November 14, 2021

The Hidden Horizontal. Cornices in Art and Architecture

In architecture, the cornice is an element that hides in plain sight. Omnipresent as the elaborate junction between roof and wall, or wall and ceiling, this ornamental element seems to have attracted far less attention from architects, critics or theoreticians than, for instance, columns or the architectural orders. But in a new exhibition at the Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich, the cornice makes its long overdue grand entrance, displaying its many incarnations in art and architecture. Over 150 drawings, prints, books and objects from the 15th century to the present day are united in a new dialogue, some shown for the first time in Switzerland.

The exhibition unites a unique selection of over 150 drawings, prints, books and objects from the 15th century to the present day, some shown for the first time in Switzerland. Authors and artists exhibited include Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Gottfried Semper, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, amongst many others. By bringing works from earlier centuries from the ETH collections into direct dialogue with loans from important institutions in Switzerland and abroad, including the Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris, the Louvre, the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, the Drawing Matter Collections (UK), the Berlin State Museums, the Rietberg Museum Zurich, and more, the exhibition will expose the “hidden horizontal” at the centre of five centuries of art and design thinking.

The exhibition opened 25 August and will close 14 November 2021. More information can be found here.

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