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Back and Forth – The graphic and artistic work of Hans Aeschbach, Willy Eidenbenz and Rolf Rappaz 21. Oct. – 17. Dec. Rappaz Museum Basel

The last exhibition of the Rappaz Museum Basel, which will be closed at the end of December 2023, is dedicated to three Swiss graphic artists who were also fine artists; Rolf Rappaz, Willi Eidenbenz and Hans Aeschbach.

The exhibition addresses the parallels in the biographies of these graphic artists in the context of their common historical background. On the basis of a detailed synopsis, the diversity of their life and art is reflects the times of the 20th century. The starting point of this thematic group exhibition is the particular aspect that since the 1930’s they were successful both as commercial graphic artists and as fine artists. By comparing graphic and artistic works, the exhibition explores which aesthetic questions were representative for this generation of artists and graphic artists, and how their creative ideas were implemented in painting and design.


Rolf Rappaz (1914-1996) was an important Basel graphic artist and trade fair installation designer. His humorous posters for Firestone, Rohner, Stoffel and the Muba, which are characterized by lack of object and extreme reduction of form and color, showed a radically innovative, minimalist variant of the Swiss Style. Rappaz taught for many years graphics classes of the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel.
Willi Eidenbenz (1909-1998) led the successful Atelier Eidenbenz which combined graphics and photography in Basel with his brothers Hermann and Reinhold. A bold synthesis of advertising graphics and photomontage with a simple, low-decorative formulation is characteristic of the studio.
Hans Aeschbach (1911-1999) was known as a graphic artist and book illustrator. His factual posters for well-known brands such as Bally, Hero, Steinfelswaschmittel, Schaffhauser Wolle and Riri helped him to prominence on a national and international level. Aeschbach taught from 1943 to 1976 in the preliminary course department of the Kunstgewerbeschule Zurich.

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