The exhibition “Hans Josephsohn & Loredana Sperini” brings together two prominent positions of Swiss sculpture, whose shared interests are not necessarily obvious at first. In collaboration with the Ursula Hauser Collection, this is already the fourth exhibition at NEST, conceived and realized by students from the context module “Art & Exhibiting”. The juxtaposition of Josephsohn and Sperini serves, on the one hand, as a precise (art historical) examination of their practices. On the other hand, insights into questions of art handling, conservation and collecting as well as the various steps on the way to an exhibition were discussed in relation to their works. Responsible for the exhibition are: Jacob Aars, Pelagia Dalduris, Linda Olivia Frei, Ramon Iten, Till Kadler, Hanna Köpfle, Ricardo Meli, Laura Nan, Tobias Oderbolz, Oana Popa, Bea Rossi Cafari, Rahel Spiess, and Elaine Wang.
Beyond their generational gap, Hans Josephsohn’s and Loredana Sperini’s oeuvre is united by a shared fascination for the human body, which often serves as a starting point. Both of their works move between abstraction and figuration, exploring the visible and the hidden. To a certain extent, their conception of humankind is reminiscent of the discourse around the middle of the century, which questioned whether the abstracted human figure was perhaps indicative of the fears and shared experiences of a wartime generation. Thus, the artworks figuratively as well as literally evoke the discovery of the rough, the uneven, and the brittle. The removal and addition of material is characteristic for both artists: Sperini often pursues a puzzle-like game in her practice, for example in her artworks with porcelain dolls, which she found at flea markets in Berlin and which she “deconstructs” and assembles into hybrid-like sculptures. In contrast to Sperini’s eagerness to experiment and create with different materials, Josephsohn remained faithful to modeling with plaster: the material was an expression of his specific method of addition and removal as well as his manual traces. In his later years, Josephsohn was able to cast the resulting works in traditional sculptural materials such as bronze or brass. Both of their artistic practices self-assertively determine the exhibition’s dis- play, which is true for Sperini’s free-standing shelf as well as Josephsohn’s pedestals. Despite their strong individual presence, the two artists seem therefore intertwined.
Runs: April 7 – May 5, 2022
Opening hours: Fridays from 5–8pm
Room 7.E07/Studios Fine Arts, Toni-Areal
Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zurich