london

View of “Friedrich Kuhn,” 2013. From left: Untitled, 1969; Untitled, 1969; Palm Tree, 1969.

Friedrich Kuhn

Herald St

View of “Friedrich Kuhn,” 2013. From left: Untitled, 1969; Untitled, 1969; Palm Tree, 1969.

Der Malerals Outlaw” (The Painter as Outlaw), the title of the 2008–2009 exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich devoted to local legend Friedrich Kuhn (1926–1972), gives a fair indication of how he is remembered in the city he called home. Like that of many a larger-thanlife bad boy who drank himself into an early grave, his mythology is a catalogue of bohemian outrages—the rows with collectors or would-be benefactors, the terrorizing of upmarket restaurants, the unruly entourage—that risks overshadowing the work itself.

Some of Kuhn’s most remarkable work, or at least that most resonant today because of its Pop-surreal sensibility, graphic punchiness, and cross-media profligacy, was produced during the last few years of his rambunctious life. These were the years foregrounded in the capsule show judiciously curated by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen of the Zurich-based project

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