The third exhibition in the Nicola Erni Collection opened a dialogue between photography, painting and installation.

In terms of photography, pieces by fashion photographers Guy Bourdin, Hiro and Sarah Moon were shown, as well as street style shots by Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist, and Tommy Ton.

In the context of painting, a series of late works by Robert Rauschenberg’s were put in the spotlight and in dialogue with pieces on polylaminate by his long-time assistant and artist in his own right Darryl Pottorf. The comparison culminated in exhibiting a collaborative piece by the two artists.

A special highlight of the exhibition was the photographic series “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Tim Walker which had come into being as a commission work and in 2017/2018 was exhibited at Het Noordbrabants Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, to much acclaim.

Installations by Maurizio Cattelan, Tim Noble & Sue Webster and Yinka Shonibare CBE as well as a photographic installation by Tomoko Sawada round off the exhibition.


Guy Bourdin

Photographer. Born 1928 in Paris. Died 1991 in Paris.

One of the most influential and innovative fashion and advertising photographers of the late 20th century, Bourdin’s sometimes sinister, surreal, erotic and provocative photographs helped shape a new form of fashion photography. Bourdin was among the first fashion photographers to waive narratives into his melodramatic compositions and played with intense colour saturation and experimental angles. He was furthermore greatly influenced by a diverse collection of works by contemporary artist colleagues, first and foremost by his mentor, May Ray, but also Edward Weston, Magritte, Balthus and Luis Buñuel.

Maurizio Cattelan

Photographer. Born 1968 in Indianapolis, USA. Lives and works in New York, USA.

Scott Schuman works as a self-taught street style photographer, fashion blogger, and journalist. He majored in fashion merchandising at Indiana University before working as a sales manager in the fashion industry. In 2005 he launched “The Sartorialist” which is considered one of the top fashion blogs in the world. Shortly after, in 2009, Schuman landed his first fashion campaign, for no other than Burberry. Schuman’s photos thereupon caught the attention of style.com, prior to instagram the authority on runway and street style, and he was commissioned as the site’s street style photographer. 
Schuman aims to capture “real” people in the streets and thereby interweaving fashion, style and daily life. Schuman published four books, all of them his own street style photographs and his works are part of important museum collections. www.thesartorialist.com.

Hiro (Yasuhiro Wakabayashi)

Photographer. Born 1930 in Shanghai, China. Lives and works in New York.

Hiro pursued a great career in fashion, beauty, still-life, and portrait photography. He spent his childhood in China and Japan and started a career as a self-taught photographer in Tokyo. In 1954 he moved to New York and became studio assistant to the well-known photographers Lester Bookbinder, Rouben Samberg and Richard Avedon where his talent and the originality in his photographs soon got discovered. In 1963 he was hired as the first signed photographer by US Harper’s Bazaar. In addition, he shot many editorials for VogueEsquireLifeRolling Stone etc. Since 1981 he has been working as inhouse photographer for Condé Nast. Hiro’s work is characterised by unusual lightening, surrealism, abnormalities and surprises.

Sarah Moon

Photographer. Born in 1941 in Vernon, France. Lives and works in Paris.

Sarah Moon, whose given name is Marielle Warin, began modelling in Paris and London under the name Marielle Hadengue. In 1970 she took up photography in earnest, adopting the moniker Sarah Moon. She worked extensively with Barbara Hulanicki of the London clothing brand Biba, and later, from 1967, for the French label Cacharel. She shot numerous publications in magazines, such as Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Nova, Vogue, Elle, and Stern. Her advertising clients included Comme des Garçons, Chanel, and Dior. In 1972, she became the first woman to shoot the Pirelli calendar, and since 1985 has focused on gallery and film work. Her work is characterized by her painterly, magical and romantic aesthetics, which often appear imaginary.

Daryl Pottorf

Painter, printmaker and photographer. Born 1952 in Cincinnati, USA. Lives and works on Captiva Island, USA.

