Installation view, ⁠‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Photo: Ken Adlard

Exhibition Learning Notes: GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG

This resource has been produced to accompany the exhibition ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’ at Hauser & Wirth Somerset from 3 June 2023 – 1 January 2024.

Click here to download a PDF of this resource.

GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’, meaning group show in German, is an exhibition celebrating Hauser & Wirth’s Swiss heritage through a presentation of over 20 artists. This multidisciplinary exhibition is inspired by the idea of a traditional Kunsthalle, a space where temporary art exhibitions are held. The exhibition will evolve in three parts over the course of seven months, featuring installations, solo presentations and video works.

Alongside the exhibition, the Education Lab takes its starting point from Mika Rottenberg and Pipilotti Rist’s commitment to environmentally sustainable creative practices, developed by the gallery’s green teams globally. Many of the artists featured within the exhibition, such as Martin Creed, Rashid Johnson and Allison Katz, have lived and worked in Bruton as part of the gallery’s longstanding residency program, drawing inspiration from Durslade Farm, the local community and surrounding Somerset landscape. Katz has created a suite of 13 playful exhibition posters that are displayed across the site. For Katz, designing posters is a way of playfully exploring protocols of typography, language and graphics, whilst addressing themes of consumption, desire and memory.

Installation view, ⁠‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 ©️ Martin Creed. All Rights Reserved DACS, 2023 ©️ Mika Rottenberg. Photo: Ken Adlard

Installation view, ⁠‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Photo: Ken Adlard

What Does the Exhibition Look Like?
In the Threshing Barn, visitors are greeted by Creed’s ‘Work No. 243 HELLO’ (2000), which blurs the distinction between art and life. Video installations by Rist and sculptures by Phyllida Barlow are centerpieces within the multisensory spectacle that fill the space from floor to ceiling. Richard Jackson’s neon signs flash with puns and statements, seen in works such as ‘HOTSHOT’ (2022), ‘BIG FAT PIG’ (2010) and ‘BARE BEAR’ (2008) , whilst Jason Rhoades’ neon installations, such as ‘Shelf (Mutton Chops) with Unpainted Donkey’ (2003), push against cultural conventions.

The Workshop and Pigsty Galleries have been transformed to showcase Rottenberg’s seminal video installation, ‘Cosmic Generator (Loaded #2)’ (2017 – 2018). This surreal and subversive video work explores globalization, labor and spectacle. Filmed on-site at a market for plastic goods in Yiwu, China and in Mexicali, Mexico, a town near the US border, which is home to a large Chinese population, the video mixes scenes of real locations with elements of magical realism. By weaving fact and fiction together, Rottenberg highlights the inherent beauty and absurdity of our contemporary existence. Also on view are Rottenberg’s newly created lamp sculptures made from 3D printed household waste plastic. Made whilst in residence in Somerset, these works are the first in a new series. 

The Kino/Cinema in the Rhoades Gallery presents a changing weekly schedule of video and film works over the course of the exhibition, featuring Nicole Eisenman, Rodney Graham, Camille Henrot, Paul McCarthy, Anri Sala and Lorna Simpson, amongst others.

Installation view, ⁠‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 ©️ Mika Rottenberg. Photo: Ken Adlard

Installation view, ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Photo: Ken Adlard

The Bourgeois Gallery opened with a solo presentation of McCarthy’s ‘White Snow Dwarves’ sculptures (2010 – 2012) between June and early September. These fantastical works are the result of McCarthy’s exploration and subversion of the famous 19th Century German folk tale ‘Snow White (Schneewittchen)’ and the modern interpretation in Disney’s beloved animated film ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937).

A solo presentation by Franz West is on view in the Bourgeois Gallery from mid September until January. West was one of the most influential artists to have emerged from the 1960s generation of Viennese actionists and is best known for his interactive sculptures and installations. West’s materials could be described as everyday rather than specialized. In all his work, he was interested in being playful and ambiguous. For instance, an important part of West’s practice was that he never considered his sculptures finished pieces unless the viewer interacted with the work either physically or intellectually and thereby ‘completing’ it. 

