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News: Alois Carigiet (1902 - 1985) exhibition at the Swiss National Museum in Zuerich
received from Swiss National Museum

Poster by Alois Carigiet, Switzerland invites you, 1937
Poster for the Swiss tourism association (Schweizerische Zentrale für Verkehrsförderung). Photograph: Swiss National Museum. © Heirs of Alois Carigiet

Poster by Alois Carigiet, Cornichon, 1938
Alois Carigiet co-founded “Cabaret Cornichon” in 1934. He designed the “cornichon” bird as the cabaret’s signet for posters and programme brochures. Photograph: City Archives of Zurich. © Heirs of Alois Carigiet

Alois Carigiet in his studio, 31 August 1972. Photographer: Jules Geiger. © Fotostiftung Graubünden/Heirs of Alois Carigiet
  Alois Carigiet. Art, graphic art & Schellen-Ursli
Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum, Landesmuseum Zürich
An exhibition in cooperation with the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur.
12.06.2015 – 03.01.20116

He was a painter, graphic artist and stage designer – and a native of Graubünden. The exhibition entitled “Alois Carigiet. Art, graphic art & Schellen-Ursli.” brings together Carigiet’s works of art, children’s books and distinctive poster artwork. From his stage designs for the “Cabaret Cornichon” in Zurich to his frescoes in Schaffhausen and Chur and his commercial art, the exhibition shows a rich cross- section of the eclectic work of this artist and explores the influence of his Rhaeto- Romanic origins. The exhibition commentary is provided in all four national languages of Switzerland – German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Romansh.

The exhibition offers an opportunity to rediscover one of Switzerland’s best-known artists, who enjoys overwhelming popularity even today, 30 years after his death. “Alois Carigiet. Art, graphic art & Schellen-Ursli.” highlights various facets of Carigiet’s artistic work and illuminates the cultural historical context. Thanks to the cooperation of the Lia Rumantscha, it is the first exhibition at the National Museum Zurich for which the commentary is provided in all four of Switzerland’s national languages.

Selected drafts, sketches, drawings, informative texts and listening stations for Carigiet’s children’s stories invite children and adults alike to submerge themselves in the colourful, adventurous world of Schellen-Ursli, Flurina, Maurus and Madleina & Co. Playful elements in the exhibition allow visitors to experience scaling a mountain peak, for example, or the tactile feel of animals’ pelts, bringing Carigiet’s work alive through all the senses. Besides preliminary studies, photographs and book editions, the drafts of Carigiet’s seventh children’s story are also on display, for the first time ever. The unfinished story tells of a baby mountain goat, whom children save from a rock slide.

A separate room of the exhibition features a bold cross-section of Carigiet’s early work and some virtually unknown pieces. His style is unmistakable, clearly reflecting the influence of his drawing and highly original principles of composition. The selected paintings and drawings provided by the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur depict the main motifs of the artist’s work: landscapes, animals and people, houses and villages. Carigiet’s breakthrough as an independent artist came with his painting of the Muraltengut fresco in Zurich. Commissions followed for the Graubünden parliamentary hall in Chur and the façade of the town hall square in Stein. Further highlights of the exhibition are two never-before exhibited drafts for the “Schwarzer Adler” fresco and a project sketch for the four houses along the town hall square.

Graphic artist
Carigiet was a trained decorative designer and self-taught commercial artist who created over 100 posters, brochures and Christmas cards. Working from his Zurich studio he designed political and commercial posters and advertising for Switzerland as a holiday destination. His posters for the Swiss tourist association, the Swiss national exhibition in 1939 and the fashion stores PKZ and Fein-Kaller became style icons. Less well known but of equal artistic importance are the stage designs Carigiet created for the Stadttheater Zürich and, from 1934, for the legendary “Cabaret Cornichon”. One room of the exhibition is devoted to related photographs, posters and programme brochures. Zarli Carigiet was Alois’s younger brother and a famous Swiss actor, comedian and member of the “Cornichon” ensemble. The exhibition offers a listening station where visitors can hear the songs of Zarli Carigiet and many of the other well-known “Cornichon” performers.

Book accompanying the exhibition
In tandem with the exhibition, Orell Füssli Verlag will be publishing a book by Hans ten Doornkaat, a concise introduction to Carigiet’s complete works.

“Schellen-Ursli” coming soon to the big screen
Filming of the movie “Schellen-Ursli” by Swiss director and Oscar winner Xavier Koller began in summer 2014. The National Museum Zurich will be showing props used in the film, costumes and a “making-of” documentary in advance of the movie’s premiere in cinemas.

Read more about the exhibition

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Alois Carigiet designed over 100 posters, some of which are shown in the graphic arts room. In the foreground, showcase display of drafts for the magazine “Schweizer Spiegel”. Photograph: Swiss National Museum. © Heirs of Alois Carigiet

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