The Fondation Beyeler

The Fondation Beyeler was officially inaugurated in Riehen on the outskirts of Basel on 18 October 1997, providing Hildy and Ernst Beyeler’s remarkable art collection with a publicly accessible home.
The new museum was built by the Genovese architect Renzo Piano, whose work includes the Centre Pompidou in Paris, over a period of around three years. An extension to the museum was officially inaugurated in September 2000.
The building of the museum was financed by a non-profit-making foundation set up by Hildy and Ernst Beyeler in 1982, which also supports the Fondation Beyeler financially. The Riehen authorities provided the site free of charge and the Canton of Basel-Stadt annually contributes CHF 2.78 million towards the museum’s operating expenses (including a contribution from Riehen).
With his tranquil, restrained building, Renzo Piano has created a museum intended “to serve art, and not the other way round.” Clad with red porphyry, it consists of four monumental parallel walls, a glass façade at either end or a winter garden on the west side that looks out over the surrounding countryside. The glass roof suspended over the structure illuminates the whole building with the natural light so desirable for exhibiting works of art. All technical or design details that might distract visitors have been deliberately eliminated from the twenty-two exhibition rooms.
Consisting of around 230 paintings and sculptures by modern masters, the Beyeler Collection was accumulated by Hildy and Ernst Beyeler during more than fifty years as successful gallery owners.
The collection’s scope and reputation is constantly being enhanced by the acquisition of major works by artists such as Cézanne, van Gogh and Warhol. In some rooms, selected examples of tribal art from Africa, Alaska and Oceania are displayed side by side with European and American works,
creating exciting encounters to be found in virtually no other museum in the world.
Through temporary exhibitions the Fondation Beyeler repeatedly creates links between the permanent collection and contemporary art. Three special exhibitions closely associated with the permanent collection’s contents and characters are held every year.
The following exhibitions have been held at the Fondation Beyeler since its inauguration: “Jasper Johns. Loans from the Artist,” “Renzo Piano. Building Workshop,” “Colours–Sounds. Vasily Kandinsky and Arnold Schönberg,” “Roy Lichtenstein,” “The Magic of Trees” with “Wrapped Trees” by Christo &
Jeanne-Claude, “Face to Face to Cyberspace,” “Cézanne and Modernism,” “Colour to Light,” “Andy Warhol. Series and singles,” “Mark Rothko,” “Ornament and Abstraction,” “Anselm Kiefer. The Seven Heavenly Palaces 1973–2001,” “Claude Monet ... up to digital Impressionism”, “Ellsworth Kelly. Works 1956–2002”, “EXPRESSIVE!”, “Paul Klee. Fulfillment in the Late Work”, “Mondrian + Malevich at the Center of the Collection”, “Francis Bacon and the Tradition of Art”, “Calder – Miró”, “ArchiSculpture”, “Flower Myth. Vincent van Gogh to Jeff Koons”, “The Surrealist Picasso”, “René Magritte. The Key to Dreams”, “Contemporary Voices: Fondation Beyeler hosts The UBS Art Collection”, “Wolfgang Laib. The Ephemeral is Eternal”, “Henri Matisse. Figure Color Space” and, most recently “EROS. Rodin and Picasso” and "EROS in Modern Art”, “Edvard Munch. Signs of Modern Art”, “The Other Collection. Homage to Hildy und Ernst Beyeler“, „Forests of the World. The Other Engagement”, “Action Painting”, “Fernand Léger. Paris – New York“, „Venice“, „Visual Encounters – Africa, Oceania and Modern Art“, “Giacometti”, “Jenny Holzer”, “Henri Rousseau”, “Basquiat”, “VIENNA 1900. Klimt, Schiele and their Times”, “Beatriz Milhazes”, “Segantini”, “Constantin Brancusi and Richard Serra”, “Louise Bourgeois”“Surrealism in Paris – Dalí, Magritte, Miró”, “Pierre Bonnard”, “Jeff Koons”, “Philippe Parreno”, “Edgar Degas” and “Ferdinand Hodler”. All these exhibitions have received considerable international acclaim. Upcoming exhibition in 2013 are: “Max Ernst”, “Maurizio Cattelan” and “Thomas Schütte”.

The Fondation Beyeler owes its unique attractiveness to its combination of a superb modern art collection and a fascinating architectural and natural setting, as well as to temporary exhibitions on the highest international level that offer visitors new insights not only into 20th-century art but also into the
latest developments in contemporary art.