23 February–14 April 2013
Modern Art Oxford
30 Pembroke Street
Oxford OX1 1BP
“I have spent sixty years, day after day working away calmly in my studio. I have simply followed my imagination… all the crises, the human ones that occur in life, and all the possible adventures and all the paths through the woods where you don’t know how you will get out again, they have all taken place in my studio.”—Hans Josephsohn
Modern Art Oxford presents a major solo exhibition by the late Swiss sculptor Hans Josephsohn.
Josephsohn’s powerful and imposing bronze reclining nudes, ‘semi-figures’ and abstract relief panels reveal a sensitive and dedicated examination of figure, form and plane.
This extensive exhibition includes many works seen in the UK for the first time and focuses on works created in the last 25 years of his life.
Josephsohn employed plaster and lost-wax bronze casting to create a body of sculptural forms that emerge through his careful and intuitive manipulation of materials.
The weight and gravity of each sculpture softens on closer inspection to reveal subtle differences in surface texture and figurative form.
Sharing affinities with the work of modernists such as Alberto Giacometti, the sculptures are also reminiscent of Medieval friezes, ancient Egyptian art and the totemic sculpture of the Easter Island Moai figures.
Josephsohn was born in Kaliningrad, East Prussia, in 1920 and died in 2012, aged 92. Born into a Jewish family, he fled to Italy at the age of 18 to avoid persecution in Nazi Germany. He went on to study sculpture at the Academy of Art in Florence. Following the rise of Fascism in Italy in 1939, he emigrated to Zurich, where he quietly spent the rest of his life creating work.
Cecilia Treves, co-curator of the Bronze exhibition at the Royal Academy, 2012, will discuss Hans Josephsohn’s work in the context of wider sculptural practice at 6pm, 4 April at Modern Art Oxford. Booking is essential via our website: www.modernartoxford.org.uk.
The exhibition has been produced in collaboration with Kesselhaus, St.Gallen, Switzerland; the Foundation, foundry and studio complex, which for many years has been home to the production and display of Josephsohn’s work.
Hans Josephsohn at Modern Art Oxford is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation and Hauser & Wirth, London.
For further information please contact Hannah Evans, Communications Manager, T 01865813826 / hannah.evans [at] modernartoxford.org.uk.
Hans Josephsohn, Untitled, 1995–96. Semi-figure. Brass, 155 x 68 x 46 cm, Edition of 6. Installation view, Kesselhaus Josephsohn, St.Gallen. Courtesy the Josephsohn estate, Hauser & Wirth and Kesselhaus Josephsohn/Galerie Felix Lehner. Photo: Katalin Deér, Kesselhaus Josephsohn.