This summer and until the end of November, the Fondation Pierre Gianadda, based in Mrtigny, Switzerland, exhibits one of the most important private European collections, which belongs to Werner and Gabrielle Merzbacher. In 1998 for the fifty years anniversary of Israel the couple accepted to show their outstanding collection. Later it has been displayed in Japan in 2001, in London in 2002, in Zurich in 2006 and at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in 2010. The Pierre Gianadda Foundation is the first private foundation to welcome the Merzbacher collection.
More than one hundred art pieces from about fifty artists among the most important fauvists, expressionists and abstracts of the late 19th and 20th century.
Werner Merzbacher’s childhood was far from being bathed in color Sent by his parents in Switzerland to escape the Nazis, the young German boy survived Second World War while his parents perished in Auschwitz. In 1949 he leaves Zurich for the United States where he meets his future wife Gabrielle who is originally from Switzerland. Gabrielle’s parents had already started their own art collection around Picasso, Van Gogh, and Matisse. It would be the first step toward an exceptional collector's life for Werner and Gabrielle.
Together they will visit the art galleries in New York City and it mark the beginning of a passionate journey spent collecting pieces that all had a common point: color. As if they knew that only color was the answer to the horrors of war, hate and persecution.
In 1964, the couple and their children will move back to Switzerland from where they will pursue their worldwide search for the artwork that has the power to move them. All pieces are marked by an exceptional colorful palette.
The exhibit is under the direction of Jean-Louis Prat. The catalogue reproduces in color all the art pieces displayed during the exhibit.
Fondation Pierre Gianadda Martigny, Switzerland Until November 25, 2012
Posted by Evelyne Holingue for the Gene Oliver Gallery