Installation view, ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 © Archiv Franz West / Estate Franz West. Courtesy the Franz West Foundation and Ursula Hauser Collection, Switzerland. Photo: Ken Adlard

Installation view, ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 © Archiv Franz West / Estate Franz West. Courtesy the Franz West Foundation and Ursula Hauser Collection, Switzerland. Photo: Ken Adlard

Many of West’s sculptures are performative in nature and encourage interaction from the public; expanding the possibilities of what sculpture can be and interrupting traditional ways of viewing art. Some of the outdoor sculptures in this exhibition reflect this, such as ‘Étude de couleur’ (1991/1997) which highlights the artist’s provocative commentary on the world and people around him. West’s colorful and bold works ‘Autostat’ (1996) and ‘Gartenpouf (Garden Pouf)’ (2006) are also displayed on the plinth in front of the gallery’s entrance.

Within the exhibition, the installations ‘Kasseler Rippchen (Kassel-Style Spare Ribs)’ (1991/1996) ‘Synchronie (Abriss)’ (1997) and ‘Guest Bed (with Rudolf Polanszky)’ (1999) allow viewers to experience work by multiple artists, including Mary Heilmann, Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Kiki Smith and Rudolf Polanszky. In small, booth-like displays paintings, new-media sculpture and works on paper showcase West’s diverse practice. This presentation represents the artist’s challenge to and questioning of social conventions, and the desire to break boundaries between an ‘art object’ and the outside world.

Henrot’s bronze sculptures, ‘Family of Men’ (2022) and ‘Gargoyles’ (2022) are exhibited in the Farmyard and amongst the flora and fauna of Oudolf Field. ‘Family of Men’ (2022) offers an image of the crushing power of authority and ancestry, with the figures squashing each other in their quest for elevation and growth. David Zink Yi’s stainless-steel replicas of ‘Washingtonia robusta’ palms explore artificiality and idealized nature.

Installation view, ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 © Archiv Franz West / Estate Franz West. Courtesy the Franz West Foundation. Photo: Ken Adlard

Installation view, ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 © Archiv Franz West / Estate Franz West. Courtesy the Franz West Foundation. Photo: Ken Adlard

What Is the Education Lab?
The Education Lab is part of the gallery’s commitment to inclusive learning programs. Located at our galleries in Downtown Los Angeles, Menorca and Somerset, as well as the Chillida Leku museum, each Education Lab is a collaboration with a local community group, school or university. The interactive spaces take their starting point from one of our international artists, facilitating a platform for discovery, discussion and additional resources.

Inspired by Rottenberg and Rist, the Education Lab in Somerset provides a platform for collaboration across the gallery’s green teams globally. Through the Education Lab, our internal teams are developing a forum to share knowledge and display new ideas in relation to creative use and reuse of materials within our gallery ecosystem. Visitors are invited to take part in the activation of the space itself, engage with themes of environmental sustainability, and be inspired to collaborate and to create change in this area.

Installation view, ⁠Education Lab ‘Turning the Inside Outside: Sustainable Actions in the Art World,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke

Installation view, ⁠Education Lab ‘Turning the Inside Outside: Sustainable Actions in the Art World,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke

Who Are the Artists in GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG?
Phyllida Barlow (1944 – 2023) was a British artist who took inspiration from her surroundings to create imposing installations that can be at once menacing and playful.

Martin Creed (b. 1968) is a British artist, composer and performer.

Nicole Eisenman (b. 1965) is a French- American artist. Having established herself as a painter, Eisenman has expanded her practice into the third dimension.

Isa Genzken (b. 1948) has long been considered one of Germany’s most important and influential contemporary artists. Since the 1970s, Genzken’s diverse practice has encompassed sculpture, photography, found-object installation, film, drawing and painting.

Rodney Graham (1949 – 2022) was a Canadian artist who operated through systems of quotation, reference and adaptation. From the 1980s, Graham expanded his diverse oeuvre to encompass photography, painting, sculpture, film, video and music.

Richard Hamilton (1922 – 2011) was an English painter and collage artist.

Mary Heilmann (b. 1940) is an American artist and one of the most influential abstract painters of her generation.

Camille Henrot (b. 1978) is a French artist whose work moves seamlessly between film, painting, drawing, bronze, sculpture and installation.

Jenny Holzer (b. 1950) is an American conceptual and installation artist whose work deploys text in public spaces across an array of media, including electronic signs, carved stone, paintings, billboards and printed materials.

