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 Rudolf Hurni  (1914 - 2003)

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Lived/Active: Switzerland      Known for: Painting, graphics

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Still life
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Rudolf Hurni (1914-2003)

As a young boy already, Hurni wanted to paint posters and later on trained to be a graphic artist.  Early on in his career he began to transition to painting still lives, interiors and townscapes in oil.  As a 50 year old, he was inspired through an encounter with painter Girgio Morandi and concentrated on still lives in a more and more abstract vein, showing the interplay of color and form.

Shortly before his 70th birthday, Hurni, surprisingly, switched his style to Constructivism.  His work from then on consists of geometric forms and compositions.

Rudolf Hurni was born on September 20, 1914 as the second-youngest of eleven children.  His father worked as a drawing specialist at a firm that was specialised in building bridges.

When he was four years old, his mother died.

After high school, he entered an apprenticeship at a lettering company, which he successfully concluded after three years.

From 1934 to 1935 he attended graphic art classes in Brussels and proceeded to work as a graphic artist in Bern from 1935 to 1939.  The encounter with artist Paul Klee during this time made a lasting impression on the young artist.

Starting in 1945, Hurni ran his own graphic arts business, cncentrating more and more on fine art in his spare time.  From 1955 onward he he visited Paris and the South of France, winning a silver medal at the Salon National, Musée Moderne, Paris.

During the 1960s, he received several grants from Kanton Zurich and took several trips to Italy, resulting in a number of female portraits.   Beginning in 1964, he concentrated more and more on figurative work, which he abandonned beginning in 1982 in favor of  abstract, geometric forms.

In 1988 he co-founds the artist group "Gruppe X".

Hurni passed on at the age of  89, April 2, 2003 in Bern.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1961 – First Solo at Kunstkammer Strauhof, Zürich
1961 – Kunsthaus Glarus
1965 – Salon de l’art libre, Palais des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris
1966 – Künstlerhaus Bregenz, Palais Thurn und Taxis
1968 – Salon de l’art libre, Palais des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris
1976 – Stadthaus Olten
1978 – Galerie Rothenburgerhaus, Luzern
1985 – Schweizerische Biennale, Olten
1985 – Schweizerischer Bankverein, Fenster, Paradeplatz, Zürich
1987 – Aula Reinach, BL
1989 – Ankerbank, Zürich
1989 – Aula Studen, 100-Jahr-Feier
1997 – Kulturmühle Lützelflüh
1998 – Swiss Artists Forum, BEA bern expo
2001 – Fondation Saner, Studen. (together with Walter Linck)

Selected Group Exhibitions:
1958 – Zürcher Künstler, Helmhaus Zürich
1960 – Zürcher Künstler, Helmhaus Zürich
1961 – Zürcher Künstler, Helmhaus Zürich
1964 – Zürcher Künstler, Helmhaus Zürich
1965 – Zürcher Künstler, Kirchgemeindehaus, Zürich-Hottingen
1967 – Zürcher Künstler, Kunstkammer Strauhof, Zürich
1969 – Kunsthaus Zürich, Gemeinschaftsausstellung der Zürcher Sektion der GSMBA
1970 – Restaurant Bahnhofbuffet, Zürich
1970 – Zürcher Künstler, Helmhaus Zürich
1970 – Kunsthaus Zürich, Group Exhibition of the Zurich Section of the GSMBA
1971 – Zürcher Künstler, Helmhaus Zürich
1971 – Zürcher Künstler, Kirchgemeindehaus, Zürich-Hottingen
1971 – Zürcher Künstler, Strassburg
1972 – Zürcher Künstler,  Helmhaus Zürich
1973 – Restaurant Bahnhofbuffet 1. Kl., Zürich, Group Exhibition of the Zurich Section of the GSMBA
1975 – 1976 Helmhaus Zürich, Christmas Exhibition, Kunstszene Zürich
1976 – Kunstkammer Strauhof, Zürich
1978 – 1979 Helmhaus Zürich, Christmas Exhibition, Kunstszene Zürich
1979 – 1980 Kunsthaus Zürich, Christmas Exhibition, Kunstszene Zürich
1984 – Künstler Basel/Zürich, Helmhaus Zürich
1985 – 1986 Kunsthaus Zürich, Christmas Exhibition
1988 – konstruktiv 88, Kunsthaus Zürich

 Selected Exhibitions with "Gruppe X":
1989 – gruppe X, Kunstszene Zürich, Züspa-Hallen
1991 – gruppe X, Kunsthalle im Waaghaus, Winterthur
1992 – gruppe X, Stadthaus Uster
1993 – gruppe X, Kunstszene Zürich
2000 – gruppe X, Galerie Kunstforum, Winterthur

Source: with the permission of Aldo C. Bernaconi, manager of the Rudolf Hurni estate

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