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Emma KunzCosmos


Chantal Pattyn’s selection for her storefront.

I was still studying art history when the exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre took place in Paris. It was the year of the fall of the wall, 1989. This exhibition made clear how our Western view of things was no longer valid. What was true for other population groups was also true for women. All kinds of oeuvres were rediscovered in no time. Often posthumously. One of the many women who received artistic rehabilitation half a century after her death is Emma Kunz (1892 – 1963). I got to know her work at the 2013 Venice Biennale of Massimiliano Gioni, who had focused on Carl Jung’s “The Red Book”. I don’t know if Kunz, who was a healer, read Jung. But she was equally interested in what happens when the rational and conscious is turned off. She was self-taught, had special gifts and let the pendulum determine the arrangement of her sublime spiritual drawings. She made hundreds of works like this. Without title or date. In this catalog from the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Switzerland, you will discover how her legacy also inspires contemporary artists such as Goshka Macuga (to be discovered in Nieuwpoort @Beaufort 2021).
Chantal Pattyn

“Emma Kunz (1892–1963) was a Swiss healer and artist. Born to a family of weavers, her abilities of telepathy, prophecy, and as a healer became evident early in life and she began to exercise her divining pendulum as a young adult. Although never formally trained in art, in 1938 she also began to produce large-scale, delicate geometric drawings using her divining pendulum. With her work based on the questions she encountered and the visions she had, Kunz proved to be an accomplished and even visionary artist.

Fascination with Kunz’s art has never been greater than it is today. Living a secluded life, far from any art scene, the works she created eighty years ago exemplify what we now take for granted: an expanded concept of creativity that rejects the question of art versus non-art and incorporates a wide range of topics: research, medicine, nature, as well as supernatural, magical, animistic, and visionary elements.

Published to coincide with a major exhibition at Aargauer Kunsthaus in Switzerland, where the first-ever public display of Emma Kunz’s drawings was staged in 1973, this book sets her drawings and activities as a healer in dialogue with the work and positions of contemporary artists such as Agnieszka Brzez˙an´ska, Joachim Koester, Goshka Macuga, Shana Moulton, Rivane Neuenschwander, and Mai-Thu Perret. Alongside some 120 illustrations, mostly in color, the book features essays on spirituality and esotericism in contemporary art as well as interviews with the artists mentioned. An innovative exhibition tour via 3-D laser scan technology completes the book.” Scheidegger & Spiess

  • Scheidegger & Spiess
  • Languages English German
  • Release2021
  • Pages208
  • Format32.5 x 24.5 cm
  • ISBN9783858816825

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