(1941 Basel - 1992 Basel)
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Jörg Schulthess was born in Basel, the
son of a father from Emmenthal and a sephardic
Jewish mother who had emigrated from Italy.
Schuldhess was a close friend of Jean Dubuffet
and became interested in and influenced by Art
Brut, particularly the work of Adolf Wolfli.
As a young man he changed the first part of
his last name from "Schult" to "Schuld"-
the German word for guilt to underline his belief
that mankind was burdened with guilt.
Deeply troubled by the Holocaust, Schuldhess
converted to Judaism in 1968 and adopted Israeli
citizenship in 1979. But disappointed by the
Israeli occupation in Lebanon, he returned his
passport to the Israeli Embassy in Bern in the
The Embassy of Switzerland recently organized
an exhibit of Schuldhess's work at the National
Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur in 2004. The exhbition
entitled "A mystical painter from Switzerland"
looked at the strong influence of Hindu culture
on the artist. At his death in 1992, Schuldhess's
ashes were released into the Ganges river.
Schuldhess works can be found in collections
of the Kunstmuseum, Basel, the Geneva Museum
of Art and Hitory, and hte Centre Georges Pompidou
Sources: Biographical Dictionary of Swiss Art
/ Website of the Swiss Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
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