Iris Wazzau 2016 in her gallery.
Patrizia Guggenheim, Christian v. Faber-Castell + Iris Wazzau
40 Years 1972-2012
Gallery Iris Wazzau was founded as a partnership in 1972. One year later I became the sole owner. The gallery is now situated in a two-story building located on Promenade 72 in the center of Davos-Platz.
The fact that the German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) lived and worked in Davos from 1917 until his death in 1938, influenced the gallery program from the beginning. Many exhibitions of E.L. Kirchner were the result. Philipp Bauknecht (1884-1933), a lesser-known Expressionist who was ill with tuberculosis, moved to Davos in 1911 and created his entire work here. Since 1975 the gallery has managed his estate and I am presently working on the catalogue raisonné of his oil paintings. The Swiss Expressionists - Albert Müller (1887-1926) and Hermann Scherer (1893-1927) - are prominent artists in the gallery program together with the important Dutch Expressionist Jan Wiegers (1893-1959).
As it became increasingly more difficult to find enough good quality Expressionist works, I extended the gallery program to include "Classical Modern" artists with solo exhibitions of Marc Chagall, Alexey von Jawlensky, Oskar Kokoschka, Joan Miro, followed by Carl Walter Liner and Varlin - two artists that are lesser known outside of Switzerland. Soon after, Sam Francis, Paul Jenkins, Niki de Saint-Phalle and Gottfried Honegger had their first one-man shows in the gallery. "Theme Shows" have always fascinated me, as the possibilities are endless. Confrontation between different approaches to art is a fair and objective way to establish the best possible quality in both art and artists. Important exhibitions are documented in gallery catalogues.
Until a few years ago the gallery participated regularly at art fairs such as Art Basel, Art Cologne, Art Frankfurt and Art Chicago. This resulted in establishing contacts and relationships all over the world. Today, new technologies have also become more important. Last but not least, the behaviour of the guests in a "Ski Resort" has changed. The stays in town are mostly for a few days only with an emphasis on sporting activities. Interest in art has become marginal. Over the years this has resulted in the gallery becoming more and more of an art dealership. Nevertheless, an open gallery door is still important to me as I always enjoy a dialogue with other art lovers.