Archive: Adolf Wölfli. Universum.!

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To mark the 150th birthday of the Swiss universal artist Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930), the retrospective at the museum gugging shows how Wölfli created the past and future anew: as a cosmos on paper, as a visionary reflection of the self and as a magnificently distorted world.
From 1908 to 1930 Adolf Wölfli expanded his dramatic life story, compiled for the first time in 1895, to an endless reinvention of the self. Using poetry and prose, music and compositions, digits and drawings, he developed his absolute vision of the world, the “Saint Adolf-Giant-Creation”, a work which the French Surrealist André Breton described as one of the three or four most important works of the 20th century. Wölfli‘s creative work is extensively presented at the museum gugging, in the form of drawings, texts, film and sound.

Complementary to the exhibition adolf wölfli. universum.! the body of work known as his “Bread Art” or Brotkunst is on display in the Novomatic Salon of the museum gugging: single sheet drawings, which Wölfli gave as presents or sold to a growing circle of interested doctors, male nurses and visitors, or gave in exchange for drawing tools, from 1912 onwards. These works already found an audience early on, and were extremely important for the reception of Adolf Wölfli‘s creative work – including amongst his fellow-artists, from Jean Dubuffet to Arnulf Rainer.

On loan from: Adolf Wölfli Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts Bern
Curators: Daniel Baumann, Adolf Wölfli Foundation and Johann Feilacher, Director museum gugging

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