During our visit to Switzerland in August, my son casually asked if we would like to go to Rorschach to see an art show. “Sounds great,” I replied, imagining a smallish display of Swiss amateur to mediocre artists. The first thing that blew me away, as we pulled in to park the car, was the huge building in front of us.
The photo, although wonderful, does not do the Würth Building justice. The entire building has two layers of glass, the actual windows, and then a foot or two in front of the window, another layer of glass that tilts to reflect the light of the lake and sky.
We meandered into the foyer, mouths slightly open, and were immediately blown away by a large Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture (see image below).
As we poked around the gift shop, I discovered that…
- The exhibition was FREE!!
- The building is a corporate one, used daily for business, and is owned by Reinhald Würth, a German businessman, billionaire, and art collector
- Würth regularly exhibits art from his collection of over 15,000 pieces in his buildings all over Europe
- He took over his father’s tiny wholesale screw business when he was 19 years old and built it into the giant Adolf Würth Group
Although my excitement had certainly heightened, I was still not expecting to see what was to come. I scrambled up the stairs and strolled through the mostly deserted spacious room, only to realize I was gazing at an original Picasso and close by was a Matisse!
As I wandered through the rooms I feasted on the works of Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Jean Tinguely, Henri Moore, Max Beckmann, Andy Warhol, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde, Tony Cragg, Robert Jacobsen, Max Bill and many others. By the time I made it through all the rooms, my eyes and soul felt like I had eaten a 20 course meal.
Although we were not allowed to take pictures once inside (the one above courtesy of the Würth website), it didn’t stop me from sketching. I particularly liked the work of Niki de Saint Phalle and managed to quickly record a few lines of her sculptures. The one below was outside.