Opening and book presentation
Silvia Bächli and Florian Seidel
March 16, 2017, 7–9 pm
Mund zu Mund
Silvia Bächli is one of Switzerland’s most prominent contemporary artists. Her drawings and gouaches unfold the infinite diversity of lines drawn on paper. Gouache’s delicately nuanced colors and different degrees of thickness reveal a rich spectrum of shades. Lines painted with a dry brush look rough, while water makes them gently flow. Layers and closed shapes create an impression of weight, while filigree figures in transparent hues seem to float on the papers. For Bächli, good drawings are “like sculptures; they jut at different lengths into the space in which we move.”
The gallery will show new drawings and for the first time collages the artist made for the artist’s books "Mund zu Mund“ (Mouth to mouth), which features poems by Florian Seidel.
"With the works shown here in the context of Florian Seidel’s poetry, Silvia Bächli departs from her previous work and enters new artistic territory. These mostly small photomontages are dominated by the spirit of combining disparate fragments of existing visual material taken from different contexts. They come from daily or weekly newspapers and their magazine inserts. ... Bächli uses a highly refined strategy of obscurement. By gluing unrelated clippings together, the artist compresses the recognizable and the unfamiliar into new, never-before-seen images.” (Michael Semff)
Seidel’s „Wortbilder“ (literally, word-pictures), his subtle, lyrical aphorisms, fit beautifully with the visual poetry of Bächli’s collages. The thoroughly enigmatic quality of Seidel’s metaphors, with their undetermined wealth of associative possibilities, “between flower petal and leather, skin and cocoa, as hard to catch as a furtive animal,” finds its equivalent in Bächli’s methods of transferring and decontextualizing heterogeneous visual excerpts. In their combination of blurriness and texture, hermetics and clarity, they expand upon the poet’s levels of language and foster their “legibility.”
SILVIA BÄCHLI *1956, Baden, Switzerland; lives in Basel
Solo shows (selected): Frac Franche-Comté, Besançon, 2015; Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in der Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 2014; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 2013; Kunstmuseum Sankt Gallen, 2012; Kunsthalle Nuremberg, 2011; Swiss Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennial, 2009; Cabinet des arts graphiques, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2007. On April 27, 2017, the Centre culturel suisse in Paris will open an exhibition of works by Silvia Bächli and Eric Hattan.
FLORIAN SEIDEL *1966, Munich; lives in Munich
Seidel studied contemporary German literature, history, philosophy, and economics. His poetry has been published in various books, literary magazines, and anthologies. In 2004 he received the Wiener Werkstattpreis/Lyrik (the Vienna Workshop Prize for Poetry) among others.
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