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An eventful year draws to a close

2016 draws to a close and bromer kunst looks back on an eventful year, which culminated in the opening of the most extensive retrospective exhibition so far that has ever been dedicated to the Swiss artist Rudolf Häsler, as well as the premiere of the documentary film «Coca-Castro».

Rudolf Häsler, Bar in Haarlem. New York, 1987, Acrylic on wood, 68 x 102 cm

The exhibition at bromer kunst, which lasts until 19th March 2017, highlights Häsler’s cosmopolitan, eventful life and his artistic output as a photographer, drawer, designer and as one of the first photorealistic painters. We want to point out at two artworks displayed in the exhibitions:

Bar in Haarlem (Rudolf Häsler, Bar in Haarlem. New York, 1987, Acryl on wood, 68 x 102 cm) originated in one of Häsler’s urban wanderings through the American metropolis. The dense, photorealistic artworks represent a vibrant world, ruled by consumerism, in which placards and billboards advertise for all kind of products. 

The dominating red color in Häsler’s acrylic painting Bar in Haarlem is particularly striking: The brick wall, the varnished entrance door and the porch roof are all painted with the exact same reddish nuance. Nevertheless, Häsler is able to capture the different materialities and their characteristic properties by purposefully applying fine shades and lights. The way he skillfully handles light reveals itself by observing the neon writings and the subtle reflections on the glass pane. 

The first overseas destination led Rudolf Häsler into the Caribbean, to Cuba. There, he started to experiment in his painting with manners of realistic representation. The oil canvas Cuban Fisher ("Kubanischer Fischer" 1958 - 1969, oil on canvas, 135 x 90 cm) illustrates Häsler’s approach to artistically interpret the tropical impressions into colorful canvases. The bird’s eye view gives the painting the dynamic of a snapshot - the fishing boat seems to glide away in the transparent sea.  


Rudolf Häsler,"Kubanischer Fischer", 1958 - 1969, oil on canvas, 135 x 90 cm

Häsler spent 12 years of his lifetime in Cuba, where he celebrated several Christmas Eves with his Cuban wife and his children. Inevitably, Cuba already by then used traditional American Christmas symbols; the green Christmas tree is deliberately imported to Cuba for the tranquil Christmas celebration. After all, ‚tranquil’ does not seem to be an adequate expression to describe the Christmassy atmosphere on the Caribbean island.

The Cuban Christmas songs CD-Cover

The Cuban Christmas songs CD-Cover epitomizes the ambience on the occasion of the feast; drums are pounding, maracas rattling and trumps sounding – the Cubanos love celebrating, hence, they would never let slip the opportunity to shake a leg, not even on Christmas Eve. 

With this in mind, bromer kunst wishes a “tranquil Christmas Eve” and a happy New Year!

About artist
Rudolf Häsler
Interlaken, 1927 — 1999

Rudolf Häsler (29.7.1927, Interlaken - 18.1.1999, Sant Cugat del Vallès) has worked as a primary school teacher in Interlaken since 1947. At the same time, however, he took painting lessons and travelled throughout Europe. In 1952 he gave up teaching and devoted himself completely to art. Trips to the Sahara, Seville, Granada, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Andalusia followed. In 1956 he met María Dolores Soler in Granada. In 1957 he travels with her to Cuba to her hometown Santiago de Cuba and marries her there. Fascinated by the country, Häsler decided to stay in Cuba and started a family there.
In Cuba, Häsler experienced the climax of the Cuban Revolution, and he himself was enthusiastic about the atmosphere of change. He wanted to play an active role in this social change and joined a group of artists who were particularly dedicated to art on buildings. He also developed a concept for the establishment of a nationwide ceramics industry, which was approved by the government. Häsler was promoted to managing advisor in the newly founded National Institute of Decorative Arts and was made director in 1960. He is the second highest foreign deputy in the Cuban state after the Argentinean revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the then Minister of Industry.