The Exhibitors of Rhy Art Salon Basel 2022
RHY ART SALON BASEL 2022
June 16 - 19, 2022
Rhypark Basel, Switzerland
Juliette Agabra (Louveciennes, France)
Juliette Agabra is a French artist, painter, and collagist. Since 2015, she has had numerous exhibitions in France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and China - but never in Switzerland. Agabra's atypical career is undoubtedly rooted in her family history, in which she met the fantasy worlds of two artists: her grandmother, a painter, and her father, a filmmaker and writer. Her professional path, however, initially led her via an engineering school and a doctorate in artificial intelligence. But then Juliette Agabra took the path to become a visual artist, with a focus on artistic collage (training with Pierre-Jean Varet, the founder of the museum "Artcolle", the first museum for collage art). Since then, Agabra has developed her very own technique of collage and montage and has been successfully represented at numerous fairs and exhibitions with her impressive works.
The technique: Juliette Agabra practices artistic collage in combination with other techniques. As material she uses all kinds of printed paper, magazines, flyers, newspapers and more. Her approach is unique and involves very different phases. Before each image idea, she deconstructs the printed images into unidentifiable fragments. These result in a palette of a special kind. Juliette Agabra describes her work thus: "These pre-cut fragments not only offer me colours like a paint tube. The paint from one tube can be mixed with another. You can use it as a glaze, work on it with a knife and so on. But this little paper fragment offers more than just its colour. The colour is textured, graduated, there are reflections and reliefs printed on it, and my cut-out has given it a shape. It provides a basis for the imagination, it suggests, recalls, and evokes something quite different from the image from which it is taken. It triggers a creative reverie that triggers new images in me. In this way I begin to build the image. Then I must go in search of the missing fragment of this incomplete puzzle".
Agabra builds complex fantasy worlds with intricate lines of tension and contrasting lighting on a wooden background with small brushstrokes. She plays with colours and textures to create effects such as depth, instability, and movement. The collage is only executed when the artist deems the composition complete. Agabra uses special techniques to preserve the original colours and protect the delicate paper. The individual fragments of the painting are positioned extremely carefully and joined together with a pH-neutral special adhesive so that nothing warps over time. Finally, a matt UV-resistant varnish is applied. Juliette Agabra's paintings are completely flat, without reliefs or reflections. The paper is as if fused with the support material. Thus, nothing should hinder the viewer's journey into these fantasy worlds.
Isabelle Bak (Wittelsheim, France)
"All my paintings have one thing in common: they are all about movement. I am moved by the fear of getting older, the passing of time, death. Fighting against the passing of time is like swimming against the current in a river. To do this, one must display a strength and dynamism that I find neither in placative reason nor in religious faith. Already the art movement known as "Sturm und Drang" fought against the abstract superficiality of the Enlightenment. "Sturm" means storm, "Drang" means impulse, implying that the storm that dwells in our souls has nothing to do with freedom or choice, but is a deep drive that compels us to express ourselves. When I paint, I feel seized by a natural, libidinal, instinctive force that leaves me no room for manoeuvre. My creation is an instinctive affair that I cannot escape. If this storm that rages within me and this drive that seizes me reaches the audience through the mediation of my paintings, then I will have won a little. I will be a little less afraid of time and death because this fright will be shared with everyone." BAKI
Donegel' Chong (Aadorf, Switzerland)
Donegel' Chong, originally from Malaysia and a Swiss citizen, has been based in Aadorf, Thurgau since 2018. His art career began in 2018, after a serious illness. Since then, Chong's original artworks have already been presented in China, Germany, the UK, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland. His paintings are also in private collections in Spain and Thailand. While studying at the Catholic Junior College Singapore, Donegel' Chong spontaneously entered an art competition organised by the Ministry of Culture in 1993. It was here that he received his first public recognition with a merit award. In 2019, Donegel' Chong won the first prize for Special Painting at the K:UNST Prize, Blue Harmony ("I want I want not: Wisdom"); and in 2021, his painting "ICON: Cruci-fiction of Bacon" was selected for the London Art Biennale Prize. Donegel 'Chong does not want to limit himself to what he creates. His artworks are biographical to varying degrees - they are mainly concerned with his preferences: what he likes, what he doesn't like, what he wants and what he doesn't want. Chong calls it "personal reflections of life". Donegel' Chong has developed his very own style of painting, with brushstrokes he calls "kurrrlys" or "emotional release brushstrokes". Since 2018, he has continuously used this technique in varying degrees of intensity. Donegel' Chong is inspired by Francis Bacon and Yayoi Kusama, Cy Twombly and Egon Schiele.
