Max Beckmann (1884 Leipzig ‒ 1950 New York), Still Life with Palettes, 1944, Oil on canvas, 55,5 x 95 cm

The Whole Palette Works from the Hilti
Art Foundation

After more than a year of temporary exhibitions, the Hilti Art Foundation once again presents a selection of art exclusively from its own collection. “The Whole Palette” provides an insight into the current status of the collection, with 24 of the 40 works selected being on public view for the first time as part of a Hilti Art Foundation exhibition.

The show features outstanding paintings by renowned artists including Pablo Picasso, Max Beckmann, Ferdinand Hodler, Piet Mondrian and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, along with superb new acquisitions by Edvard Munch, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Max Ernst, Verena Loewensberg, Gerhard Richter and Callum Innes. Other works now joining the collection – including sculpture, collage, photography, drawings and prints by Henri Matisse, Jean Tinguely, Frank Thiel and Carol Wyss – will also be exhibited. Staged on three floors, “The Whole Palette” not only offers an astonishing variety of genres and styles, but also of subjects, materials and colours.

“At best, engaging with works of art should be an uplifting sensory and intellectual, i.e. a transformative experience. Bringing about this transformation in visitors to the exhibitions of the Hilti Art Foundation has always been my ambition and my wish as curator of the shows. Of course, this wish cannot be fulfilled if people are not prepared to engage open-mindedly with works of art and thus to allow this transformation to take place”, as Uwe Wieczorek, curator of the exhibition, observes. “The Whole Palette” is Wieczorek’s last show at the Hilti Art Foundation, having worked here as a curator for more than twenty years, consistently building and expanding the collection.

The representation of the human figure from the end of the 19th to the 20th century is exemplified by the exhibits on the basement floor. The space showcases impressive works by artists including Edvard Munch, Medardo Rosso, Pablo Picasso, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Germaine Richier and Max Beckmann. The focus here is on the question of how to translate physical and psychological human existence into an “image” in a world constantly transformed by science, industry, technology or even war.

The first floor is dedicated to the wealth of constructive and concrete art in the 20th century, illustrating the development of European abstraction by example of such pioneers as Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber or Piet Mondrian. Mondrian’s “classical” paintings evolved gradually from the abstraction of natural forms. Testifying to a subtle sense of compositional balance, with their reduced palette and the stringency of the grid of horizontal/ vertical lines they crystallise into allegories of a universal order. Order and grid as forms embodying the human mind are also defining features of the works of other artists, including Frank Thiel or Gerhard Richter, who differ, however, in the specific way they approach rules and chance.

The overall impression of the third floor is defined by the mystery of the creation and appearance of artistic forms – a line, a contour, an outline or a three-dimensional body. In the work of Callum Innes, bright lines have the appearance of soaring fireworks. Still lacking definite identity, yet organic in appearance, the representation of forms becomes three-dimensional in the works of Yves Tanguy and Alexander Calder, finally taking on natural human shape in Ferdinand Hodler’s paintings. Alberto Giacometti, on the other hand, demonstrates how what is physically visible can defy artistic capture because of its unfathomable complexity.


Uwe Wieczorek, curator of the Hilti Art Foundation


Visitor’s booklet of the exhibition (PDF)


Hilti Art Foundation
im Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
Städtle 32, Postfach 370
9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein
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T +423 235 03 00
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9494 Schaan
Fürstentum Liechtenstein

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Copyright of content
© Hilti Art Foundation

Copyright of images
© Callum Innes
© Carol Wyss
© Succession H. Matisse / 2023, ProLitteris, Zurich for the work from Henri Matisse
© Succession Picasso / 2023, ProLitteris, Zurich for the work from Pablo Picasso
© 2023, ProLitteris, Zurich for the work from Hans Arp, Keith Sonnier, Jean Tinguely and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

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