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Homage à Aeschbach – Luigi Archetti, Eva Ducret, Christophe Geel, Christian Küenzi, Enrico Mattioli, Pietro Mattioli, Adrian Schiess, Bernhard Schobinger, Andreas Steinemann, Madeleine Steiner, Stefi Talmann, Peter Vetter, Daniel Zimmermann

Yujin Kim


While undoubtedly still best known for his striking hand-illustrated posters advertising companies such as Bally, Hero, and Schaffhauser Wolle, Hans Aeschbach (*1911-†1999) was not only one of the foremost designers of the post-war period, but also an artist and influential teacher at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zurich (Zurich School of Arts and Crafts), where he taught for more than thirty years. His holistic approach to art education, that placed equal importance on the nurturing of individual creative talent, as on the theoretical principles of form and colour, inspired generations of students, many of whom went on to become significant artists, designers, and teachers in their own right.


The current exhibition of artworks by some of these former students, arranged in the year of what would have been Hans Aeschbach’s 110th birthday, is a celebration of this legacy. Indeed, it is indicative of Aeschbach’s particularversatility as a teacher, that the works here - many of which were created specially for the occasion - can neither be grouped together under a single, overarching theme, or in terms of their mediums, visual style, or working methods. On the contrary, it is the very diversity and heterogeneity of these offerings - ranging from delicate watercolours and abstract paintings through to poetic assemblages of everyday objects, computer drawings, and experimental ceramic works - that provides the curatorial concept of the show; a homage to the one man whose inspiration they all hold in common.

Luigi Archetti

Luigi Archetti's artistic work, which can be located in the field of tension between art and music, is brought to the viewer in various ways that transcend genres. Visual and sonic expression meet through experimentation with materials, instruments and sound carriers; the visual is translated into the sonic and vice versa. A fusion of image, sound, space and performance emerges. "Noise" is a monochromatic painting that acts like a telescopic view of outer space, originally based on an enlarged view of dust particles on a vinyl record. 

Noise, 2019, oil on wood, 155 x 112 cm.


Eva Ducret


Her artworks are characterized by her sensitive contemplation of the environment and intuitive poetic expression of experiences of reality. The use of natural materials such as stones, water and wood and the way she stages her works in nature point to her deep connection to the history of environmental art. The artist's other themes include the ecological cycle and related biological processes such as transformation, reproduction, and decay. 

Construction-Déconstruction, 2021, photograph on glass plates, 21 x 29 cm (photo: Serge Faudin).



Christophe Geel

The "vision paintings" he has been working on for over 10 years include 2000 individual works. Enigmatic, surrealistic combinations of a complex repertoire of simple objects and personal symbols invite the viewer again and again to a paradoxical mind game that does not allow a logical answer. His composition of motifs, such as a ball of water sitting on a chair depicted in the style of Van Gogh, or a chocolate bar that turns out to be an island with golf courses, betrays the beautiful pictorial clichés and turns them into a pretended utopia. Reality here is only comprehensible as a form of paradox.

Water ball, 2010, tempera on cotton, 80 x 60 cm.



Christian Küenzi

He graduated from Walter Binder's photography class and specialized in advertising photography and photojournalism.  Both his advertising photos and his personal photographs feature a variety of motifs such as landscapes, still lifes and portraits. He also produces abstract and stylistically heterogeneous works. The commonality in his photographs is based on the fact that the subjective, aesthetic perception of the photographer is always recognizable as staging. The photographic images not only serve to document current phenomena, but also clearly show the photographer's individual point of view and the photomedial aestheticization he has undertaken. 


Water Journey, 2002, 8-color print, 29 x 39.5 cm.


Enrico Mattioli (1955 - 1991)

Roter Kopf, 1985, Eichenholz bemalt auf Metallstange mit Fuss, 175 x 25 x 25 cm.

The series of works of head sculptures made of hardwood with iron stelae, which through their spirited, deforming abstraction recalls Primitivism or Expressionism, but is not to be understood as a pleasing homage to these styles. In his painting, which hides faces as grimaces in a vexed manner in a complex labyrinth, the head as a pictorial motif becomes an indefinable object through its blending with the pictorial space. The fragmentary, fleeting, and sign-like representation typical of this series can be read as his artistic response to the prevailing postmodern discourse of the crisis of representation.

Red Head, 1985, oak wood painted on metal rod with foot, 175 x 25 x 25 cm.


