The Simon Spierer Collection
A Forest of Sculptures
In 2004, the Geneva art collector Simon Spierer (1926, Trieste – 2005, Geneva) donated a unique collection of 40 stelae, torsi, and figures to the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, spanning from modernism to the present. It includes works by globally renowned sculptors from Classical Modernism to the present.
Among the works in the collection are art-historical icons of Modernism such as Constantin Brâncuși's "Bird in Space," Julio González's "Daphne," Hans Arp's "Idol," and Alberto Giacometti's "Small Bust on a Column", featuring the likeness of his brother Diego.
Spierer came from a Jewish family and fled to Switzerland in 1943 to escape the fascists. Early on, he invested money from his tobacco trade in art and the promotion of artists.
From 1980 onwards, Spierer consistently dedicated himself to the idea of a forest of sculptures that address the human body and nature. For this, he did not want small objects that are placed on furniture but rather sculptures that live from within themselves. In Spierer’s apartment, one had to literally wriggle through the figures set up. The same applies to the arrangement of the works in the "Forest of Sculptures", which visitors are meant to encounter them in as organic a way as possible.
The Simon Spierer Collection extends over three galleries on the second floor of the museum, opposite the world’s largest complex of works by Joseph Beuys, "Block Beuys". In this way, it establishes a dialogical relationship with Beuys’ expanded concept of sculpture as well as the first Readymade by the conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp, who is also represented in the collection with significant works.