Paul Gauguin at the Fondation Beyeler

The Multimedia Room of the Exhibition

With 'Paul Gauguin', the Fondation Beyeler presented one of the most important and fascinating artists in history from 8 February until 28 June 2015. The exhibition brought together over fifty masterpieces by Gauguin from leading international museums and private collections.

For the first time in the history of the Fondation Beyeler, a multimedia mediation room was integrated into the exhibition; conceived, designed, and implemented by iart on behalf of and in collaboration with the Fondation Beyeler. With a unique combination of physical and virtual elements, Gauguin's life and work could be explored in fun ways.

Real Books in a New Light

The interactive books that iart developed formed the magical centre of the multimedia room. For the printed parts of the pages were supplemented by projected content, thus permitting interactive elements and moments of surprise in the form of animations with sound: For example, the animated ship actually moved into the harbour of Papeete; when touched, sketches turned into the painting based on them; and a still life flowed out of 'Self-Portrait with Palette'. Quotations in three languages supplemented the themes of the paintings and could be opened and closed.

Sounds emerged both from the interactive books and from the adjoining room, which also offered seating; they contributed discreetly to the South Pacific mood of the multimedia room and filled out the overall experience of the exhibition for the senses.

Wall Graphics in Motion

Gauguin's world travels and exotic locales were illustrated by means of animated wall graphics; they were unusual in that the printed and projected content overlapped. Accompanied by a series of different biographical facts, the routes of his life moved from place to place across the physical map of the world. Beginning with his first sea voyage to Peru at the age of one, he travelled around the world twice with the merchant marine, then the journey passed through diverse stations on his way to Tahiti, finally ending with Gauguin's death on the remote Marquesas island Hiva Oa.

On the side walls, the artist's biography was presented in the form of texts and reproductions of historical photographs that were assigned different colours or spheres in his life. For example, the people, travels, and artistic experiences of his life could be followed as strands in different colours.

Audio Guide for Children and Adults

In addition to the multimedia room, iart was in charge of the audio guide for the exhibition.  It contributed stories and pieces of music to selected paintings and encouraged visitors to make their own discoveries. A new addition to the art education programme of the museum, the audio guide for children provided younger visitors with a deeper understanding of the artist's work in a fun way.

iart was responsible for the conception, design, planning, and implementation of the multimedia room and audio guide, on behalf of and in collaboration with the Fondation Beyeler. The graphics and animations for the walls were conceived and designed in collaboration with berger + stadel + walsh. The sounds were produced by Idee und Klang.

Exhibition Site

Fondation Beyeler

Project Phases

Conception, Planning and Realisation

Project Duration

5 months


8 February 2015

Exhibition Duration

5 months

Exhibition Area

135 m²