Based in Monaco but with members as far away as London and New York, the Nahmad family has been collecting great art for two generations. With a connoisseur’s eye for quality, the art-dealing family of Syrian origin has spent decades single-mindedly acquiring paintings and sculptures but also selling them, carrying on a flourishing international business in art while consolidating an impressive collection.
THE WORLD’S FIRST EXHIBITION OF THE PRIVATE COLLECTION
The masterpieces that make up this unique private collection have never before been shown together. Their extraordinary quality caught the public eye when works generously loaned to the Kunsthaus were displayed as part of the recent and hugely successful ‘Picasso’ exhibition. Indeed Picasso, with a breathtaking selection of work from all phases of his career, is one of the best-represented artists in the Nahmad Collection; but there are also Matisse, Modigliani and Kandinsky, with whole series of brilliant pieces; and Claude Monet, one of the ancestors of the modernist movement, with luminous images of his travels in the south.
THE SELECTION: IMPRESSIONISM, SURREALISM, ABSTRACTION
With a collection numbering several thousand works to choose from, some tough decisions needed to be made. Helly Nahmad, the family representative in London who was entrusted with the preparations, and Christoph Becker, Director of the Kunsthaus Zürich, have made some surprising initial choices. Exceptional works by Mark Rothko, Alberto Giacometti and Salvador Dalí have been omitted, and the focus of the selection lies elsewhere. It follows the orthodox canon but with some highly eclectic touches: starting with the late Impressionism of Renoir and Degas at the end of the 19th century it moves on to cover everything from Cubism and Abstraction to Surrealism. Magritte, Léger and Max Ernst are shown side by side with an outstanding group of works by Joan Miró. Monet’s ‘Canotiers à Argenteuil’ (1874), Kandinsky’s ‘Study for Improvisation 3’ and Kazimir Malevich’s important ‘Suprematist Composition’ (1916) have been picked to appear in Zurich. Together with Matisse’s ‘Portrait au manteau bleu’ and Modigliani’s portrait of the art dealer Paul Guillaume, they offer a truly astonishing tour of some great moments in modern art. Originally planned to include around 100 works, the exhibition has now been expanded to 125.
A contribution to culture by Credit Suisse – Partner of the Kunsthaus Zürich.
Admission, incl. Audioguide / Eintritt inkl. Audioguide: CHF 22.–/14.50 reduziert.
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