Charmion von Wiegand

Kunstmuseum Basel
Ongoing Event
Sat., 25 March until Sun., 13 August

American Charmion von Wiegand (*1896 in Chicago) had established a reputation as a journalist and critic when she met painter Piet Mondrian in his studio in New York in 1941. This encounter proved to be a momentous and memorable event for her. The two became friends. Von Wiegand was profoundly interested in Mondrian and in Neo-Plasticism, the stylistic movement pivotal to Mondrian’s artistic practice. Fueled by this encounter, she embarked on an intensive painting career. Though having already leased a studio in 1925, it had until then served her for research and writing activities.
Initially, and in contrast to Mondrian’s approach, von Wiegand's works featured primarily organic forms as well as other colors in addition to the primary colors characteristic of Neo-Plasticism. Over time, she gradually evolved her own characteristic conception of abstraction. Following Mondrian’s death in 1944, she gave herself over entirely to the development of her artistic work. By this time, she turned to collage and, furthermore, augmented her work by introducing spiritual and theoretical approaches, notably elements drawn from Buddhism.
The exhibition "Charmion von Wiegand" focuses on this exceptional, though unjustly ignored, 20th-century artist who had from the outset cultivated and visualized transcultural open-mindedness and diversity. The exhibition testifies to her artistic output as well as her pronounced sensitivity towards non-Western cultures or the work of other artists.


Kunstmuseum Basel
St. Alban-Graben 16
4051 Basel

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