SILVIA BÄCHLI — ISABELLE CORNARO — ADRIAN GHENIE — ANDREAS GURSKY
EUGÈNE LEROY — ROY LICHTENSTEIN — CHRISTOPHER WOOL
A photograph by Andreas Gursky, in which the artist zooms in on Vincent van Gogh’s painting Wheatfield with Reaper (1889) in order to isolate just one detail of its iconic field of wheat, is the starting point of this collective exhibition. “Très Traits”, whose title translates as “very lines”, presents eight pictorial possibilities which sketch the outlines of a history of looking – at materials, at how pictures are made and at how they are seen.
New York artist Roy Lichtenstein, for whom Van Gogh translated better than anyone the simplicity of movement embodied by his Sower, seems to paraphrase it, stylizing its touch and movement. The relief of Van Gogh’s line is transformed into a sophisticated lithograph resembling a comic strip.
The four paintings by Eugène Leroy, who died in 2000, date from the last ten years of his life. They show the degree to which painting, for him, meant “painting over” – excessively building up layer after layer of paint – or “un-painting” in order to sculpt the picture’s interior light. Out of this struggle with matter, the scintillating motif emerges, thrusting away oblivion and death.
Adrian Ghenie likewise plays with the ghosts of a figuration borrowed from history and cultural icons. A powerful vitality issues from his self-portraits in the manner of Van Gogh.
The mural by French artist Isabelle Cornaro is a landscape composition, the fruit of imposing interpretations on her own video productions and on pioneering works of modern art. The film that is treated, interpreted and anamorphically distorted in her paintings, produces latent, almost fluid images between nothing and everything, which carry us right up close to the texture of the image, to magnified point and line.
Christopher Wool’s prolific oeuvre is represented by works from every decade of his career. The selection illustrates his embrace of accidents – the last refuge of expression – occurring during production and his search for the sticking point between anonymity, standardisation and subjectivity.
The exhibition closes with Silvia Bächli, whose graphic oeuvre distances itself from concepts of virtuosity in order to distil a poetic authenticity close to the exploratory world of childhood.
Exhibition curator: Bice Curiger