Karma International, the Swiss gallery with an outpost in Los Angeles, will move its Zurich location, currently across the Limmat River from the city’s Kunsthalle, to Kreis 3, a gentrifying neighborhood that is currently home to many artists. The inaugural exhibition for the space will be a career survey of Meret Oppenheim and will open on December 13.
The upcoming show is the gallery’s first of work by Oppenheim, who is perhaps best known in the United States for her 1936 sculpture Object, a fur-lined cup, saucer, and spoon that’s considered by many a hallmark of Surrealism and currently resides in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
“She’s one of the most important female Swiss artists in history,” Marina Olsen, Karma’s co-director, told ARTnews. “She’s a pioneer in many ways, especially for the younger generation of artists, particularly the artists in our program.”
The exhibition will focus primarily on the Swiss artist’s drawings, tracing her career from her days among the Parisian avant-garde in the 1930s until her late work in the 1980s when she had returned to Switzerland, living in Carona, now a part of Lugano.
“Most of her spirit is most directly captured in her works on paper,” Olsen said. “In this medium, she could talk about her obscureness, her Surrealist feelings. It was performative in away, she inscribed her whole self in them.”
The new location will be about the same size as the previous space, but with soaring 16-foot ceilings, a rarity in Zurich, Olsen said. The space has been retrofitted by the architecture firm Caruso St John Architects, which has offices in London and Zurich, and has designed several museums and galleries, including Tate Britain, Newport Street Gallery, and several branches of Gagosian.
Olsen said that one of the reasons for moving the gallery’s physical location was to “change energies . . . to get new inspiration, for ourselves and for the artists.” Future shows for the exhibition include solo outings for David Hominal, Simone Fattal, Pamela Rosenkranz, and L.A.-based artist Alex Becerra, who was included in a 2017 group show, “Hot Mess,” at Karma’s L.A. location.