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Cuno Amiet

Solothurn, CH, 1886 — 1961

Cuno Amiet (28.3.1868, Solothurn - 6.7.1961, Oschwand) painted his first self-portrait at the age of 15. In 1884 he met the painter Frank Buchser, who became his teacher for the following two years. In the autumn of 1886, Amiet went to Munich and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1887 he met Giovanni Giacometti, who became his lifelong friend. The following year they travelled to Paris together and Amiet began his studies at the Académie Julian. From 1892, however, Amiet became increasingly dissatisfied with the academy classes and went to Pont-Aven, where he discovered Gauguin and van Gogh and laid the foundations for his colourism.
In 1894 he exhibited at the Kunsthalle Basel, but his use of pure colours was largely rejected by the art critics. In 1898 he was commissioned to make a portrait of Ferdinand Hodler, whereby an intense contact between these artists was created and Amiet began to be interested in Art Nouveau.
In 1905 Amiet had an exhibition at the Galerie Richter in Dresden, where the Brücke artists became aware of him. In 1906, Erich Heckel invited Amiet to become a member, and in the same year he took part in the first Brücke exhibition in Dresden.
In 1914 Amiet received a solo exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zurich with a display of 124 works. In 1919 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bern. Today Cuno Amiet counts as one of the most important pioneers of classical modernism in Switzerland.


Exhibitions (Selection)

2018 Cuno Amiet. Retrospektive zum 150. Geburtstag. Meisterwerke aus acht Jahrzehnten, Bromer Kunst, Roggwil.
2011/2012 Ferdinand Hodler und Cuno Amiet. Eine Künstlerfreundschaft zwischen Jugendstil und Moderne, Kunstmuseum Solothurn; Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg.
2011/2012 Amiet. «Freude meines Lebens». Sammlung Eduard Gerber. Kunstmuseum Bern.
1959 From Hodler to Klee: Swiss Art of the Twentieth Century. Tate Gallery, London.

Literature (Selection)

Cuno Amiet. Retrospektive zum 150. Geburtstag, exhib. cat. Bromer Kunst, Roggwil, 2018.
Cuno Amiet. Die Gemälde 1883–1919, Schweizerisches Institut für Kunstwissenschaft, Oeuvrekataloge Schweizer Künstler und Künstlerinnen 28, Zurich 2014.
Cuno Amiet. Von Pont-Aven zur «Brücke», exhib. cat. Kunstmuseum Bern, 1999/2000; Musée Rath, Geneva, 2000/2001, Milano 1999.