Richard Jackson (b. 1939) has been a pre-eminent figure in American contemporary art since the 1970’s. Jackson is influenced by both abstract expressionism and action painting, exploring a performative painting process which seeks to extend the potential of painting by upending its technical conventions.

Rashid Johnson (b. 1977) is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality and critical history.

Allison Katz (b. 1980) has investigated the ways in which aesthetic practices link and absorb autobiography, commodity culture, information systems and art history for over a decade. For Katz, designing posters is a way of playfully exploring typography, language and graphics, whilst addressing themes of consumption, desire and memory.

Paul McCarthy (b. 1945) is widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking contemporary American artists. McCarthy’s multifaceted artistic practice includes performance, photography, film and video, sculpture, drawing and painting.

Jason Rhoades (1965 – 2006) is known for monumental installations that have pushed aesthetic conventions. Engaging with concepts of labour, capital, materiality, modernism, performance and process, he considered each of his works as components of one single boundless piece realised over time.

Pipilotti Rist (b. 1962) a pioneer of spatial video art and has been a central figure within the international art scene since the mid-1980s.

Dieter Roth (1930 – 1998) was an artist of an immense diversity and breadth, producing books, graphics, drawings, paintings, sculptures, assemblages, installations, audio and media works involving slides, sound recordings, film and video. He also worked as a composer, poet, writer and musician.

Björn Roth (born 1961) is a multidisciplinary artist. Roth’s long-standing artistic collaborations with artist and father Dieter Roth, highlight their cross-generational practice.

Mika Rottenberg (b. 1976) is an Argentinian-born, New York-based artist devoted to a rigorous practice that combines film, architectural installation, and sculpture to explore ideas of labor and the production of value in our contemporary hyper-capitalist world.

Anri Sala (b. 1974) represents a truly contemporary international vision: working in a range of media including video, photography and installation, Sala was educated in Albania and France, but now lives and works in Berlin.

Cindy Sherman (b. 1954) lives and works in New York City. Her groundbreaking photographs have interrogated themes around representation and identity in contemporary media for over four decades.

Roman Signer (b. 1938) is a Swiss artist who has been redefining sculpture for more than 40 years and is now regarded as one of the finest representatives of process and conceptual art.

Lorna Simpson (b. 1960) came to prominence in the 1980s with her pioneering approach to conceptual photography. Simpson’s early work, particularly her striking juxtapositions of text and staged images raises questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history that continue to drive the artist’s expanding and multidisciplinary practice today.

Alina Szapocznikow (1926 – 1973) was an artist born in Poland to a Jewish family and survived the Holocaust as a teenager. She studied sculpture at the École des Beaux Arts and later moved into figurative abstraction and then a pioneering form of representation. By the 1960s, she was radically re-conceptualizing sculpture as an intimate record not only of her memory, but also of her own body.

David Zink Yi (b. 1973) is a Berlin-based artist whose work revolves around themes of creation, manifestation and the construction of identity. Drawing inspiration from his own experiences, he interrogates the complex aspects of identity construction through his multidisciplinary practice; encompassing film, photography, sculpture, performance, ceramics and multichannel video installations.

Franz West (1947 – 2012) was an Austrian artist best known for his tactile sculptures and interactive installations with furniture.

David Zink Yi, Neusilber (New Silver), (2018) Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 © David Zink Yi. Photo: Ken Adlard

Camille Henrot, Family of Men, (2022), Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 © Camille Henrot. Photo: Ken Adlard

What Are the Major Themes Within the Exhibition?

Kunsthalle emerged in Europe in the mid-19th Century as contemporary exhibition halls with no permanent collection. The qualities of a Kunsthalle are therefore the ability to be more accessible, adventurous and experimental in the art that they showcase.

Hauser & Wirth has built a reputation for its dedication to artists and support of visionary artistic projects worldwide. The gallery represents over 90 artists and estates who have been instrumental in shaping its identity. They are the inspiration for Hauser & Wirth’s diverse range of activities that engage with art, education, conservation and sustainability. This exhibition features many of Hauser & Wirth’s artists, and in particular includes work by Rist, McCarthy and Heilmann, who have been with the gallery since it was founded in 1992 in Zurich.

