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Kesselhaus Josephsohn
Galerie Felix Lehner AG
Kesselhaus Josephsohn
Galerie Felix Lehner AG

Foto: Jürg Hassler. Photographic Views of Josephsohn’s Sculptures I—Start of a New Exhibition Series in the Sitterwerk

April 24, 2016 to June 26, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 7 pm: Screening of the film Josephsohn — Stein des Anstosses (1977) by Jürg Hassler

The photographer and cinematographer Jürg Hassler focused his camera on the sculptural work of Hans Josephsohn intensively for many years. In addition to the film realized in 1977 Josephsohn—Stein des Anstosses, he also produced a large number of photographs in Josephsohn’s studio in Zurich in the nineteen-seventies and eighties. The majority of the almost exclusively black-and-white images have individual sculptures as their motif and were created for various occasions: first and foremost in connection with two publications—a catalogue for the exhibition at the Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen (1975), and for the first monograph on Josephsohn (1981), as well as for documentary purposes and for them to be sent to interested exhibition organizers and collectors. The exhibition in the Sitterwerk sheds light on special characteristics of Hassler’s pictorial language—for instance, the strong light-dark contrasts or the oft-chosen, main frontal view—and reveals how his photographs may shape the perception of Josephsohn’s sculptures. 

The exhibition Foto: Jürg Hassler forms the start of a series of photographic examinations of Josephsohn’s sculptures. Within the framework of the multi-part exhibition project, various photographers’ perspectives on Josephsohn’s work, studio, person, and exhibitions are addressed in a loose sequence. The focus is on the photographic and thus the gaze communicated by the medium as well as its influence on how Josephsohn’s sculptures are perceived.  

Since the nineteen-forties, Josephsohn’s works have been motifs for over a dozen photographers who visited him in his studios in Zurich on Bergstrasse, Zürichbergstrasse, and as of 1966 on Burstwiesenstrasse. Besides Jürg Hassler, they included the social scientist Roland Gretler, the artist Simone Kappeler, the painter Max Hellstern, and more recently the artist Katalin Deér or the architect and photographer Georg Gisel. The studio photographs provide insights into Josephsohn’s previous studios and are simultaneously documentations of a particular photographic position or even the pictorial language of the respective era. Included in the exhibition cycle as well are views of Josephsohn’s solo- and group exhibitions, which also show how curatorial practice has changed over the course of time. 

The exhibition Foto: Jürg Hassler is taking place in both the Kesselhaus Josephsohn and the Art Library and is curated by Nina Keel. It continues until June 26, 2016.

 

Accompanying events: 
Wednesday, May 25, 7 pm: Discussion evening with Jürg Hassler
Sunday, June 5, 4 pm: Tour through the exhibition 
Wednesday, June 22, 7 pm: Screening of the film Josephsohn — Stein des Anstosses (1977) by Jürg Hassler 

Further tours through the exhibition on request (nina.keel[at]kesselhaus-josephsohn.ch).
A publication will be published at the end of the exhibition.

 

Jürg Hassler (*in Zurich in 1938) attended secondary school in the nineteen-fifties nearby Josephsohn’s studio at the time on Zürichbergstrasse, where the Kantonsschule Rämibühl is located today. His way to school took him past the studio each day, thus awakening his interest in the work of the sculptor quite early on. After Hassler completed secondary school, Josephsohn agreed to let him work for him as an assistant and learn the craft of sculpting in the process. In 1958–60, photography studies at the École des Art appliqués in Vevey then followed. From 1961–62, Hassler spent time in Naples doing sculptural work. He also shot numerous photographs of everyday life in Naples, of which most are still unpublished. In the second half of the nineteen-sixties, he traveled through France for a longer period of time taking photographs for the books published in 1968 Les Français and Wiedersehen mit Marianne—Frankreich-Reportagen. He realized the latter in cooperation with the journalist Jean Villain. The book Die Schweiz. Paradies nach dem Sündenfall, in which Hassler was responsible for the photos and Villain for the text, was published the next year. In 1967–68, Hassler attended the film class at the Kunstgewerbeschule (school of arts and crafts) in Zurich and was politically active in left-wing circles. This led to his first film, Krawall (1970), about the youth unrest in Zurich in 1968. In the early seventies, he did gigs throughout Europe as a vaudeville artist, and wrote screenplays and theater pieces. Josephsohn—Stein des Anstosses, Hassler’s film about Josephsohn, was released in 1977; in 1981, a monograph on Josephsohn by the philosopher Hans Heinz Holz, in which the majority of the photographs came from Hassler was published. Since the nineteen-eighties, the realization of numerous films by the directors Thomas Imbach, Christian Schocher, or Richard Dindo, among others, in which Hassler collaborated as cameraman or cutter. Hassler lives and works in Küsnacht and Paris and has once again increasingly been occupying himself with sculptural questions since 2000.