Kurt Weber Art Show


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and World Access to Art presents an

Art and Wine Event

Feb.28-March 31- Art Show

Feb. 28, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. - Opening Reception

March 1, 2:00 p.m. - Public Lecture by art historian Peter Frank


You are invited to an art opening, displaying over 100 works of art by the late Swiss artist Kurt Weber, and a wine reception, featuring the fine wines of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants and August Ridge Vineyards, to be held on Feb.28 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at The Wooden Duck. Also, on March 1 at 2:00 p.m., you are invited to The Wooden Duck to listen to the well known art historian Peter Frank give a lecture on the work of Kurt Weber.


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The Wooden Duck’s address is 1823 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley, CA 94710, just off of Freeway 80/580 between University and Gillman.


www.thewoodenduck.com/ www.kermitlynch.com/ www.augustridge.com/





Kurt Weber's Burial at Pyramid Lake


Early on September 7, 2013 a small group consisting of Patti and Peter Imhof, Katherine Cook, and Robert Rainsberger (Katherine's husband) drove to Pyramid Lake about 35 miles from Reno, Nevado to carry out Kurt Weber’s wish to have his ashes released. Peter had known Kurt since they were children and both he and Patti remained Kurt’s friends to the end. Katherine Cook had know Kurt for many years and continued her friendship with Kurt through his difficult last years. Katherine had made an appointment for us to meet with Paiute Tribal Elder Ralph Burns at the Indian Museum in the village of Nixon at the southern tip of the Pyramid lake.


We expected it to be hot in this desert and we were not disappointed. As we drove through the desert approaching the lake, we commented on the raw beauty of the hills and this large blue lake that contradicted the desert. We now understood why Kurt was so attracted to this land. There were road signs cautioning us to look out for steers crossing the roads, but we saw no signs of life in the afternoon heat. Only later in the evening did we see a rabbit. We saw more signs of life the next morning with more rabbits, quail, sea gulls, and pelicans. The Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge within pyramid lake has a huge protected colony of pelicans. We saw tracks along the beach of larger animals that had probably visited during the night since the lake was their only good source of water for many miles. We were told there were wild sheep in the hills, but we saw no sign of them.


The museum is a small and beautiful building, designed by the Hopi Indian architect and artist Dennis Numkena. This building appears as natural as the hills surrounding it, as if it had grown out of the stones. We first met with the museum curator, Ben Aleck, upon arriving at the museum at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon. We had a few minutes to view the museum. The museum is round and the inside has a sunken middle. When the Tribal Elder Ralph Burns arrived, we gather at the lower level for a ceremony. Tribal Elder Ralph Burns explained that the Paiute Indians do not have a religion. They believe that the spirit of the dead must be released to follow the path formed by the stars in the Milky way. The ceremony started with sage incense. Then Tribal Elder Ralph Burns, speaking in his native tongue, said a type of pray to send Kurt’s spirit to the heavens above.


After the ceremony, Katherine presented the Museum curator, Ben Aleck, with a small and beautiful abstract painting by Kurt of a landscape similar to the desert area we were in. This was done to commemorate Kurt, his art, and his burial at Pyramid lake and to honor the Paiute Indians for the respect they showed for Kurt. We wish to thank Tribal Elder Ralph Burns, curator Ban Aleck, and the Paiute Indian tribe for this privilege.


We proceeded to the Block House Beach along the lake. Peter, Patti, and Katherine each contributed to an eulogy to Kurt while standing on the waters edge. Then Peter ceremoniously threw Kurt’s ashes into the wind. The wind lifted some of the ashes to form a ghostly figure rising to the sky. At last the ashes settled to the lake, leaving a faint trail as the slight current mingled Kurt’s ashes with a large school of young Cut Throat Trout.


Jürg Schubiger from Zürich, an old friend of Kurt, wanted to be at the ceremony, but he was not able to be here. He wrote the following which was read as part of Kurt’s eulogy.


