The fourth exhibition in the Nicola Erni Collection for the first time presented the large group of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Shown were pieces in various media dating from 1980 to 1988, thus providing a fascinating overview of the late master’s oeuvre. 

Furthermore, the exhibition showed large-format paintings from the 90s by Julian Schnabel, an installation by artistic duo Tim Noble & Sue Webster as well as photographs by Steven Meisel, Anthony Hernandez, Nick Knight and Helmut Newton. 


Jean-Michel Basquiat

Painter. Born 1960 in New York. Died 1988 in New York.

Jean-Michel Basquiat arrived at painting from the graffiti and hip hop scene. Within eight years he created an oeuvre as fascinating as it is complex. The art-historical canonisation of Basquiat’s works is as diverse as the interpretation of them is subjective. Basquiat was very receptive and well-read and alongside autobiographical references he incorporated into his art his vast knowledge: of the streets; of historical, sociocultural and art-historical erudition; of literature, music, comics, symbols, and visual references from TV and mass media. 

Anthony Hernandez

Photographer. Born in Los Angeles in 1947. Lives and works between Los Angeles and Fairfield, Idaho.

Growing up as the child of Mexican immigrants, Anthony Hernandez worked as a medic in the US Army for two years during the Vietnam War before he began photographing in 1969. Between 1966 and 1967, he took some introductory photography courses as a student at East Los Angeles College, but he is largely self-taught. Hernandez focuses on capturing social landscapes in urban environments. Based on a search for beauty and a sensitive examination of current social realities in the world, with a focus on Baltimore, Saigon, Rome and especially Los Angeles, his multi-layered oeuvre ranges from black and white to color photography, from 35mm to large format cameras, from the human figure to landscapes to abstract details..

Nick Knight

Photographer/imagemaker and filmmaker. Born 1958 in London, where he also lives and works.

Nick Knight studied photography at the Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design. Whilst he was still studying, in 1982, he already published his first book of photographs, Skinhead. From the mid-1980s onward, he consistently contributed to magazines such as i-DVogueDazed & Confused, and Visionaire. His fashion images are highly regarded for challenging conventional ideals and parameters of beauty, aesthetics, and of photography itself.

In 2000 Knight launched the pioneering fashion website SHOWstudio.com, an interactive platform for the distribution of videos, photographs, and illustrations featuring fashion.

Steven Meisel

Photographer. Born 1954 in New York, where he also lives and works.

Steven Meisel is highly acclaimed for his provocative and controversial imagery and his narrative approach whilst constantly incorporating and questioning contemporary issues.

Meisel studied fashion illustration at the Parsons School for Design in New York where he later taught part-time. He started working for the fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick as an illustrator and thereupon moved to Women’s Wear Daily. As a side job, he photographed models for a model agency and was fascinated by the medium to which he dedicated himself from then onward.

Meisel worked as a photographer for two Italian magazines: Per Lui and Lei, edited by the later editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, the late Franca Sozzani. As one of the very first photographers, Meisel signed a major contact with the publisher Condé Nast to create every cover for Vogue Italia from 1988 to 2014. He also worked for numerous other magazines. e.g. W Magazine and Vanity Fair Italy.

Helmut Newton

Photographer. Born 1920 in Berlin. Died 2004 in Los Angeles.

Helmut Newton had already completed an apprenticeship with a Berlin fashion photographer and remained true to fashion even during his years in exile. In the mid-1950s he returned to Europe and started working for Vogue and various other fashion magazines. Having achieved international fame during his lifetime, Newton’s legendary staged black-and-white photographs of “femmes fatales” possess a narrative character full of erotic glamour.

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.

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.