Franz Gertsch. Looking Back. A Ninetieth Birthday Tribute

1 September until 15 November 2020

To mark the ninetieth birthday of the great Swiss artist, the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich is dedicating an exhibition and catalogue to Franz Gertsch, which focuses entirely on his early work. ETH’s collection of works on paper has long been associated with the artist and owns numerous prints from his mature phase. However, for this exhibition, the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich decided to shed a brighter, and for many new, light on his early drawings and woodcuts. The art from his early years demonstrates to what extent Gertsch experimented with different means of expression. Although he always remained committed to the representational, his works are stylistically quite varied: from filigree pencil sketches to drawings alluding to the Romantic period. In close collaboration with the artist, a concise group of works was compiled for the exhibition and supplemented by works from the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich.

In addition, very different atmospheric colour proofs are also shown, which were created in the course of the complex printing process of the later, large-format woodcuts. The sheets, which the artist calls ‘études (de) couleurs’, are, for the artist, a special aesthetic indulgence, so that he has distinguished them as a collection in their own right.

Curatorial Team:
Dr. Linda Schädler, Head of Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich
Alexandra Barcal, Conservator 20th – 21st C., Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Hirmer Verlag (German and English).

Kindly supported by the City of Bern and ‘SWISSLOS/Kultur Kanton Bern’.