Art and Culture in the Media #8

Martina Kral

Books, exhibitions, talks and stories about paintings and artists continue to flood the market. We courageously reach into the big colourful pot and this time give 5 tips for cosy autumn days and evenings.

FEMALE ART HISTORY - Hand on heart: how many female artists can you think of? The Story of Art without Men. Great Female Artists and Their Works by Katy Hessel (*1994) contains fascinatingly written stories with a focus on female art and artists. The curator (among others Tate Modern), podcaster and journalist is a brilliant chronicler who gives a face to the forgotten and invisible. For art has been shaped and moulded by women and men.

BEFORE ALL EYES amazes from the perspective of painted female figures who reveal their biographies and identities to us in touching narratives. Once captured on canvas by famous artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt or Egon Schiele, author Martina Clavadetscher uses impressive research to give the portrayed women, who have become icons and are stared at in museums, their own history and voice back.

CRASH COURSE CULTURE - sure, nothing beats internet research... or maybe not always, because it's tiresome? What could make small talk, school and work easier now weighs exactly 1 kilo. The overview of Kilo KULTUR covers the thousands of years of human cultural history in painting, architecture, philosophy, literature and music in one book. Countries, epochs and cultural forms are clearly structured and make you want to either read specifically or browse crosswise.

HAETTENSCHWEILER? Next to Frutiger or Helvetica, this is the rather less well-known Swiss typeface. It was invented by the Zug-based painter, illustrator, graphic designer and typographer Walter Friedrich Haettenschweiler (1933-2014). Now, for the first time, the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Toni-Areal) is showing the complete works of the busy, hardly (anymore) known artist under the title “Haettenschweiler from A to Z" (until 12.2.2023). 

ILLUSION OR REAL? A different kind of art is on display at Zurich's WOW Museum, where sensory illusions are on the agenda. Where analogue is mixed with digital and immersive content, one's own perception is turned upside down, perspectives are constantly changing and appearances are deceptive, there is no right or wrong. An amazing realisation: everyone sees things differently.