Zug

My Mother Country – PAINTINGS OF THE ABORIGINES

Kunsthaus Zug Sunday, 29 Sep 2019 - Sunday, 05 Jan 2020

Collection of Pierre and Joëlle Clément, Zug

Outside it’s getting cold and grey, but inside warm colours are shining from far away – from a place where spring begins when we hold our autumn exhibition: Australia. Large-scale pictures whose warm tones are reminiscent of the light of a flickering candle, earthy and sensual. They tell stories of rituals and of a great sense of attachment to the power of nature. At the same time, these free, open pictures appear astonishingly modern. The history of the area from which these shining colours originate is in fact a dark one. They are from the Northern Territory and the region around Alice Springs, where Aborigines were put in reservations, disenfranchised and dispossessed. Only in the last fifty years have they been acknowledged as citizens with all concomitant rights. In expansive deserts, uprooted people took to paintbrush, paint and canvas to express their identity in a unique manner. It was to this area that the Australian artist and art educationist Geoffrey Bardon travelled with painting utensils in 1971. First the local children started painting, then soon the adults joined in. Bardon was interested in the Aborigines’ own aesthetic ideas, their myths and their custom of creating art on their bodies and in sand. He was interested in their origins. This was a time when society was only just beginning to offer them respect again, in a series of painstaking judicial steps. From the early 1970s onwards, their powerful pictures began to be highly regarded in art circles, and today they are found in the important art museums of Australia and in collections in the USA and Europe. Joëlle Clément and her husband Pierre live in Zug, and also travelled regularly to the Northern Territory to meet some sixty artists with whose personal help they compiled their significant collection of Aboriginal paintings. In the Kunsthaus Zug, the Cléments are now making their collection accessible to a museum-going public for the first time. This will be the first exhibition of Aboriginal art in German Switzerland, and will close the Museum’s program for the year. Curated by Matthias Haldemann

Date
29 Sep 2019 - 05 Jan 2020 10:00 - 17:00
29 Sep 2019 - 05 Jan 2020 12:00 - 18:00
Venue
Kunsthaus Zug, Dorfstrasse 27, 6300 Zug
URL
www.kunsthauszug.ch