Dear Kurt,


you so often left us for a long time

and the actual one will be the longest.

We are happy to know you will find at least

a kind of rest at a place you preferred

and a community

worthy to scatter your ashes.


We are waving our bandannas across the sea.


Your old friend Juerg

and your younger friend Renate


Below are a few pictures taken during this time.


You can learn about the Paiute Indians and the Pyramid Lake Reservation at the official web site. For more information, check out the Native American Encyclopedia. You can also see additional photos of the village of Nixon and the Pyramid Lake area at View Photos and Traveling Luck.


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Kurt Weber in Wikipedia

A Wikidepdia article about Kurt Weber has been recently added. You can view this at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Oscar_Weber

YouTube Video Clips of Kurt Weber

The following video clips were submitted to YouTube by a close friend of Kurt Weber.

"Kurt Weber discussing his work at my apartment in California. Kurt was a dear friend, as well as a prolific and talented artist. Kurt frequently traveled between his studio in Emeryville California and Zurich/Basel Switzerland. Kurt passed away in October 2011.

Kurt Weber Schull Sketch
Kurt Weber Vortex part 1
Kurt Weber Vortex part 2
Kurt Weber Untitled Painting
Kurt Weber Collage
Kurt Weber Striped Painting
Kurt Weber Twisted Painting
Kurt Weber Carved Red Painting

Public Showing

Check out the Sammlung Galerie S/Z art gallery in Zurich Switzerland honoring the lifes work of Kurt Oskar Weber.

In The Newspapers

Tages-Anzeiger – Mittwoch, 30. Mai 2012


Zürich


Vonleidenschaftlicher Rücksichtslosigkeit

Kurt Oskar Weber war ein rastloser Wanderer. In den USA geachtet und geschätzt, kannte den Zürcher Maler in Europa kaum jemand. Eine Retrospektive soll dies nun ändern.

Von Marcus May

Uerikon/Zürich – Kurt Weber verbrachte aus Enttäuschung über eine gescheiterte Beziehung mehrere Wochen im feuchten Keller eines befreundeten Künstlers in Basel. Dieses Loch verliess er nur für die allernotwendigsten Verrichtungen. Eines Morgens war Weber plötzlich verschwunden, ohne jemandem eine Nachricht zu hinterlassen. Einige Monate später fand man im Rhein das Wrack seines Autos. Erkundungen im Umfeld des Künstlers liess die Polizei auf einen Selbstmord schliessen. Freunde erklärten den Künstler als vermisst, später schalteten sie eine Todesanzeige. Auf Umwegen erfuhr Kurt Weber schliesslich von seinem vermeintlichen Tod und meldete sich zurück. Er wohnte inzwischen auf einer Hazienda in Südamerika, wo er sich das Leben von einer lokalen Schönheit versüssen iess. Das war 1995.

    Andrin Schütz blüht auf, als er diese Anekdote aus dem Leben des Zürcher Malers Kurt Oskar Weber erzählt. Der Galerist und Kunstsammler sitzt in seiner blendend weiss getünchten Galerie in Uerikon am Zürichsee und wühlt sich durch Skizzen, Zeichnungen und Leinwandrollen des im vergangenen Herbst 73-jährig verstorbenen Künstlers. Schütz hat mit seiner Partnerin Claudia Held den künstlerischen Nachlass Kurt Webers geerbt. Nun wartet auf die beiden die riesige Herausforderung, Webers Werk zu erfassen, zu katalogisieren und der Öffentlichkeit zu präsentieren.

Zur Kur beim Galeristen

«Im Sommer 2010 kamen die Leinwandrollen beinahe im Wochentakt bei uns an», erzählt Schütz. Unangekündigt und angeliefert in einem rostigen, weissen Peugeot, komplett überladen bis unters Dach. Zwischen Leinwandrollen und Schachteln mit Papierarbeiten kauerte ein etwas angeschlagener Kurt Weber. Ob er das für einige Tage hier deponieren könne, habe er jeweils gefragt. «Was er dann regelmässig mit einem mehrtägigen Kuraufenthalt bei uns verbunden hat», erinnert sich Schütz. Die Rollen und Schachteln sind bis zu Webers Tod in Uerikon geblieben.

