Foundation Exhibits Private Masterpieces

LAUSANNE.- The major exhibition of summer 2016 at the Fondation de l’Hermitage is being devoted to one of Europe’s most prestigious private collections, shown exclusively in Lausanne.

The display of around a hundred artworks, including paintings, sculptures and installations, offers visitors an unprecedented insight into western art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Since it first opened in 1984, the Fondation de l’Hermitage has developed strong relationships of trust with private collectors in Switzerland and abroad. Over the years this has enabled the Fondation de l’Hermitage to host important collections including those of Florence Gould (1985), Ian Woodner (1992), Rolf and Margit Weinberg (1997), Jean Planque (2001), Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser (2010) and Jean Bonna (2015).

The collection shown in 2016 has never before been seen by the public. It has been put together by a passionate art collector since the 1950s and is at once coherent and remarkably diverse.

The exhibition offers an unusual insight into the modern and contemporary art scene, with a particular focus on the post-war period, Informal Art (Jean Dubuffet, Asger Jorn) and Neoexpressionism (Miquel Barceló, Anselm Kiefer). Other highlights of the collection include often minimalist pieces by Giuseppe Penone, Bertrand Lavier, Pierre Soulages and Niele Toroni, reflecting contemporary European art.

The collection also includes an impressive selection of American art from the 20th and 21st centuries, including conceptual and notably abstract expressionist works by artists such as by Carl Andre, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Chris Burden, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Sean Scully, Mark Tobey and Cy Twombly. The public exhibition of this unique collection reflecting so many important voices constitutes a major event.

The exhibition also features remarkable busts by Jean-Antoine Houdon and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and admirable portraits by Auguste Renoir, André Derain and Chaïm Soutine, reflecting a very personal, highly sensitive vision of western art.

Historic Villa

The villa of the Hermitage Foundation solely houses changing art exhibitions. What is permanent is the magnificent view of Lake Geneva and Notre-Dame Cathedral, a view that inspired the leading landscape painter Camille Corot.

In 1841, the banker Charles-Juste Bugnion purchased a piece of land above Lausanne and built a stately mansion on it. The view from the mansion onto Lake Geneva and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, the most important Swiss Gothic edifice, was immortalized by Camille Corot in a painting.

In 1976 Bugnion's descendents bequeathed the building and a part of the park to the City of Lausanne. At the same time, a private foundation was established, which owns paintings created by past and present painters from the Canton of Vaud as well as past and present foreign artists, including Bocion, Degas, Magritte, Oudot and Plazzotta.

Every year the foundation organizes two to three large exhibitions of international importance.

Curators: Sylvie Wuhrmann, Director, Fondation de l’Hermitage, Lausanne, and Professor Didier Semin of the Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Paris.

Photo above: Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), Sans Titre, 2003 (detail). Tissu, 28,2 x 37,4 cm. Collection privée. Photo Eric Frigière © The Easton Foundation / 2016, ProLitteris, Zurich.