The new English edition of La mia commedia dell’arte (2022) is published in handy paperback format. It is complemented by a rediscovered letter from Ernst H. Gombrich and a text by Catherine and Tarcisius Schelbert, adding two more voices to those that speak of Jacqueline Burckhardt’s contribution to the field of art.
"Art is my oxygen. It is also an inexhaustible cornucopia across all times and disciplines."
Burckhardt’s life is art, approached from many angles: as a former restorer, as an art historian, as the early initiator of the performance program at the Kunsthaus Zürich, as co-editor of the art journal Parkett, as curator of site-specific art on the Novartis Campus in Basel, as a lecturer at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio, and as director of the summer academy at the Zentrum Paul Klee. Her cultural commitment also includes presiding over the Swiss Federal Art Commission for nine years.
An in-depth dialogue between curator and art historian Juri Steiner reveals her "inter-esse" in the Latin sense of the word, for she is active both in between and at the core of art. Their delightfully illustrated conversation – as lighthearted as it is profound – provides a fascinating account of Burckhardt’s work and mindset. Together, Steiner and Burckhardt address a diversity of topics, ranging rhizome like from the dual historical nature of artworks to Herbert Lachmayer's concept of "taste intelligence." We encounter Kairos, the god of the opportune moment, alongside Isabelle d'Este, the botfly, and the octopus.
Selected texts penned over the past 40 years elaborate on issues raised in the conversation and give an insight into Burckhardt’s distinctive and informative writings on art.
The “Intermezzo”— with contributions by Laurie Anderson, Kurt W. Forster, Katharina Fritsch, Herbert Lachmayer, Pipilotti Rist, Catherine Schelbert, and a copy of Ernst Gombrich’s letter—eloquently testify to her relationship with artists and authors.
The cover is an artistic collaboration between Herbert Lachmayer and Kai Damian Matthiesen. This “unorthodox, beautiful cover,” in the words of the jury of the renowned American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), was awarded a prize in the Fifty Books 50 Covers 2022 competition.
With a conversation between Juri Steiner and Jacqueline Burckhardt; inserts by Laurie Anderson, Kurt W. Forster, Katharina Fritsch, Herbert Lachmayer, Pipilotti Rist, and Catherine Schelbert; and a selection of Burckhardt's writings.