210311: Fondation Beyeler Segantini

Fondation Beyeler Segantini 16.01.11 – 25.04.11 Painting and wanderlust I don’t like mountains, I love the sea (just like I don’t like dogs, but cats, and I like Bernini but not Borromini or Greenberg’s Theory of Modernism but not Rosenberg’s Theory on Action Painting). On my last mountain tour 15 years ago to Mouttas Muragl, the 2500m high mountain in St. Moritz, Switzerland, I boarded a cable car and then walked quite a long distance before I finally reached my destination: the Schafberg. It was then that I was able to see with my own eyes what had induced Giovanni Segantini to come here. And there is a hut, a kind of lieu de mémorie, which reminds us that already in 1899 the art industry was bereft of great talents on account of a ruptured appendix – the illness that had killed Segantini in just this hut. Foremost, Segantini preferred to paint on-scene. He worked on his Alps-triptych, which narrated the story of “becoming-being-and ceasing”. The middle part was created with a view of the panorama as seen from the Schafberg, For the first part of the triptych Segantini travelled to Bergell and for the last part to Maloja. I had the urge to follow his footsteps. I noticed that the master had not only meticulously adhered to the silhouettes, ridges, and peaks, but that he had moved his motives closer together than they actually were. One can definitely say, after comparing his painting in the museum with the on-site view in St. Moritz, that Segantini was a virtuoso of concretion. And let’s be honest, one can expect a little more than the pure transformation on a one-on-one basis. The Fondation Beyeler is currently showing a retrospective of the painter's work (however without the triptych). Segantini never had a nationality and he was also an internationalist as a painter - apart from certain mountain regions. He was not an artist who took up the pointillist technique, as practiced in Paris, or the style of Naturalism, which was en vogue at his time – he did not permit these styles to influence his paintings, in which something like wanderlust can be felt. Segantini’s works are showpieces of a quality that the avant-garde will not appreciate. Visually they are of the highest and absolutely banal attractiveness, they are optical sensations and their colourings are advertisements in their own, artistic and in their touristic right. None other would I have followed. By Rainer Metzger Fondation Beyeler 4125 Riehen /Basel, Baselstrasse 101 Tel:+41 (0)61 645 97 00 Tel:+41 (0)61 645 97 19 Email: foundation@beyeler.com http://www.beyeler.com Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.,

Fondation Beyeler
4125 Riehen / Basel, Baselstrasse 101
Tel: +41 - (0)61 - 645 97 00, Fax: +41 - (0)61 - 645 97 19
Email: fondation@beyeler.com
Öffnungszeiten: Mo-So 10-18, Mi 10-200 h

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