Since the 1970s, members of the Hilti family have been actively engaged in the collection of art. In the early 1990s, the family created the Hilti Art Foundation to support the systematic long-term development and growth of the collection, which currently contains some two hundred paintings, sculptures, objects, and photographs from the period of classical modernism to the present. A characteristic trait of private collections is that they reflect the individual interests of the respective collectors, their highly personal approach to art, and after more than twenty years of dedicated collecting activity, the Hilti family’s interest in cubism, futurism, expressionism, and surrealism, along with concrete art and Zero, has led them to become recognizable and increasingly important focal points. Originating in a desire for beauty and aesthetic pleasure—which excludes ugliness, yet still allows for exploration of the abyss within the beautiful—the collection is marked by pronounced sensuous qualities, especially in the genre of painting. At the same time, however, it is guided by a conscious perception of the formal and conceptual changes in the art of the late nineteenth and the entire twentieth century. The goal of the collection is to continually broaden and publicly disseminate the understanding of this epoch.
Volume 1 of this two-part catalogue of the collection presents eighty selected works from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Ranging from post-impressionism, expressionism, cubism, futurism, neo-plasticism, and surrealism to abstraction, the volume includes works from Gauguin, Picasso, Giacometti, Lehmbruck, Boccioni, Kirchner, Gris, Feininger, Dubuffet, Klee, Beckmann, Miró, Léger, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Wols, and more. Volume 2 features more than one hundred selected works from the middle of the twentieth century to the present, including works from Albers, Struth, Fontana, Klein, Manzoni, Uecker, Mack, Colombo, Albers, Bill, Fruhtrunk, von Graevenitz, Richter, Sonnier, Honegger, Gotthard Graubner, Knoebel, and Scully.