As the year of the referendum on the Kunsthaus extension gets under way, the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft reports more than 350,000 admissions to the end of 2011 and a membership of more than 21,000. Highlights of the 2012 programme include Winter Tales Deftig Barock and Gauguin.
The 2011 programme brought the Kunsthaus Zürich
its second-highest number of visitors in a decade, with more than 350,000 admissions (2010: 419,000, 2009: 227,000). Membership of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft stands at an all-time high of 21,650 (compared with 19,631 the previous year). Major contributors to the good result included the last weeks of the Picasso exhibition (83,000 visitors) and the presentations Franz Gertsch and Miró, Monet, Matisse. The Nahmad Collection, with 67,000 and 87,000 admissions respectively.
OPERATING LOSS. CAUTIOUS OUTLOOK
The Kunstgesellschaft made substantial progress in securing funding for the Kunsthaus extension during the year. Benefactors and sponsors have now pledged CHF 50 million. The Kunsthaus was, however, unsuccessful in its aim of balancing its budget. Costs related to the extension (project management, fundraising) and the need to store the Beuys donation externally due to lack of space depressed the 2011 results. The provisional accounts show a deficit of approximately CHF 313,000. On the most optimistic scenario, the Kunsthaus expects to balance its budget in 2012.
POPULAR AND CHALLENGING TOPICS
In view of the upcoming referendum on the extension, the Kunsthaus will not be staging a major, crowd-pulling exhibition in autumn, with the associated admissions and proceeds. Instead, there will be a spectacular presentation in the large exhibition gallery featuring masterpieces from the collection as well as architectural models a foretaste of what visitors can expect to see in the new Kunsthaus from 2017.
Restoration of a number of sculptures by Aristide Maillol is nearing completion, and they will be shown for the first time as a group as of 17 April 2012, together with sculptures by Auguste Rodin. In March, work will begin on the restoration of the important painting by Ferdinand Hodler entitled The Truth (First Version) from 1902. A presentation of the restored piece, together with the second version and preliminary sketches, is planned for the start of 2013.
The members of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft have voted in the annual Picture Ballot. The winner, by a large majority, was the photographic work Christmas (1993) by Roman Signer. The display opens on 2 November 2012.
Among the new acquisitions in the collection are some that will be exhibited in 2012: the vibrantly coloured expressionist Self-Portrait (1927) by Max Haufler, Albert Müllers Torso of a Black Girl (1925) and Oscar Tuazons monumental 2011 sculpture in wood and steel entitled Dead Ahead. In keeping with tradition, the Kunsthaus has also purchased some of the items exhibited during the year, including Roman Ondáks installation Enter the Orbit (2011) and «Silvia III» (2004) by Franz Gertsch.