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Lill Tschudi

Lill Tschudi (b. 1911, Schwanden, Switzerland – d. 2004, Schwanden, Switzerland) was a prominent figure in the Grosvenor School and is known primarily for her color linocut work. Her early work is informed by her teacher and mentor Claude Flight, employing his formal language to her linocuts and multicolored printing. She later focused on sporting themes as her subjects, often depicting men at work and representing Swiss rural life. After 1945, her style shifted to abstraction.

Mary Ryan Gallery is the primary American gallery involved in promoting Grosvenor school linocuts and featured solo exhibitions of Tschudi’s prints in the 1980s. The gallery placed several of her works, as well as those by fellow Grosvenor school artists, in private and museum collections. Her work was also the subject of group shows at the gallery in 2001 and 2008.

Tschudi was born in the village of Schwanden, a mountainous region in eastern Switzerland known for its textile industry. She attended The Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London from 1929-1930. Although the artist lived in mainland Europe from 1931 on, she maintained a close relationship with the Grosvenor School linocut tutor Claude Flight, who remained her point of liaison with the British art world for the rest of her life.

Inspired by the artistic philosophy of the contemporaneous Futurist and Vorticist art movements, Tschudi explored themes of modernity, speed and industry in her famous linocut series of motor-car racing and the London Underground. In 1931, she lived in Paris and directed her attention to life in the French capital. There she studied under Cubist artist André Lhote, Futurist artist Gino Severini at the Academie Ronson, and Fernand Léger at the Académie Moderne. While in Paris, Tschudi extended her repertoire to include scenes of nightlife, jazz music, dance, as well as mass transit, pedestrians, poster bills, gymnasts, cyclists and circus scenes.

Tschudi moved back to her home town in Switzerland in 1935, where she stayed for the rest of her life. Though she had returned to her native land, her audience as an artist remained primarily British, as her work continued to reflect the style and philosophical tenets of the Grosvenor School. She completed over 355 linocuts over the course of her career.

Her work has most recently been included in solo and group exhibitions at Graphische Sammlung, Zurich, CH (2022); Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY (2021); Museum of Modern Art, NY (2019); Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK (2019); University of San Diego Galleries, CA (2017); Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN (2015); and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (2014), among others.

Tschudi’s work is in numerous prominent museum collections, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, AU; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON; British Museum, UK; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, CH; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Kunsthaus Glarus, CH; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Minnesota Institute of Art, MN; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of New Zealand, NZ; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, AU; Rhode Island School of Design, RI and the Victoria and Albert Museum, UK.

Tschudi’s prints are discussed in the important monograph, “Linocuts of the Machine Age” by Stephen Coppel and in “Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints, 1914-1939″ published by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2008 in conjunction with an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
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