The artist Darryl Pottorf explores and discovers new, innovative printing methods and surfaces. Pottorf studied art and psychology at Edison College, Fort Myers, Florida, and graduated in art and art history from Florida State University. He attended art and architecture classes in Florence for three years and travelled around Europe during that time. In the early 1980s Pottorf started working as an assistant of Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008), with whom he became close friends, and collaborated on several works with.

Robert Rauschenberg

Painter and sculpture. Born 1925 in Port Arthur, USA. Died 2008 on Captiva Island, USA.

As a painter and sculptor, Milton Ernst Rauschenberg, which is his birth name, made a fundamental contribution to the rise of the American Pop Art movement. He began a formal art education at Kansas City Art Institute, then continued studying at well-known Black Mountain College in North Carolina. In 1951, his first solo exhibition was held at the famous Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. Rauschenberg was the first American artist to win the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale in 1964. His work is very divers and ranges from concept art to sculpture.

Tomoko Sawada

Photographer and performance artist. Born 1977 in Kobe, Japan.

Lives and works in New York.With her self-portraits the Japanese artist focuses on the representation of gender roles and stereotypes in Japanese culture. Her conceptual photographic works also convey different aspects of current social topics.
Sawada graduated from Seian University of Art and Design in Otsu, Japan, with a degree in media design and photography. In 2004, the artist received the prestigious Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography. Her works have been included in several group exhibitions in Europe, Japan, and the USA.

Julian Schnabel

Julian Schnabel (American, b. 1951) lives and works between New York and Montauk (Long Island). Schnabel studied art at the University of Houston (1969–73) and attended an Independent Study Programme at Whitney Museum of American Art (1973–74). After a first stay in Italy in 1977, Schnabel paid another visit to Europe a year later and was particularly inspired by the architecture of Antoni Gaudí in Spain. The idea for his renowened large-format paintings made with broken ceramic plates has its roots in that very first trip to Barcelona. Beside the so-called “plate paintings”, Schnabel experiments with a vast rage of materials and substrates to create his monumental works.

Scott Schuman

Photographer. Born 1968 in Indianapolis, USA. Lives and works in New York. Scott Schuman is a self-taught street style photographer, fashion blogger and journalist. He studied fashion marketing at Indiana University before working as a sales manager in the fashion industry. In 2005, he launched “The Sartorialist”, which became one of the most respected fashion blogs in the world. In 2009, he landed his first advertising campaign for none other than Burberrry, which also brought style.com to Schuman’s attention. In the days before Instagram, the website was the authority for reporting during Fashion Weeks and Schuman became the chosen street style photographer. Schuman places importance on photographing real people on the street, creating a connection between fashion, style and everyday life. He has published four books, all dedicated to his own street style photography, and his photographs are represented in major museum collections.

Yinka Shonibare CBE

Multimedia artist. Born 1962 in London, where he currently lives and works.

Yinka Shonibare CBE spent most of his childhood in Lagos, Nigeria, before returning to London at the age of 17. He has described himself as a “post-colonial hybrid” and “global citizen”. Shonibare works with a broad range of media, including his trademark use of the batik / wax print fabric associated with Africa. In spite of the overarching themes of race, class, cultural and national identity, and colonialism, Shonibare doesn’t consider himself a political artist, and he contrasts the oftentimes seriousness of his subject matter with the sheer beauty of his works. 

Tommy Ton

Photographer. Born 1984 in Oakville, Canada. Lives and works in Ontario, Canada.

Tommy Ton, whose given name is Thomas Ton, works as a self-taught, street style photographer and fashion blogger. In 2005 he founded the web magazine “Jak & Jil” which Ton officially launched as a fashion blog in 2008. In 2009 he began working at style.com and replaced street style icon Scott Schuman. Ton has worked, among others, for Vogue (USA, France, Japan), American GQ, UK Elle and The New York Times and has produced advertising campaigns for L’Oreal, Topshop, Selfridges, Sergio Rossi, and Saks 5th Avenue. In 2015 he launched his own website: www.tommyton.com.

Tim Walker

Photographer. Born 1970 in Surrey, England. Lives and works in London. 

