Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, at 420 S. Tryon Street, is a 35,400 square foot museum that focuses on mid-20th-century modern art.
Temporary Closure and Reopening
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art has been temporarily closed from Monday, September 27th to Sunday, October 10th, 2021, due to construction and noise levels during the exhibition breakdown of Twentieth Century Women and gallery preparations to install Isaac “Julien: Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement.”
The museum will reopen on Monday, October 11th, 2021, with FREE admission until Friday, October 29th, due to the fourth-floor gallery closure. Be sure to save the date for the Saturday, October 30, U.S. museum premier of “Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement.”
Please note that the Bechtler Museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Exhibits at The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
The Bechtler Collection
Location: Second Floor Gallery
Time Period: On view September 3, 2021
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is the only museum in the Southern United States dedicated to European and American Modern Art and its legacies. Capturing a remarkable era of art history from the collection of the Zürich-based Bechtler family, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art collection includes works by some of the most important and influential figures of modernism. Featuring 28 key works of art from the Bechtler collection, this intimate exhibition highlights works by Alexander Calder, Le Corbusier, Edgar Degas, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Hans Hartung, Barbara Hepworth, Jasper Johns, Paul Klee, Fernand Legér, Alfred Manessier, Joan Miró, Kenneth Noland, Pablo Picasso, Bridget Riley, Niki de Saint Phalle, Gustave Singier, Nicolas de Staël, and Andy Warhol.
Made in Switzerland
Location: Third-Floor Gallery
Time Period: Currently on view
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art was founded by Andreas Bechtler, a Swiss-born entrepreneur, artist, musician, and art collector. With singular vision and taste, Andreas’ parents, Hans and Bessie Bechtler of Zürich, Switzerland developed a cutting- edge collection of modern art capturing a remarkable era in art history from the perspective of a family living in the center of Europe. After inheriting a portion of his parents’ collection, Andreas Bechtler made plans for a museum that would honor both the art and the way in which it was collected over a period of 50 years.
Switzerland is a country situated as the intersection of Western, Central, and Southern Europe. Bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east, Switzerland measures just under 16,000 square miles, roughly the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Comprised of four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian, and Romansh, Swiss culture is characterized by the diversity created by the confluence and combination of the four different languages and cultures.
This exhibition highlights a selection of works in the Bechtler’s collection by artists of Swiss nationality whose practices exemplify the Swiss traditions and culture of freedom, openness, diversity, and intellectual innovation.
Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi — A Marvellous Entanglement
Location: Fourth-Floor Gallery
Time Period: October 30, 2021 – February 27, 2022
Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi — A Marvellous Entanglement is an exciting tribute to the legendary Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi by the British artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien. In this nine-screen film installation, Julien examines Bo Bardi’s life and work through dramatic enactments of her words and ideas performed amid her most prized buildings.
Filmed in several locations in Brazil, including the São Paulo Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in Bahia, and the Teatro Gregório de Matos in Salvador, the work acts as an open-ended reflection on the architect’s Brazilian projects from the 1960s to the 1980s. Bo Bardi’s life story is interpreted by Brazilian actresses Fernanda Montenegro and Fernanda Torres, mother and daughter in real life, who portray the mature and the younger version of the Bo Bardi.
Isaac Julien, CBE RA (b. 1960) rose to fame in the art world in the late 1980s with his cinematic exploration of Black gay desire and the Harlem Renaissance in Looking for Langston. Over the last three decades, Julien has remained at the forefront of contemporary art by breaking down the barriers that exist between artistic disciplines and exploring themes such as history, narrative, race, Global South, and migration through the mediums of installation and filmmaking. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, among other leading contemporary museums around the world and is held in the permanent collections of museums worldwide.
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is the first U.S. museum to exhibit Lina Bo Bardi — A Marvellous Entanglement. It was previously on view in Rome, Italy, at MAXXI, the National Museum of 21st Century Arts.
Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure Without Destination
Location: Fourth-Floor Gallery
Time Period: April 2, 2022 – June 19, 2022
Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure Without Destination, presented in collaboration with Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland, is the first major retrospective dedicated to the photography of this Swiss writer, photographer, and journalist Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908–1942).
Despite her early death, she left behind an impressive body of work that is of great emotional intensity and political relevance. Consumed by wanderlust, a desire for social progress, and a sense of adventure, between 1933 and her death in 1942, she travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States, documenting in both text and image, the social and political struggles, tensions, and conflicts of the period leading up to World War II. Schwarzenbach’s photographs also convey personal themes, such as life in exile, the search for identity, homosexuality, or the desire to transgress conventional gender roles. Above all, though, they express Schwarzenbach’s unbridled passion for travel– and her search for encounters with the unknown, the “departure without destination” as an existential experience.
When her literary work was rediscovered in the 1980s, she became celebrated as a writer, female pioneer, and gay icon. It was not until recently, however, that her contributions in photography have been recognized. The focal point of this exhibition is Schwarzenbach’s estate of approximately 4,000 photographs, preserved within the Swiss Literary Archives (Schweizerisches Literaturarchiv), located in Bern. Relatively unknown to date and rarely exhibited, these photographs have recently been digitized by the Swiss Literary Archives and made available for research, exhibition, and publication. Here, for the first time, the parallels between both of her practices, as a writer and as a photographer, are presented in a compelling exhibition accompanied by archival materials and film.
Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Departure Without Destination is an exhibition produced by the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland. The presentation at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art will be adapted from the exhibition’s first iteration to include English translations, regionally specific photographs, and a series of programs specifically designed for Bechtler audiences.
Jean Tinguely: A Life in Motion
Location: Third-Floor Gallery
Time Period: Opens October 16, 2021
Jean Tinguely (1925–1991) was a Swiss sculptor best known for his mechanical sculptures, officially known as “metamatics,” that extended the Dada tradition into the later part of the twentieth century. Born in Fribourg, Switzerland, and raised in Basel, Tinguely studied art at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule (General Trade School) before moving to Paris in 1952. There, he lived and worked among a vibrant community of European artists who came together in search of radical alternatives to the dominant aesthetics of their time, specifically lyrical abstract painting. Using collage and assemblage techniques, this new generation of artists sought to dissolve the traditional boundaries between art and life. For Tinguely, this meant developing a compelling body of kinetic motorized sculptures and related works cobbled together from scraps and the detritus of urban life that barely hold together when in motion.
In addition to being one of the most important and forward-thinking European artists to emerge in the latter half of the twentieth century, Jean Tinguely was also the partner of Niki de Saint Phalle, a close friend of the Bechtler family and the artist who created the iconic Le Grand Oiseau de Feu sur l’Arche on the Bechtler Museum’s entrance plaza. On view are three major sculptures and a selection of painted and collaged illustrated letters sent to various members of the Bechtler family.
Upcoming Events in the Charlotte area -- both virtual and in-personCheck out our full events calendar, where you can enter any date, or look at the events for the next few days here:
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Monday, October 18, 2021
Tuesday, October 19, 2021