The Collection — the cornerstone of the Aargauer Kunsthaus — is growing apace, and today consists of over 20,000 pieces of Swiss art dating from the 18th century to the present day. In recent years, notable donations and loans — such as those from the Ringier Collection, the Federal Collection of Contemporary Art, the Walter A. Bechtler Foundation, or from patrons of the Aargauische Kunstsammlung — have contributed enormously to the outstanding importance of the collection in the European art scene. These additions, including many works by contemporary artists, serve as a source of fresh inspiration and form surprising associations within the portfolios.
Spread throughout the gallery space, the exhibition Before · Between · Beyond. The collection in transition describes new narrative arcs in three chapters, reflecting the past, questioning the present, and venturing a glimpse of the future. Sometimes gleefully departing from venerable principles of chronological order in the process. In conjunction with the conflict surrounding space and temporality, the title also refers to installation questions broached in many of the exhibits.
Major new arrivals confront key works of modern art dating back to the 1960s, and the effects of the juxtaposition are dramatic. The display combines photography, sculpture, painting, video, printed graphics, and drawing with large-scale installations and location-specific works that were created especially for this event. The exhibition offers remarkable glimpses into the holdings of this most extensive public collection of Swiss art and encourages lively encounters and new discoveries.