2020 until February 2020, the Nicola Erni Collection has devoted its attention to Mario Testino with a breathtaking and large-format staging of some of his most beautiful and unique fashion photographs.

In addition, publicly exhibited for the first time is the extensive collection of the works by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Included were numerous works on different media from the early 1980s, monumental paintings and collaborations with Andy Warhol, and includes pieces up to 1988, the year of his death. 

Rounding off this first publicly accessible exhibition is a large selection of photographs by iconic figures such as Richard Avedon and Jacques Henri Lartigue as well as established and emerging artists including Erik Madigan Heck, Rashid Johnson, Helmut Newton, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Richard Prince, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Emma Summerton and Juergen Teller.


Richard Avedon

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.

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. 

Esther Haase

Fotografin. 1966 in Bremen, Deutschland geboren. Lebt und arbeitet in Hamburg und London. 

Esther Haase studierte Tanz an der Staatlichen Akademie in Köln und trat darauf als Tänzerin dem Theater am Goetheplatz in Bremen bei. Anschliessend studierte sie bis 1993 an der Hochschule der Künste in Bremen Grafik-Design mit Schwerpunkt Fotografie. Der Durchbruch gelang ihr 1998 mit einer Modestrecke für das deutsche Magazin Stern, welche sie in Kuba fotografiert hatte. Seither gilt sie als eine der bekanntesten deutschen Modefotografinnen und bereist mit ihrer Kamera im Auftrag für Magazine wie die italienische Vanity Fair, die französische Madame FigaroVogue IndiaHarper’s Bazaar und die deutschen Titel SternMadame und ICON die Welt. Werbekunden sind unter anderem Victoia’s Secret, Chopard, Laura Biagotti und Guess. 

Esther Haase ist ausserdem bekannt für ihre sensiblen Portraits. Sie fotografierte unter anderem die deutschen Schauspielerinnen Hannelore Elsner, Iris Berben und Gudrun Landgrebe, ebenso die Sängerin Nena sowie die legendäre englische Mode-Designerin Vivienne Westwood. 

Erik Madigan Heck

Photographer. Born 1983 in Excelsior, Minnesota. Lives and works in Connecticut and New York.

Erik Madigan Heck has been working as a fashion photographer since 2012. Already in 2007 he founded the Nomenus Quarterly, a collaborative platform for artists working in the worlds of photography and the fine arts. Heck uses digital post-production and stylistic means in his photography to achieve a painterly quality.

Rashid Johnson

Painter, sculptor, filmmaker, photographer. Born 1977 in Chicago. Lives and works in New York.

Rashid Johnson works with various media – painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, film and monumental installation. His oeuvre draws on autobiographical references and African American symbolism, particularly in terms of the materials he uses, such as black soap, shea butter, black tiles and graffiti. Johnson’s works address issues of cultural identity and social belonging as well as the emotions associated with them.

Jacques Henri Lartigue

Photographer. Born 1894 in Courbevoie near Paris. Died 1986 in Nice, France.

Already in childhood Jacques Henri Lartigue was taking photographs, designing photo books and writing in a journal. He studied painting at the Académie Julian and remained a self-taught photographer. It was only in the early 1960s that Lartigue was discovered in New York and began working as a fashion photographer in 1966. He achieved international fame and his snapshot-like photographs document and celebrate life over a period of more than eight decades and celebrate life. 

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.

Richard Prince

Photographer and painter. Born 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone, USA. Lives and works in New York.

Richard Prince’s work has been examining the myths and archetypes of American popular culture since the mid-1970s. He works with diverse media and is best known for his series of nurses and cowboys. Prince is considered a pioneer of Appropriation Art and deliberately copies other artists and recontextualises found materials – such as advertising images – in order to address fundamental questions of authorship and originality. 

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. 

Emma Summerton

Photographer. Born 1970 in Sydney, Australia. Lives and works in London and New York.

Emma Summerton has been working as a commercial fashion photographer since 2005. Inspired by films, Summerton aims to convey emotions with her photography and sets great store by their narrative character. She sees fashion as a platform for personal freedom and individual expression wholly detached from social expectations.  

Juergen Teller

Photographer. Born 1964 in Erlangen, Germany. Lives and works in London.

Though Juergen Teller has been working as a commercial fashion photographer since 1996, he doesn’t shy away from parodying the fashion industry in his work. Teller is particularly interested in the interaction between the photographer and the model, and with his direct and unadulterated gaze creates raw, honest images that neither idealise nor embellish but rather celebrate the idea of imperfect beauty.

Mario Testino

Mario Testino (Peruvian, b. 1954) is one of the most renowned fashion and portrait photographers of our time, having risen to international fame in 1997 with a portrait of the late Princess Diana. His photographs are a reflection of his personality, whether in their joyful colourfulness, sexy sensuality and relaxed serenity, or in his models’ trust in Testino as a photographer and the touching intimacy of his portraits.

Jean-Michel Basquiat & Andy Warhol

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

Photographer, painter, filmmaker. Born 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Died 1987 in New York.

At the initiation of a Swiss gallery owner, the already established Andy Warhol met the up-and-coming artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in the autumn of 1982. Between 1984 and 1985 the artists collaborated on approximately 130 works, constantly inspiring each other: Warhol returned to his painterly beginnings; Basquiat experimented with silk-screen printing. Competition would remain be an integral part of their friendship. Warhol’s death in 1987 greatly affected Basquiat. 

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.