The exhibition Epidermis – Conditio humana – Kosmos is the fifth presentation from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation since opening its exhibition building in May 2015. The show features thirty-three paintings, sculptures, photographs and other pictorial works that revolve around the themes “Epidermis”, “Conditio humana” and “Cosmos” in what is an epoch-spanning display.
The focus in the first room is on the epidermis, the “skin” or surface of artworks consisting of materials including wax, cement, plastic foil, nylon, canvas or photographic paper used in different ways. Starting out from figured sculptures of Medardo Rosso and Wilhelm Lehmbruck, the exhibition goes on to feature works from the 1960s, e.g. by Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Otto Piene, in which the image does not depict representational or non-representational elements, but rather itself as an autonomous object that draws attention to the reality of matter, space, surface, colour or light.
In the second room, paintings and sculptures from the classical modern period spotlight the circumstances of life as conditions of human existence. Georges Seurat depicts people at work in an anonymous form, while Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti portray individuals in their corporeality linked by fate to space and time. The power of the Eros is illustrated in almost abstract forms in the work of Rudolf Belling and Julio Gonzàlez, albeit in such a way as not to relinquish the sensuous notion of lust and procreation,
while Joan Mir. and Paul Klee depict the conflict-laden meeting of the sexes.
The third room looks at the theme of “Cosmos” understood as a consideration and artistic interpretation of the world with regard to natural and abstract orders. In 1915, Ferdinand Hodler, for example, portrays the Swiss mountainscape in exquisite majesty, while Stéphane Kropf drafts images of these landscapes on the computer, transferring them onto canvas in a simplified form. Thomas Struth’s photograph of a South Korean port visualises how the world is degenerating into an economic resource. And Gerhard Richter’s painting of Capri and the Gulf of Naples presents a supposed idyll, with a destructive force of nature lying dormant below the changeable surface of the Earth.
The exhibition is curated by Uwe Wieczorek, curator of the Hilti Art Foundation.
Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881 Meiderich/Duisburg – 1919 Berlin)
Torso der Großen Stehenden, 1910
Stone cast, 118 x 50 x 37 cm
Giovanni Di Stefano (1958 Rom – lives and works in Basel)
Punti Laser, 2003
Laser beam on photographic paper, 66 x 91,5 cm (9 Teile)
Georges Seurat (1859 Paris – 1891 Paris)
Le tas de pierres, ca. 1882/84
Oil on canvas, 33,2 x 41,3 cm
Max Beckmann (1884 Leipzig – 1950 New York)
Selbstbildnis mit Glaskugel, 1936
Oil on canvas, 110,2 x 64,4 cm
Joan Mirό (1893 Montroig/Barcelona – 1983 Palma de Mallorca)
Homme et femme, 1935
Casein and gouache on board, 104,8 x 74,6 cm
Thomas Struth (1954 Geldern – lives and works in Berlin)
Hanjin Gamman Port, Busan, 2007
Chromogenic print, (6/10), 172 x 241 cm
Josef Albers (1888 Bottrop – 1976 New Haven/Connecticut)
Homage to the Square (Early Diary A), 1954
Oil on masonite, 62.6 x 62.6 (with frame)
Frank Thiel (1966 Kleinmachnow/Brandenburg – lives and works in Berlin)
Perito Moreno # 16, 2012/2013
Chromogenic print, 160 x 299,5 cm
Children (16 and under):
free of charge
Regular: CHF 15.-
Reduced: CHF 10.-
Collection/loan enquiriesHilti Art Foundation
Uwe Wieczorek, Curator
For more information, please visit
Hilti Art Foundation
Copyright of content
© Hilti Art Foundation
Copyright of images
© Succession Alberto Giacometti / 2016, ProLitteris, Zurich
© 2016, ProLitteris, Zurich, for all other works. All rights reserved. Without permission reproduction and any other use of the work besides the individual and private consultation is forbidden.
Concept and project management
Brigitte Lampert and Hanna Züllig
Brigitte Lampert and Hanna Züllig
Hanna Züllig and Dominik Stucky
Dr. Uwe Wieczorek
Morger + Dettli Architekten AG