This winter, Galerie Andrea Caratsch will present an exhibition with works by Swiss artists from the late 19th and 20th centuries whose oeuvres and lives were closely connected to the Engadin and the neighbouring Bregaglia valley.
For Giovanni Segantini (1858–1899), the main proponent of Divisionism in Italy, it was the light that led him from Milan and Brianza to the Engadin in order to make a home there for himself and later generations. His son Gottardo (1882–1974) continued his father’s artistic legacy and earned great acclaim with his Engadin subjects. Ferdinand Hodler first came to the valley in 1907 as a visitor in the tradition of the 19th-century traveling artist. Nonetheless, his specific choice of the Upper Engadin lakes as a subject for his painting series immediately defined the imaginary perception of the region with lasting effects. The Giacometti family of artists originates from Stampa in the Bregaglia valley. Despite spending extended periods studying and living in major artistic centres abroad Giovanni Giacometti (1868–1933) would remain living in the valley, whereas his cousin Augusto Giacometti (1877–1947) would choose to live in Zurich. Only Giovanni’s sons, Alberto (1901–1966) and Diego Giacometti (1902–1985), would live in the artistic epicentre of Paris- although Alberto in particular regularly followed his inner urge to return to the quiet of the narrow mountain valley for weeks at a time.
In this context, the exhibition aims to address the development and achievements of each of these artists, who, despite their relative isolation from contemporary artistic centres, were driven by a desire to create internationally recognized artworks.
In the exhibition, examples of Giovanni Segantini’s pathos and symbolism are contrasted with the symmetry, line, and plasticity of Ferdinand Hodler’s works. Giovanni and Augusto Giacometti’s works oscillate between Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Fauvism: Giovanni based on the surrounding scenery, while Augusto increasingly turned toward abstract compositions of colours. And finally Alberto Giacometti, whose grey-black existential figures found their way into his paintings via sculpture and drawing.
Thus, the exhibition juxtaposes works by the aforementioned artists, who from an art- historical perspective illustrate the overcoming of 19th-century academism and the modernist revolution of the 20th century—with the Engadin as a background.