Content12 August – 23 October 2016
‘Hans Jakob Oeri – A Swiss Artist in Paris, Moscow, Zurich’ at the Kunsthaus Zürich is the first exhibition to feature this long underappreciated and forgotten artist and draughtsman. During his lifetime (1782 – 1868), Hans Jakob Oeri’s art was respected and admired not just in his home city of Zurich (he was an active member of the Zürcher Künstlergesellschaft from 1807), but also in France, Germany and Russia. His works were sought after by collectors and to this day are regarded as some of the finest and most innovative examples of Swiss art from the first half of the 19th century. In Paris in 1806 Oeri completed ‘Chloe’, his masterpiece in the French neo-classical style, based on an Idyll by Salomon Gessner. Around 1807, the year of his return to Switzerland, he painted ‘The Studio in Paris’. Despite the uneasy confinement of the space and the bitter poverty in evidence, Oeri managed to produce an evocative image of family and friendship in which the dignity of art triumphs over privation, enforced competition and rank. This important artist can be rediscovered in a catalogue accompanying the cabinet exhibition.