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Adrian Schiess Flache Arbeiten [Flat Works]
(1993, enamel paint on aluminum-composite panels, 300 x 110 x 2 cm each)
and video works (1989-99, DVD)

Photograph: Eva-Christina Meier, 2009, Marketinggebäude


Painting in the Ricola Collection

Painting is very important to the Ricola Collection. While its character to this day is defined largely by paintings and works on paper, it possesses very few sculptures and installations. Yet a collection whose oldest works date from the early 1950s might easily look very different. The founding of this corporate art collection in 1975 fell in a decade when many artists were experimenting with intermedia art forms. The first to cast doubt on the centuries-old division of the arts into architecture, painting, sculpture, prints and drawings and the applied arts were the avant-gardes of the early twentieth century; and as Modernism progressed, so the system of distinct disciplines lost its claim to universal validity.

Traditional genres reflecting and upholding the prevailing social norms and values were replaced not by a new order but by a plurality of artistic forms of expression. The result was new art forms that defied easy categorization in either the history of painting or that of sculpture. Art theorists describe this development as the expansion of the concept of the work.

New techniques, alternative exhibition venues, a changed mission and, above all, a broader and more diverse audience are among the consequences of this. Spatial art forms, moving images and audio works are so ubiquitous these days that they have almost become synonymous with contemporary art. [...]


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