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Swiss Federal Design Grants 2008
November 7, 2008 – February 1, 2009

The Federal Office of Culture and the Museum Bellerive, an establishment of the Museum of Design Zürich, are happy to present the winners of the 2008 Swiss Federal Design Competition, to which 210 designers submitted their entries. In the final round, the Federal Design Committee presided by Lorette Coen awarded grants to nineteen works/projects by twenty-two designers. The winners may now choose either the prize money of CHF 20,000, or an internship, or a stay at a studio abroad. The prize-winning pieces are exhibited at the Museum Bellerive in Zürich, and presented in an illustrated catalogue. With these grants the FOC intends to promote young creative designers from all over Switzerland. As in past years, contributions from the field of graphic design have been particularly striking, with seven grants going to an impressive range of graphic designers – from experienced creators of book designs commissioned by large cultural institutions or publishers, to experimentators in the context of a graduation project. Four grants have been awarded to the makers of industrial, product and furniture designs ranging from a prototype to the polished serial production that has already found a market. Two grants each are being awarded in the fields of photography and jewellery; and, finally, three fashion designers and one scenographer are also receiving grants.


Hermann Obrist – sculpture space abstraction around 1900
March 6– June 7, 2009

Sculptor Hermann Obrist (1862-1927) was born in Kilchberg near Zürich. His oeuvre constitutes one of the most important contributions to art around 1900. From his studio in Munich, he pioneered Jugendstil, the German version of the Art Nouveau movement that aimed to combine the sophisticated craftsmanship of applied arts with fine-arts aesthetic demands. Museum Bellerive and Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München have been the custodians of Obrist's estate. The two institutions now join forces to celebrate the significance of his oeuvre, presenting it to an international audience for the first time. Obrist's work is still chiefly associated with the arts and crafts movement of the turn from the 19th to the 20th centuries. To redress this imbalance, all aspects of the oeuvre are presented, highlighting both the artist's explicitly modern role and his mastery of the media of his day that enabled him to create such accomplished works.

Porcelain – White Gold
July 10 – October 25, 2009

In the 13th century, so-called “china” reached Europe and was in many respects considered such a treasure that it was called “white gold”. In Baroque times, it was a coveted luxury good and adorned many a cabinet of European royalty. Until then it had been imported in large quantities from China, but by then people here made every effort to establish their own manufacture and production. At the beginning of the 18th century, they finally achieved a breakthrough and porcelain was, for the first time, also produced in Europe, or more precisely, in Meissen, whose porcelain factory will celebrate its 300 Year Jubilee in 2010. Porcelain is a luxury good that, to this very day, people spend quite a lot on. Tableware as well as representative and unique works were popular gifts among the aristocracy and this very fact changed culinary and dining habits. Large factories such as Meissen, Nymphenburg, Hutschenreuther, or the world-famous Hungarian Herend Manufactory had their heydays in the 19th century. While porcelain was once reserved to aristocratic circles and demonstratively elaborate and artistic in its design, its use and renown completely changed with the onset of industrialization: porcelain had reached middle-class sitting rooms. Once the precious luxury goods at royal courts, it now turned into mass goods. It is fascinating to see what possibilities this material offers.

Silhouettes – Pure contour
November 27, 2009 – April 4, 2010

Museum Bellerive dedicates its third exhibition2009 to a very old handcraft: the cutting of silhouettes. Today, there is renewed interest in the techniques of silhouette cutting in international contemporary art: as an extended form of the term of drawing, it is defined within a contempo¬rary context, with external materials being added and reservations against new production methods reduced. Paper as such liberates itself and expands into the spatial and sculptural – updates that refresh and expand the horizon of the medium. For a museum such as Museum Bellerive, which explicitly dedicates its efforts to the interfaces between the arts and the crafts, there are good reasons to study and research such movements. In this context, the request to hold the 7th Swiss Silhouette Exhibition by the Swiss Association of the Friends of Silhouettes at Museum Bellerive was highly welcome. The contributions resulting from this 7th competition, each judged by a temporary jury, and selected contemporary works from Switzerland, Germany, France, and the U.S. shall be stage-set as a fascinating dialogue focusing on the central role of the contrast between black and white. The goal of this exhibition is to look at the current creative work between traditional silhouettes and artistic positions in various paper-cut techniques from points of view that are as different as possible.


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