Hans Josephsohn



Curated by Ulrich Meinherz and Lukas Furrer

The exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Kesselhaus Josephsohn in St Gallen, pays tribute to Hans Josephsohn, one of the foremost sculptors of the second half of the 20th century, to mark the centenary of his birth. It focuses on a series of brass sculptures created between 1950 and 2006, without claiming to offer a retrospective of the sculptor’s career. The works presented at MASI exemplify the central role played by the human figure in Josephsohn’s art, and document all the configurations that the artist himself used to classify his work: standing, seated and reclining figures, half-figures and reliefs. Josephsohn used live models, mainly female, sourced amongst his friends and relatives, as the starting point for his sculptures, although he renounced a realistic approach, preferring instead spontaneity and liveliness, emphasizing anatomical features, and aggregating several viewpoints that make it difficult to ascertain the front view of the sculpture. The exhibition scenography, designed by the Kesselhaus Josephsohn in St Gallen, has an intentionally temporary, unfinished look, which complements the characteristic spontaneity of Josephsohn’s work.

The Museum zu Allerheiligen presents the «Hans Josephsohn – Schauen ist das Wichtigste» exhibition until 15 November, 2020

  • LAC venue

  • Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano


As Josephsohn’s Jewish heritage prevented him from studying art, in 1938, he enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence on a scholarship. Shortly afterwards, Italy’s racial laws forced him to flee to Switzerland, where he continued his studies and began his career as a sculptor. His works were displayed in solo exhibitions in Switzerland from the mid-1950s onwards, but it was not until the late 1990s that he received widespread acclaim from the international public and art critics. Josephsohn’s works are on permanent display at the Museo La Congiunta in Giornico, inaugurated in 1992, and at the Kesselhaus Josephsohn in St Gallen, inaugurated in 2003.