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Galerie ART CRU Berlin

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until May 11, 2019

Galerie ART CRU Berlin and Kunstmuseum Thurgau are exhibiting 30 works by Hans Krüsi in "Hans Krüsi – From Orphan to Genius", with some works on public display for the first time.

Galerie Art Cru Berlin
Oranienburger Str. 27, 10117 Berlin, Germany

From Galerie Art CRU Berlin Press Release:

Gallerie ART CRU Berlin and Kunstmuseum Thurgau are exhibiting around 30 works by Hans Krüsi (1920-1995). They have been selected to provide a comprehensive overview of his rich output, revolving around the topic of self-discovery and self- representation. In addition to non-salable main works, several selected pieces will be put on public display for the first time.

Hans Krüsi grew up as an orphan in the canton of Appenzell, always on the margins of society. As a young man, the autodidact wanted to be a gardener and for years sold self- bound bouquets on Zurich’s Bahnhofstraße before expanding his “product range” with hisfirst works of art such as postcards, photographs and small-format drawings. The compositions – initially created on napkins, cardboard and wrapping paper – depict landscapes, animals and humans, often arranged in silhouette-like symmetry or serial repetition. First artists, then gallery owners, and finally the press became aware of the eccentric outsider artist, who suddenly found himself in the spotlight. The experimental artist was soon able to make a living from his multimedia works. He created handheld cinemas, photographed his surroundings with a Polaroid camera and reproduced his images using a photocopier, only to paint over them again. Within photography, the artist was especially interested in flaws and imperfections: photos were often over- or underexposed, blurred, distorted or cut off. He continued to modify them, carving or cutting them. His motifs were deeply influenced by the Appenzell Alpine landscape. He drew or painted ghost-like figures on basically everything he felt like. Notably, he made the streets of Zurich and St. Gallen his stage, playing the role of an unconventional salesman.

Krüsi had little outside contact, hardly any family ties and became increasingly distanced from society and its norms. Throughout his life he remained in a fragile condition due to a history of tuberculosis. A congenitally weak state of health, problematic living conditions and a poor diet led to several stays in hospitals and nursing homes. During the final years of his life, his symptoms intensified. In September 1995, the artist died in his home due to pulmonary emphysema.