Hermann Obrist: Art Nouveau Sculptor
2 June – 28 August 2010
Exhibition in Galleries 1, 2 and 3
Hermann Obrist (1862-1927) was famous throughout Europe in the early 1900s for his innovative art nouveau designs in two and three dimensions, including furniture and textiles, tombs and fountains and spiralling plaster forms.
This is the first retrospective dedicated to Obrist's fascinating output, which has until now been poorly understood. That any of Obrist's sculptural work survives is due to the determination of his daughters to preserve his work. Following the damage sustained by his Munich studio-home in World War Two, they rescued plasters and other decorative objects by taking them to Zurich, where Obrist had been born.
This exhibition brings together three-dimensional objects and photographs from the Museum für Gestaltung in Zürich and drawings from the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich. Together, these two groups of work include almost every surviving piece from Obrist's three-dimensional output, along with many two-dimensional drawings, photos, letters and source illustrations. Re-united they serve to show how wide-ranging Obrist's output was, and how sensitive and original his formal language.