ZURICH.-Last year, the Fotomuseum Winterthur acquired the high-calibre American "Jedermann Collection", which comprises 177 works by 62 artists with a total of 340 photographs. The list of artists reads like a "Who's Who" of contemporary art and photography. The main part of the collection is focused on the conceptual photography of the 1960s and 70s, with works by Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Gordon Matta-Clark, Sigmar Polke, Sol LeWitt and many others. A second part comprises the media-reflecting, post-modern photography of the 1980s with works by Barbara Bloom, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and many others.
This exhibition, "Jedermann Collection – Set 5 from the Fotomuseum Winterthur Collection" documents important 20th century artistic positions, whose roots may also be found in the work of Eugène Atget but which have nevertheless had a strong influence on today's generation.
Many of the works of art are of recent origin and were acquired by galleries and art museums for first-time presentations. At the beginning, the emphasis fell on the conceptual principles of land and concept art with names like Hamish Fulton, Richard Long, Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson, and later on some of the important trends and developments such as post-modern photography right up to the topical art with photography were represented. The focus is on the early 1980s when a young generation of visual artists took the floor and explored the effects of the mass media such as the cinema, magazines, advertising etc. on our society and fundamentally altered the self-evidence of artistic photography. Representatives of the so-called "pictures generation" such as Sarah Charlesworth, Annette Lemieux and Sherrie Levine were medial iconoclasts who are represented in the exhibition by icon-like groups of pictures.
In addition to American positions, many international artists are represented: Joseph Beuys, Victor Burgin, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Gilbert & George, Anselm Kiefer, Arnulf Rainer and Sigmar Polke. The collector expressed his esteem as follows: "Europeans like to think, I appreciate that very much!" It seems certain that this discourse-inclined approach is why this important collection of photographic work was offered to the Fotomuseum Winterthur and finally found its home in Europe.
The purchase of the "Jedermann Collection" was made possible by substantial contributions by the following foundations, firms and private persons: Artephila Foundation, Volkart Foundation, Georg and Bertha Schwyzer-Winiker Foundation, Hulda and Gustav Zumsteg Foundation, Baugarten Foundation, Hans Barlach/Claus Grossner, Maja Hoffmann (Luma Foundation), Thomas Koerfer and Ringier AG.