Vivian Suter
Bonzo’s Dream

The Argentinian-Swiss painter Vivian Suter’s invitation to the Brücke-Museum marks the first time that the collection will enter into a direct dialogue with a contemporary artist. 

The expansive installation presents Suter’s freely suspended canvases together with around 40 paintings and craft objects by the Brücke artists, including the rarely exhibited reverse sides of paintings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a tapestry by Erich Heckel, and a carved chess set by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. The works on display from the Brücke-Museum were selected by Suter’s mother, the artist Elisabeth Wild, who died in February. A series of Wild’s precisely composed, small-format collages are also part of the exhibition. This juxtaposition opens up new perspectives on Suter’s works as well as on the museum’s collection.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1949, Suter moved to Switzerland with her parents in the 1960s, where she studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Basel from 1967 to 1972. Since 1982, the artist has been living on a former coffee plantation on the outskirts of the small town of Panajachel in Guatemala. Her studio there is located in a large garden, which is reminiscent of a tropical jungle with its freely growing palm trees, ferns, and eucalyptus and avocado trees. Inspired by the lush vegetation, Suter paints her large-format canvases with acrylic and oil paint, but also with rainwater and earth. She often works outdoors, where leaves and animals leave their marks on the canvases.

The exhibition extends to the Museum Garden, where Suter’s works will be on display until November. The interplay between art and nature is one of the parallels between Suter’s artistic self-understanding and that of the Brücke protagonists.


The Artist Alina Schmuch has created an atmospheric portrait of the exhibition, which you can find here:

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In recent years Vivian Suter had numerous exhibitions, including at Camden Art Centre, London (2020); Tate Liverpool (2019–2020); The High Line, New York (2019–2020); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2019), and Mudam, Luxembourg (2019). This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Germany.

The Brücke-Museum is partner of Berlin Art Week (September 9–13, 2020).

Vivian Suter. Bonzo’s Dream was awarded Special Exhibition 2020 by AICA Germany.