Hans Josephsohn



Hans Josephsohn at the Kesselhaus, ca. 2006, photo Katalin Deér, Kesselhaus 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, on occasion of the centenary of his birth. It focuses on a series of brass sculptures made between 1950 and 2006, without claiming to offer a retrospective of the sculptor’s career. The works presented at MASI esemplify the central role played by the human figure in Josephsohn’s art and document all the types that the artist himself used to classify his work: standing, seated and reclining figures, half-figures and reliefs. While real models (mainly female, sourced among his circle of friends and relatives) were the starting point for his sculptures, Josephsohn’s work eschews a realistic approach, favouring spontaneity and liveliness, emphasizing anatomical features and aggregating several viewpoints that make it difficult to identify the frontality of the sculpture. The exhibition layout, designed by the Kesselhaus Josephsohn in St Gallen, has an intentionally provisional, unfinished look, which complements the characteristic spontaneity of Josephsohn’s work.

Until the 15 November 2020 the Museum zu Allerheiligen presents the exhibition «Hans Josephsohn – Schauen ist das Wichtigste» www.allerheiligen.ch


  • Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano
  • Tu-We-Fr: 10 am - 5 pm
    Th: 10 am - 8 pm
    Sa-Su-Public holidays: 10 am - 6 pm
    Closed on Mondays
  • Press conference
    Friday September18 
    10.30 AM

  • Full price: 15.- CHF/Reduced price: 12.- CHF


Hans Josephsohn was born in 1920 in Königsberg, in what was then East Prussia. His Jewish heritage prevented him from training as an artist, but in 1938 he started studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence on a scholarship. Soon after, the Italian racial laws forced him to flee to Switzerland, where he continued his studies and commenced 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 his work 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, opened in 2003.