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Kurt Weber in den 80ern, aufgenommen in seinem Atelier. Foto: PD

    Webers prägendster Wesenszug war seine rücksichtslose Leidenschaft. Sich selbst und seiner Malerei gegenüber. Ein ewig getriebener Nomade, auf der Flucht vor sich selbst, seiner Kunst und seinen Taten. Und vor den Frauen, die er über alles liebte. Seine eigenen und die der anderen. «Ich habe immer irgendwie anders sein wollen», sagte er 2009 in einem Interview. «Weil ich, wahrscheinlich so gelangweilt von mir selbst, immer davongerannt bin. Ich wollte nie dort sein, wo ich gerade war.» New York, Kalifornien, Mexiko, Paris und Basel waren Webers wichtigste Stationen.

    Seine Rücksichtslosigkeit, seine Leidenschaft und Arroganz, seine Intelligenz und sein Talent mündeten bisweilen in eine destruktive Mischung aus Aggression und Angst. «Er hatte Angst vor dem Versagen als Maler», sagt Schütz. Den Grund dafür sieht er in Webers reichem Wissen um die Malerei und seiner ständigen Konfrontation mit den Grossen seines Jahrhunderts. Es sei aber stets ein Erlebnis gewesen, mit Weber über Malerei und Kunstgeschichte zu diskutieren. In diesen Gesprächen hätten sich Webers jahrzehntelange rastlose Auseinandersetzung mit der Tradition der europäischen Malerei offenbart. «Vom Mittelalter bis 1960: Es gibt kaum einen Maler, den Kurt Weber nicht studiert hat», sagt Schütz.

Ein Stil, jenseits von Begriffen

Das Werk Webers schaut auf eine reiche künstlerische Vergangenheit zurück, in deren Mittelpunkt eine intensive Auseinandersetzung mit der ungegenständlichen Malerei steht, schreibt die Kunsthistorikerin Susanne Schröter 2009 über Kurt Weber. ln seinem OEuvre widerspiegle sich gleichsam die Geschichte der abstrakten Malerei der letzten vier Jahrzehnte. Nach langen Jahren des Suchens habe Weber schliesslich seinen eigenen, freien Stil gefunden, jenseits von festen Begriffen und Zugehörigkeiten. Vom 3. Juni bis 26. August zeigt die Galerie S/Z in Uerikon eine Retrospektive des grossen, hierzulande kaum bekannten Schweizer Künstlers. Die Website der Galerie bietet zudem die Gelegenheit, sich einen Überblick über Kurt Webers Werk zu verschaffen.

Vernissage der Retrospektive Kurt Oskar Weber in der Galerie S/Z, Stationsstrasse 12, 8713 Uerikon, am Samstag, 2. Juni, 17 bis 19 Uhr. www. galerie-sz.com. Die Ausstellung dauert bis 26. August.



Kurt Oskar Weber
Kokoschka, Giacometti und die Azteken

Der 1938 in Zürich geborene Kurt Weber besuchte von 1955 bis 1958 die Kunstgewerbeschule, die ganz unter dem Einfluss der Zürcher Konkreten stand. Danach ging er nach Paris, wo er sich an der Académie d’Art Montparnasse von André Lhôte zum Künstler ausbilden liess. Oft reiste Weber zu jener Zeit nach Italien, wo er die Fresken der italienischen Renaissance- Maler studierte. Weber unterbrach seine Ausbildung mit einem Studium an der Schule des Sehens von Oskar Kokoschka in Salzburg, wo er den spontanen, gestischen Pinselstrich lernte. Zurück in Paris, begegnete Weber im Umfeld der Existenzialisten Jean-Paul Sartre und Alberto Giacometti. Mit Letzterem verband ihn eine langjährige Freundschaft, und Giacometti war es auch, der Weber riet, seine künstlerische Unabhängigkeit uneingeschränkt beizubehalten, damit er seinen eigenen, wenn auch einsamen Weg gehen möge.

