5 Zürich Gallery Shows You Need to See This Summer
Jun 14, 2016 12:33pm
The art-world caravan stops this month in Switzerland, which plays host to Europe’s most lucrative fair and its most progressive biennial. If you’re in Zürich this month, visiting Manifesta 11 or in need a break from the fevered deal-making of Art Basel, don’t miss the slew of heavyweight exhibitions programmed by the city’s most important galleries to take advantage of the influx.
This year marks the centenary of Dada’s birth at Zürich’s Cabaret Voltaire, converted this summer into an “artist’s guild” for the duration of Manifesta 11. Hauser & Wirth celebrates the 100th birthday of the movement with a museum-quality exhibition of three of its most important practitioners. The show particularly illuminates, through a series of early collages, the close relationship between
. Photographs or film stills—strangely cropped, printed onto canvas and roughly overpainted—are provided with single-word captions. The image bears no obvious relation to the text, and these mismatches are alternately witty, provocative, and bemusing. It takes some imagination to conceive how the word “GOETHE” might relate to a highly stylized image of a man holding a gun, or how “RADIO” might shed light on the hanging racks of an abattoir. This compulsion on behalf of viewers to think creatively—to make their own connections and systems from the available information—is no doubt the point.
’s monumental curved monochromes in red, green, blue, black, and yellow (all Untitled, 2015) suggest blankness and impersonality. Installed around the gallery’s walls, these works suggest a non-believer’s equivalent to
show encounters a jagged modernist landscape of exploded office equipment—deconstructed printers and laptops skewed on shining metal poles—and large-scale abstract photographic images that (in the context of Zürich’s retrospective vibe this summer) formally recall the experiments of
. A gleaming rack of copper L-shape sculptures—the latest edition of his “Copper Surrogate” series(the surface of which is smeared with grease marks from their transportation and installation by hand)—extrude from the wall. Although Beshty’s aesthetic will appeal immediately to anyone with a taste for hard edges and clean lines, his practice is based in the everyday. As such, it makes a fitting conclusion to any tour of a city whose greatest artistic legacy was the dismantlement of any distinction between art and life.