Phoenix Park on a Sunday, Dublin, 1966 © Evelyn Hofer Estate

Evelyn Hofer

29 February to 24 May 2020

Expeditions through American cities, social studies in a Welsh village, visits to artists’ studios or a series of portraits from the Val Bregaglia – Evelyn Hofer has created a photographic kaleidoscope that spans almost half a century. The work of the German-American photographer, who cultivated a close relationship with Switzerland, is multi-faceted and colourful. She already started photographing in colour in the 1950s, deliberately using it as a creative technique that was far ahead of her time. With her large-format camera, she focused on the essential and often crafted painterly photographs whose timelessness and stillness make them ripe for rediscovery today.
The exhibition at the Fotostiftung Schweiz brings together Evelyn Hofer’s diverse works for a comprehensive retrospective. The city portraits in book form, essayistic photo spreads for magazines and her independent works are shown side by side. This panoply of images in fine shades of grey and strong colours touches us with the warmth with which Evelyn Hofer has frozen moments for all eternity. She always encounters her subjects – be they an urban landscape, an interior, a farmer from Soglio or Andy Warhol – with the same curiosity and openness.

In collaboration with Galerie m, Bochum, and the Evelyn Hofer Estate, Munich.


Landsgemeinde, Hundwil, 1949 © Andrea Frank Foundation;
courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

Robert Frank

6 June to 11 October 2020

The recently deceased Robert Frank is widely regarded as one of the most important photographers of our time. His book The Americans, first published in Paris in 1958 and then in New York the following year, is quite possibly the most influential photo book of the 20th century. As a kind of photographic road movie, it sketches a gloomy social portrait that served as a wake-up call to all of America at the time. And his personal style, alternating between documentary and subjective expression, radically changed post-war photography. But The Americans wasn’t merely a spontaneous stroke of genius. Frank’s early works already feature back stories and side plots that are closely connected to the themes and images of his legendary book. The Fotostiftung Schweiz holds a collection of lesser-known works – many of which were donated by the artist – which illustrate the consolidation of Frank’s subjective style. In addition to essays from Switzerland and Europe, it also includes works from early 1950s America that are on par with the well-known classics, but remained unpublished for editorial reasons. At the heart of the exhibition Robert Frank – Memories is the narrative force of Frank’s visual language, which developed in opposition to all conventions and only received international recognition when Frank had already abandoned photography and turned to the medium of film.

The exhibition is accompanied by a presentation of the books that publisher Gerhard Steidl produced with Robert Frank over a period of more than 15 years.

From the series «La dame au crâne rasé», 1978 © MANON / Pro Litteris

She Was Once La dame au crâne rasé

19 October 2019
to 16 February 2020

In the mid-1970s, a young artist gave herself the programmatic name “Manon”. She stirred up the Zurich art scene with her appearances as a femme fatale, provocative performances and installations, exhibited men in a shop window or presented her bedroom, overflowing with lascivious decor, as a salmon-coloured boudoir (Das Lachsfarbene Boudoir) in a gallery.
Manon is a screenwriter, set designer, director and actress, but also a photographer. Using the camera as a tool, she still works on self-portraits and still lifes to this day. She constructs her pictures with compositional sensitivity, plays with subtle references to art history and pop culture and simultaneously expresses existential desires and fears. Manon’s photographic œuvre is a showcase of beauty and transience, most prominently represented by La dame au crâne rasé, the legendary series created in 1977/78. The heroine of this dreamlike photo-novel, who is androgynous and sexy, vulnerable and yet detachedly cool with her shaved head, notably resurfaces in her later long-term project Hotel Dolores.
On the occasion of Manon’s eightieth birthday, the Fotostiftung presents the Manon classics alongside lesser-known works by the artist, juxtaposes the early series with the photographic tableaux of recent years, and thus pays tribute to a life’s work that enjoys international acclaim.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication published by Edizioni Periferia.