The Threshing Barn features work in a variety of media that has been curated to create an all-consuming multisensory spectacle that fills the space from floor to ceiling. Rist’s ‘香港中 環吊燈 (Central Hong Kong Chandelier)’ (2021) encourages her viewers to recline, inviting them to contemplate, and at the same time, share a collective experience with other people in the space. Similarly, Phyllida Barlow’s Somerset pompons, ‘Untitled: GIG’ (2014) urge visitors to look up and observe the relationship between objects and the space that surrounds them. Richard Jackson’s neon signs flash with evocative puns and statements that engage with the artist’s interest in hunting culture and its vernacular.

Hauser & Wirth was founded in 1992 in Zurich by Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser. A family business with a global outlook, Hauser & Wirth has spaces in Hong Kong, London, New York, Southampton, Downtown Los Angeles, Somerset, Menorca, Monaco, Zurich, Gstaad, and St. Moritz. ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’ is a celebration of Hauser & Wirth’s Swiss heritage and speaks to a deeprooted passion and commitment to art, food, hospitality, community and nature.

Artist Films
Video and film can often be an integral element of an artist’s practice. This exhibition shows and celebrates video and film works by Creed, Eisenman, Graham, Henrot, Jackson, Johnson, McCarthy, Rist, Rottenberg, Sala and Simpson.

The Education Lab explores what materials, exhibition design and planning mean in the context of our current exhibition and gives young people a voice to highlight environmental issues affecting their local community.

Installation view, ⁠‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG,’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023 © Archiv Franz West / Estate Franz West. Courtesy the Franz West Foundation. Photo: Ken Adlard


An economic and political system in which a country’s trade is controlled by private owners for profit.

Carbon Literacy
The awareness of climate change and the climate impacts of everyday human actions.

Related to the buying and selling of goods or services.

The act of using up a resource.

The process of interaction and integration among people, companies and governments worldwide.

The sense of who one is as an individual and/or in a group.

A social and environmental goal around the ability of people to co-exist on earth over a long period of time.

Viennese Actionism
An art movement of the mid-20th Century interested in body art. An early precursor of performance art.

Discussion Points
• Hauser & Wirth has built a reputation for its dedication to artists and support of visionary artistic projects worldwide. What does it mean for an artist to be represented by a gallery? If you were an artist, what kind of support do you think you might need from your gallery?

• Traditional museums and galleries have a role to preserve and interpret their permanent collection, whereas Kunsthalles’ have a changing temporary exhibition program. What do you think are advantages of not having a permanent collection? What does being adventurous and experimental look like in the context of curating and exhibiting art?

• Many of the artists in ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’ use film, video recordings and video projections as part of their artistic practice. How does the use of moving images open up new possibilities concerning what artists can do and what moving images can be?

• Most museums work to make sure that galleries have a neutral environment so that the visitor can focus on the artworks. How has this exhibition been curated to create a much more dynamic and multisensory experience? Do the themes of the exhibition extend beyond the galleries into the wider site?

• In what ways can galleries and artists be more environmentally friendly? Can you think of how an artist could be more sustainable in their practice? What can a gallery do to help reduce its carbon footprint?

Suggested Classroom Activities
• Inspired by Rottenberg’s creative practice and the Education Lab, students are invited to design a sustainable outdoor sculpture. Consider using natural or recycled materials; potential site location of the work and encompassing themes that relate to the environment.

• As a class, design a group show featuring your own artwork. Appoint students in different roles such as technicians, curators and artists. Consider what role each group will have in planning the exhibition. You will need to think about where your exhibition can take place, how the works will be hung and shown, whether there is a collective theme and if there will be a private view to which you can invite parents, carers and friends?

• Design a poster for your own group show inspired by Katz’s posters for ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’. What makes a good poster? Think about color, font, message and image.

• West often collected other artist’s work. Make a drawing of a West sculpture. Once you have finished, swap with a partner, then cut up each other’s drawings and use glue to make a 3D form.

• Choose one sculpture in the West presentation and focus on the material of the form. Think about how you can make pencil marks on paper that help to convey the texture of the form. Hold the pencil flat against the paper to get a thicker line, smudge, or cover the paper in pencil and rub-out the form of the sculpture.

Supplementary Research


Education Lab: ‘Turning the Inside Outside: Sustainable Actions in the Art World’

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