The Fondation de l’Hermitage will host a major retrospective of the Lucerne painter Hans Emmenegger (1866-1940), the first of its kind in French-speaking Switzerland. An artist of great originality in both his choice of subjects and the boldness of his compositions, Emmenegger is now regarded as one of the most important Swiss painters of his day.
The exhibition has been organised in partnership with the Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, which holds many of the artist’s works, and will cover the whole of Emmenegger’s career in around a hundred paintings. Starting at the turn of the 20th century with works reflecting his admiration for the paintings of Arnold Böcklin, it then shows his change of aesthetic direction around 1903, when he developed an artistic language his own with powerfully modern themes, such as melting snow, forest interiors, shadows and reflections. The last section looks at the period from 1915 and Emmenegger’s detailed exploration of movement, with echoes of chronophotography and the experiments of the Futurist painters.
A selection of works by Emmenegger’s fellow artists, including Cuno Amiet, Arnold Böcklin, Giovanni Giacometti, Ferdinand Hodler, Félix Vallotton and Robert Zünd, will resonate with the painter’s world throughout the exhibition, which will also feature work by contemporary Swiss artists Caroline Bachmann, Stefan Banz, Alois Lichtsteiner, Michel Grillet, Nicolas Party and Albrecht Schnider, who have all been inspired by his work. Budding photographers at the École Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne (ECAL) were invited to create their own responses to Emmenegger’s art, and their photographs will be on display on the top floor and in the museum grounds.