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Liebendes Paar, Öl auf Leinwand, 40 x 51 cm. Foto: PD

    Dieser führte Weber 1964 nach New York, wo sich die internationale Avantgarde gerade zu etablieren begann. Er war fasziniert von den New Yorker Abstrakten, gleichzeitig reiste er regelmässig nach Mexiko, um die Denkmäler der Maya und Azteken zu studieren. Diese Kombination von Erfahrungen, die Weite und Räumlichkeit der abstrakten amerikanischen Malerei sowie die leuchtenden Farben Mexikos bewegten Weber zu einem radikalen Neuanfang.

    Zusammen mit seiner ersten Ehefrau, der Künstlerin Colette Leitner, beschloss Weber, seine neue Heimat zu bereisen. Was folgte, war eine rund 13-jährige Odyssee quer durch Amerika, die erst 1981 endete. Damals führte Weber, seit 1970 auch US-Bürger, das Leben eines Abenteurers und Entdeckers. Entstanden sind in jener Zeit hauptsächlich Entwürfe, Skizzen und Textfragmente.

    Danach liess sich Weber in Kalifornien nieder. Hier entstanden seine ersten grossformatigen Bilder. Später pendelte er zwischen Amerika und Europa hin und her, bis er in den Neunzigerjahren vorübergehend in Basel Wohnsitz nahm. Nach der Trennung von seiner zweiten Frau verlegte er seinen Lebensmittelpunkt wieder nach San Francisco, von wo aus er regelmässig nach Paris reiste, später auch wieder in die Schweiz. 2009 stellte Kurt Weber erstmals in seiner Heimatstadt Zürich aus. Im Herbst 2011 verstarb er an den Folgen eines intensiv geführten Lebens in Basel.


English translation


Tages-Anzeiger – Mittwoch, 30. May 2012


Zürich


A Passionate Disregard

Kurt Oskar Weber was a restless wanderer. Although respected and well-regarded in the US, hardly any one in Europe knew the painter from Zurich. A retrospective may now change that.

By Marcus May

Uerikon/Zurich – Disenchanted at the demise of a relationship, Kurt Weber lived in an artist friend’s damp basement in Basel for a number of weeks. He only left this cave when it was absolutely necessary. Without telling a soul, one morning he simply disappeared. Several months later, his smashed up car was found in the Rhine River. Police investigations into the artist’s friends and surroundings led them to conclude it was a suicide. Friends filed a missing persons report and later placed an obituary notice in the newspaper. Through the grapevine, Kurt Weber eventually heard of his alleged death and reported back. In the meanwhile, he had been living on a hacienda in South America where he was having a fine time with a local beauty. That was in 1995.

Andrin Schütz becomes animated as he relates these anecdotes from the life of the Zurich-born artist Kurt Oskar Weber. The gallerist and art collector sits in his gallery, with its dazzling whitewashed walls, in Uerikon near Lake Zurich and leafs through the sketches, drawings and rolls of canvas from the 73-year old artist who passed away last autumn. Schütz inherited Kurt Weber’s artistic works together with his partner Claudia Held. They now face the enormous challenge of compiling, cataloguing and presenting Weber’s works to the public.

A health-spa stay with the gallerist

We received deliveries of canvas rolls here almost every week in the summer of 2010”, explains Schütz. Unannounced and transported in a rusty white Peugeot filled to the roof. A somewhat shaky Kurt Weber was sandwiched in between rolls of canvas and boxes containing works on paper. Could he store his works here for a couple of days, he would ask each time. “He would then regularly combine this with a multi-day health spa stay with us”, recollects Schütz. The rolls and boxes remained in Uerikon until Weber’s death.