Walker studied photography at Exeter College of Art in Oxford. As an intern for the British Vogue he was involved in establishing the Cecil Beaton Archive. After graduation he spent one year as assistant to Richard Avedon in New York. He has worked for the British, American and Italian Vogue, as a commercial photographer and as a filmmaker. The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) and the National Portrait Gallery in London include Walker’s photographs in their permanent collections.

Tim Noble & Sue Webster

Installation artist duo. Born 1966 in Stroud and 1967 in Leicester, UK, respectively. Live and work in London.
Tim Noble and Sue Webster have worked together since 1996 and are considered part of the “Young British Artists” (YBAs). Inspired by the punk movement and questioning the status quo, their installation and sculptural work is essentially comprised of shadow works and light works. At their core, the works are about contrast: light versus shadow, form versus anti-form, art versus commerce.

Installation view: Tim Walker. The Garden of Earthly Delights, Het Noordbrabants Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 4 November 2017 – 25 February 2018. Photo: Joep Jacobs

Installation view: Erik Madigan Heck: Old Future, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Locle, 2 November 2018 – 27 January 2019. Photo: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Samuel Zeller

Installation view (painting in the foreground): Hat Full of Rain (1996), Julian Schnabel: Aktion Paintings 1985-2017, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark, 12 October 2018 – 3 March 2019. Photo: ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Anders Sune Berg

Installation view: Sixty Last Suppers  (1986) by Andy Warhol included in the exhibition Andy Warhol, Tate Modern, London, 12 March – 15 November 2020. Artwork © The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, Inc. Photo © Tate, Andrew Dunkley

Architekur und Design​

Das Zusammenspiel zwischen Kunst, Architektur und Design ist Nicola Erni ein grosses Anliegen. Ihre Philosophie der Interaktion zwischen diesen drei Elementen realisierte sie im Sinne eines «Extended Living Room» – ein erweitertes Wohnzimmer – und macht dies seit 2020 der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich. Durch die Öffnung des Privatmuseums freut sie sich, ihre Passion mit jedem Interessierten teilen zu können.

Das erste Sammlungsgebäude wurde 2013 fertiggestellt. Den Besucher erwartet ein bunter Mix aus Kunst, Möbeln, ausgesuchten Designobjekten und dekorativen Accessoires. Dadurch entsteht ein persönlicher Raum mit einzigartiger musealer Präsentationsfläche.

Ein zweiter Bau wurde im November 2020 fertiggestellt. Die beiden Baukörper, eingebettet in einen übergreifenden Grünraum, reagieren innerhalb des neu entstandenen Ortes unterschiedlich: Die rohe, gespitzte Oberfläche des Dietfurter Muschelkalksteins gibt der Fassade des ersten Gebäudes einen skulpturalen Ausdruck; im Gegensatz dazu steht der Glanz der Hülle mit geschliffenen Schalen in Kupfer-Aluminium Legierung des zweiten Gebäudes, der im Inneren mit dynamischen Zwischenräumen überraschende Sichtachsen bietet.

Die Sammlung

Die Nicola Erni Collection in Steinhausen bei Zug beherbergt eine umfangreiche Kunstsammlung mit Fokus auf Fotografie und zeitgenössische Kunst.

Seit über 25 Jahren folgt die Sammlerin Nicola Erni ihrer Leidenschaft und hat Werke erworben, die sie berühren. So ist eine der grössten Fotosammlungen in privater Hand entstanden, die zwei Schwerpunkte vereint: Fotografien der 1960er und 1970er Jahre mit Fokus auf den gesellschaftlichen Wandel – Zeitgeist & Glamour – sowie eine umfangreiche Sammlung von Modefotografien aus den 1930er Jahren bis heute. Zeitgenössische Kunst ist ein weiterer bedeutender Sammlungszweig und umfasst eine Bandbreite von Malerei, Skulpturen, Zeichnungen und monumentale Installationen.

Vertreten sind Künstler wie Richard Avedon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Elmgreen & Dragset, Sylvie Fleury, Hassan Hajjaj, Duane Hanson, Rashid Johnson, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Mario Testino, Andy Warhol oder Harley Weir.