21/09/2016

New giant poster on the EuroAirport control tower: Otto Dix – the Isenheim Altarpiece, the first major modern art exhibition since the extension and modernization of Musée Unterlinden in Colmar

The new giant poster on the EuroAirport control tower announces the first modern art exhibition organized by Musée Unterlinden since its extension by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron. The special exhibition of Otto Dix's works, the first on such a scale to be presented in France for 15 years, shows how the German artist was deeply inspired throughout his career by the Isenheim Altarpiece, the masterpiece by Grünewald that has been housed in Musée Unterlinden since 1853. The special exhibition will take place from 8 October 2016 to 30 January 2017.

The 14 by 7 metre giant poster, attached to the control tower by mountaineers on 21 September 2016, was unveiled in the presence of Thierry Cahn, President of the Schongauer Society, Pantxika De Paepe, Director Musée Unterlinden, Frédérique Goerig-Hergott, Head Curator, Jean-Pierre Lavielle, President of the Board of Directors at EuroAirport, Matthias Suhr, Director and Vivienne Gaskell, Head of Communications. The giant poster emphasizes EuroAirport's strategic role as gateway to the cultural events of the tri-national region, including the "new" Unterlinden Museum.

Linking air and surface transport with a diversified flight plan, EuroAirport offers regular connections to explore the cultural treasures of the tri-national region, thus promoting their international appeal. Musée Unterlinden, one of France's most popular museums also enjoys an international reputation thanks to masterpieces like the Isenheim Altarpiece and the Guernica Tapestry, depicting Picasso's famous painting, one of only three in the world.

After three years of work, the renovated museum was reopened to the public on 12 December 2015. Inaugurated on 23 January 2016 in the presence of the French President François Hollande and President of the Swiss Confederation Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the museum now covers an area of around 8,000 m2. The extensive modern and contemporary art collection now enjoys its own permanent exhibition space in a new building, which bears the signature of Herzog & de Meuron.

Marking the 125th anniversary of Otto Dix's birth and 500 years of the Isenheim Altarpiece, Musée Unterlinden has decided to pay tribute to this important German Expressionist artist by dedicating its first major modern art exhibition to him. 

Renowned in Germany, Otto Dix is largely unknown in France. This exhibition, encompassing more than a hundred works, including special loans, aims to both promote recognition of this key artist in European art history and reveal the enduring influence of the Isenheim Altarpiece on the artist throughout his career.

This influence is very marked in the 'Annunciation' by Otto Dix, which was selected as the motif of the new giant poster on the control tower of EuroAirport. In it, Otto Dix places the theme in a modern context. The Virgin, depicted as a little girl, shows the same air of surprise as Grünewald's Virgin when the Archangel Gabriel comes to tell her of her approaching pregnancy.

Marking the first major modern art exhibition at Musée Unterlinden in Colmar since its modernization, the giant poster is the latest in a line of various motifs displayed on the airport control tower:

-     the Blue Red Rocker by American artist Ellsworth Kelly heralding the special exhibition "Sculpture on the move 1946 - 2016" for the opening of the extended Kunstmuseum Basel (April 2016)
-    the “Frozen North” polar bear, drawing attention to the prestigious Mulhouse Zoo project (June 2015)
-    “IBA Basel 2020 – Growing Together across Borders” in support of the 2013 IBA Project Exhibition (September 2013)
-    the Ariane rocket, referring to the m2A local government association’s presidency of the Community of Ariane Cities in France (April 2013)
-    “Freiburg Green City” which illustrated EuroAirport’s geographical proximity to Freiburg im Breisgau and the close ties with the Black Forest (June 2010)
-     the cornfields of Provence, a luminescent painting by Van Gogh, drawing attention to the exhibition entitled “Vincent van Gogh – Between Earth and Heaven”, in the Kunstmuseum Basel (April 2009)
-     the railway locomotive from the Mulhouse “Cité du Rail” collection (March 2005)
-     the Fernet Branca Eagle (“Musée d’Art Contemporain”, Saint-Louis, October 2004)
-     the Tutankhamun Mask (exhibition in the Basel Museum of Antiquities, May 2004)

The new poster is yet another building block in an innovative communication approach designed to highlight EuroAirport's central position at the intersection of the three countries and illustrate its cross-border interactions.
 
For further information about the new Musée Unterlinden visit:
 www.musee-unterlinden.com/en