Pietro Mattioli

His work is conceptual and mainly executed in series that build a complex system of references from a motivic and thematic diversity. His main focus is on media-reflexive issues related to imagery, based on compositional considerations such as perspective, contrast, balance, repetition and deviation. "Atelierhaus Wuhrstrasse," which refers to a studio house built by Ernst Giesel, consists of a series of models made of clay and is part of Mattioli's current project, which revisits the history of intergenerational Swiss artist movements.

Untitled, 2013-18, glazed ceramic, 2-piece, 25 x 56 x 25 cm.


Adrian Schiess

By pointing to boundaries between color and form given in everyday life and elevated to art, his art continually raises the question of what painting is. Running counter to the traditional function of fictional narrative or aesthetic object, "Fetzen," an assemblage of fragments of a cut, torn, brightly painted cardboard box, shows the sensory experience of perceiving color and pattern as an accidental, mental process of the viewer. Both the emptying of narrative attribution and contextual dependence in interpretation are characteristic in his work.

Watercolors, 1993, watercolor on rice paper, 33 x 22.5 cm.



Bernhard Schobinger

Not only traditional jewelry materials, but especially found objects from everyday life form the source material for his jewelry design. The unconventional, heterogeneous composition of materials and irritating combination of forms and words often show a rebellious, provocative attitude towards social and aesthetic norms. His strategic taboo-breaking not only borrows from the punk gesture of the 1970s, but is based on concrete and conceptual art, which is characterized by the purist, reduced mode of expression on the one hand and the humorous, poetic change of context on the other.

Patched tea pot, 2010, porcelain with blue underglaze, zinc, glass, jap. real gold Urushi lacquer.

Private collection Zumikon. 


Andreas Steinemann

His experience as a graphic designer and painter informs the shaping and color definition of his porcelain tableware, which is characterized by naturalistic abstraction, clear structure, and geometric patterns. Color contrast, proportion and spatial effect are sketched in a plan-like manner and executed with millimeter precision using screen printing or neriage techniques. The process of creating a porcelain bowl "No. 71" published in the film, in which cut, colored clay surfaces are precisely assembled and brought into an overall form through repeated stabilization, illustrates his joy in experimentation and his conceptual considerations.

Bowl, crossed waves, 2004, dyed porcelain plates fired, 15 x 28 cm.



Madeleine Steiner


The starting point of her painting is an exploration of colors in their materiality, applying them mixed with sand or marble powder to a canvas made of jute. Steiner's painting resembles a process of accumulating several layers of paint, which, placed on top of each other more and more, create a deep "space." The sublimity of the material created by this accumulation is partially playfully revealed by the subsequent removal of some layers. In this way, the temporal and spatial process of the painterly creation can be glimpsed. 

Carreaux, 2016, pigment oil wood, 50 x 50 cm.



Stefi Talmann

Strong contrasts of colors and materials, clear minimalist articulation, and witty, playful details are the hallmarks of internationally acclaimed shoe designer Stefi Talman. Distinctive graphic features, unusual color combinations and perfect craftsmanship turn her shoes into artistic objects. With the innovative shoe model Bottine ZIP (1979) with flat heels and diagonal zipper running over the instep, Stefi Talman hit the zeitgeist of the 80s, and this helped her to achieve an international breakthrough. Today it is still one of the popular design objects. 

Foulardfou 1, 2021, Crêpe de Chine, 65 x 65 cm.



Peter Vetter

Peter Vetter is an internationally active designer, consultant and researcher in the fields of brand, identity and graphic design history. He is co-founder of the Swiss Graphic Design Foundation, which has been in existence since 2006. He understands painting as a reflective, meditative activity in the sense of Theo Van Doesburg's axiom that painting is an "object for spiritual use". Following the theory of Concrete Art, Peter Vetter playfully deals with the compositional schemes of contrast and alignment, order and deviation. Starting in the 1990s, he concentrates on computer-graphic drawings. Here, the specific color gradation and contrast of the raster image is used to express the atmospheric effect of the colors and spatial illusion. 

Color Rhythm no. 1, 1996, digital print on Dibond, 66 x 66 cm.



Daniel Zimmermann


Patterns created by crumpling paper, random spots of color and traces of glue, and protruding edges of torn tape are among the motifs of his sensitive, poetic drawing works. The "trashy" assemblage of objects from the environment of the so-called "good form" in the series "found objects" partly reflect his childhood and also Swiss design history. Against refined, uniformed commodity aesthetics, Daniel Zimmermann sets the authentic reproduction of individual experience, which can also contain moments of friction of the incompatible.

Watercolor, 2000 (approx.), watercolors on paper, 22.4 x 15 cm.


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