacometti
Following the important encounter with Giovanni Segantini and the modern movements of late 19th century in France, Giovanni Giacometti developed a personal artistic style focused on the expressive potential of colour, which he associated with themes of a personal nature, for example in this portrait of his children.
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Arnold Böcklin, Die Toteninsel, 1880
Arnold Böcklin, Die Toteninsel, 1880
Tempera on canvas, 110.9 x 156.4 cm
Kunstmuseum Basel © Kunstmuseum Basel
Photo: Martin P. Bühler

Arnold Böcklin
In 1880, Böcklin produced the first of five versions of his famous “Die Toteninsel” (Isle of the Dead), an extremely evocative work that has fascinated many generations of artists. This masterpiece is the finest example of the artist's evocative painting and of his ability in blending fantastic-visionary elements with realistic representation.

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The Museum

The Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI Lugano), directed by Tobia Bezzola, belongs to a limited group of art museums in Switzerland that are capable of attracting over 100,000 visitors every year and, since its creation, is known as a cultural crossroads between the Northern and Southern Alps. Due to the Collection’s rich supply of temporary exhibitions and installations that are periodically updated, the Museum offers an extensive programme of activities aimed at visitors of all ages at its two exhibition spaces: the newest, the beating heart of the LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura cultural centre, and the historic Palazzo Reali, which will reopen in Autumn 2019 following a major refurbishment. In addition to the two MASI venues, the Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati is also open to the public during two periods of the year. Included among the 13 Swiss museums endorsed by the Federal Office of Culture for the 2018-2022 five-year period, MASI is part of "Art Museums of Switzerland", the group of art museums selected by Svizzera Turismo as a channel of international tourism promotion.


Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana
Lugano Arte e Cultura - Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland

From Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 –18:00. On Thursday open until 20:00. Closed on Monday.

Special openings: 22.04.2019, 10.06.2019

Tel +41 058 866 42 40
10:00 -13:00 - 14:00-16:00


Full: Chf 20.– Reduced: Chf 14.– AVS/AI, over 65 y.o., groups, students 17–25 y.o.

Free: Younger than 16 y.o., every first Thursday of the month from 17.00 to 20.00

Free guided tour for single visitors every Tuesday and Sunday (online booking)

Guided tour for groups
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In french, german or english: Chf 300.–

Website: www.masilugano.ch
Ph: +41 058 866 42 40
Mail: info@masilugano.ch

Useful advice for the visit: bags larger than 40x40x20cm, trolleys, backpack and strollers must be stored in the cloakroom.

Schools of Cantone Ticino and Grigioni Italiano
Entrance + guided tour: free

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Younger than 17 y.o.
In italian: Chf 80.– each group; In french, german or english: Chf 100.– each group

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Ph: +41 058 866 42 30
Mail: lac.edu@lugano.ch

Complete program of educational activities: www.edu.luganolac.ch