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Kurt Weber in the 1980s. This photograph was taken in his studio. Photo: PD

Weber’s defining characteristic was his unbridled passion. Both with regard to himself and his painting. An eternally driven nomad, fleeing from himself, his art and his actions. And from the women, whom he loved more than anything else. His own and those of others. “I have always wanted to be different somehow.” he said in a 2009 interview. “Because I have always run away, probably because I was so bored with myself. “I never wanted to be where I happened to be at the moment”. New York, California, Mexico, Paris and Basel were Weber’s most important stops.

His disregard, his passion and arrogance, his intelligence and his talent would, at times, lead to a destructive mixture of aggression and fear. “He had a fear of failure as a painter”, says Schütz. Its origin, he thinks, is due to Weber’s wealth of knowledge about painting and his ongoing confrontation with the major artists of his century. It was however always an adventure to discuss painting and art history with Weber. In these discussions, Weber’s decades-long analysis of the European painting tradition would become apparent. “From the Middle Ages to 1960: It would be hard to find a painter that Kurt Weber had not studied”, relates Schütz.

A style that defies labeling

ln 2009, the art historian Susanne Schröter wrote this about Kurt Weber: Weber’s work looks back upon a rich artistic past at the epicenter of which is an intensive analysis of abstract painting. At the same time, his oeuvre reflects the history of abstract painting over the last four decades. After searching for many years, Weber ultimately found his own, free style, which defies labeling and affiliation. From June 3rd until August 26th, Galerie S/Z in Uerikon is presenting a retrospective of this major Swiss artist who is almost unknown in this country. Additionally, please visit the Galerie S/Z website where you can also obtain an overview of Kurt Weber’s works.

Vernissage of the Kurt Oskar Weber Retrospective at the Galerie S/Z, Stationsstrasse 12, 8713 Uerikon, is on Saturday, June 2nd from 5 pm until 7 pm. www. galerie-sz.com. The Exhibition will end on August 26.



Kurt Oskar Weber
Kokoschka, Giacometti and the Aztecs

Born 1938 in Zurich, Kurt Weber attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) from 1955 until 1958, which was totally under the influence of the “Zurich Concretists”. He then went to Paris, where he trained to become an artist under André Lhôte at the Académie d’Art Montparnasse. During this time, he often traveled to Italy to study the frescoes of the Italian renaissance painters. Weber interrupted his training to study at Oskar Kokoschka’s Schule des Sehens (The School of Seeing) in Salzburg, where he learned the spontaneous gestured brush stroke. Back in Paris, in the milieu of the Existentialists, Weber met Jean-Paul Sartre and Alberto Giacometti. He formed a years-long friendship with the latter and it was also Giacometti who advised Weber to unreservedly retain his artistic independence so that he will be able to go his own, albeit potentially lonesome, way.

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A Loving Couple, oil on canvas, 40 x 51 cm. Photo: PD

In 1964, he led Weber to New York, where the international avant-garde had just begun to establish itself. Although fascinated by the New York abstract painters, he also traveled to Mexico regularly to study the historic monuments of the Mayas and the Aztecs. It was this combination of experiences - the breadth and spatiality of American abstract painting and Mexico’s luminous colors that moved Weber to a radical new start.

Together with his first wife, the artist Colette Leitner, Weber decided to travel throughout his new homeland. The result was an odyssey clear across America that lasted nearly 13 years and ended only in 1981. Weber, who had also become an American citizen in 1970, had been living the life of an adventurer and explorer at that time. During this period, he mainly created drafts, sketches and text fragments.

Weber then moved to California. His first large-format images were created here. Later on, he would commute back and forth between America and Europe, which continued until the 1990s when he temporarily took up residence in Basel. Following the separation from his second wife, he switched his primary residence back to San Francisco. From there he would regularly travel to Paris and at a later date also began traveling to Switzerland again. In 2009, Kurt Weber exhibited his art in his native city of Zurich for the first time. In the autumn of 2011, Kurt Weber died in Basel from the effects of an intensively lived life.