Statement on "Erika's Waggis": «Erika's Waggis is a cycle of short story about my life and surroundings. Why Erika? Erika Siegler is my neighbour who is originally from Basel. She gave me two self-knitted Waggis dolls for Christmas 2017. They inspired me to tell stories about my life and surroundings through the character Waggis. I am also very surprised that although Waggis belong to Switzerland, they are not really known outside of Basel. That's why, as a Swiss by choice, I'm taking on the task of making Waggis better known internationally. Erika's Waggis Volume 1 is about "Loss and Recovery". Erika's Waggis Volume 2 is about self-realisation. From volume 2 onwards, all protagonists (Waggis dolls) will be knitted by Erika according to my specifications. The plan is to have 10 volumes in one book with a portrait of Erika Siegler.» (Donegel' Chong)
Statement on "Feeding": «FEEDING is a series of works inspired by the experience of feeding fish and other animals during my travels. What are the motives for feeding? Do they have parallels with humanity? These paintings are made entirely from my favourite brushstrokes, the "Kurrrlys". Depending on your individual life experiences, the paintings are either an explosion of energy or restless chaos. At the exhibition I will be presenting the continuation of my FEEDING series. In addition, I will show some of my other works.» (Donegel' Chong)
Martyn Dukes (Montagnola, Switzerland)
Martyn Dukes was born in 1958 and grew up in Nottingham, England. After attending art schools in Canterbury, Loughborough and London, Martyn Dukes taught in Kent before moving to France in 1999 to teach art. In 2006 Martyn Dukes took French citizenship and is currently Head of Fine Art at the American School in Switzerland (TASIS). Despite the constant challenges of practising his art and the demands of being an art teacher, he manages to combine both activities in a synergistic way. His great-grandfather was a member of the Royal College of Art in London at the beginning of the 20th century, and Martyn Dukes can still remember feeling awe when he saw his work. As time went on, Martyn Dukes realised that these works had a great influence on his development as an aspiring young artist. Over the years, Martyn Dukes has explored a variety of themes through art. Central to this has always been a deep fascination with colour, an intellectual curiosity for composition and a childlike delight in the properties of pigments and paint.
The paintings in this exhibition are part of a long-running series based on a fascination with a dwindling industrial landscape, where buildings and spaces once alive with people and machines are now abandoned, exposed to the elements, padlocked, and left to decay and rust. As a result of economic and social change, each of these places has its own history of closure, loss, stagnation, and decline. Despite all this, these poignant memories also have a certain beauty and elegance. Martyn Dukes has exhibited in numerous galleries and exhibitions across Europe since the 1990s, including in London and Toulouse, and his work is in several private collections.
Heiner Fierz (Zürich, Switzerland)
Urban Paintings - City Views, City Escapes, City Life:
Zurich-based Heiner Fierz (aka "41") has been painting plein air - in oil - for over 30 years. He mixes each colour tone on the palette to transfer it purely onto the canvas. His paintings are clearly zoned and soothingly colourful. They look like pastel and seem like watercolour. In this way, Heiner Fierz poetically depicts cityscapes, technology, construction sites and wide views of the landscape. His urban paintings focus on change as a silent presence. After further training at the School of Design (now ZHdK), Heiner Fierz set his sights on independent work in 1990 with a change of profession as a designer. In 2001, Heiner Fierz spent three months in New York exploring the theme of "urban painting", meanwhile experiencing the horrors of 9/11. That autumn he deepened his artistic reflection on the city as an urban space, the significance of individual buildings and places and their processes of change. Busy urban spaces and construction sites attract him.
Heiner Fierz lives in Zurich. He paints everywhere: also, on his travels at home and abroad. Heiner Fierz consistently covers his plein air palette with yellow, red, blue each in cold and warm tones, plus ochre, sienna and here and there one or two shades of green plus white, hardly any black. Heiner Fierz's own quiet and very personal signature is the zoned colourfulness. The artist neither sketches in advance nor paints from a model. Heiner Fierz also achieves intensity with the stylistic element of plain strokes and calm surfaces. Fierz's pictures are filled with sunlight thanks to the contrasts of warm-cold and light-dark. So far, more than 1000 works have been created. Fierz's paintings have found a place in private art collections in Switzerland and abroad (Switzerland, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, USA). After 25 exhibitions, especially in Zurich, Heiner Fierz is exhibiting in Basel for the first time. Portraits can also be seen at the Rhy Art Salon in Basel.
Galerie zum Harnisch (Allschwil, Switzerland)
Artists: Laurence Gartel, Priska Medam
Galerie Zum Harnisch (Switzerland) is showing exclusive limited editions of GlassART by Basel artist Priska Medam, which has so far been successfully presented mainly in Japan, as well as the Shashibo series GARTEL X SHASHIBO designed by Laurence Gartel (New York), which is being presented in Switzerland for the first time. These spectacular and trendy "Special Art Products" promise an art experience of a special kind.
Playful and expressive, self-confident and dynamically cheeky: this is how the new style "Butterflies On The Air On Glass" by Priska Medam, Swiss artist from Basel, presents itself. With colourful nuances and glassy transparency, her works create space for a dynamically inspiring world of thoughts and feelings. The collages are digitally created in an elaborate technical process and handcrafted into original works of art using 3D effect painting.
Since 2013, the Zum Harnisch gallery from Allschwil has been taking part in art fairs and regional exhibition platforms and over time has been able to strengthen its position on the art market, win over many art enthusiasts and build up a large network. Her benefit art exhibitions "Mixed Art" at the Art Center Basel are also popular.
Laurence Gartel has also been called the "father of digital art" for over 40 years. His works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, the Bibliothèque Nationale Paris, the Victoria & Albert Museum London and many others. His career began alongside video art pioneer Nam June Paik. He taught Andy Warhol how to use the Amiga computer to create the album cover for Debbie Harry (Blondie). Laurence Gartel was creating digital art before the birth of the PC. Gartel grew up in New York City during the golden punk rock era, was friends with Stiv Bators, Sid Vicious, Joey Ramone and Wendy O. Williams, and exhibited his work with Robert Mapplethorpe. Gartel has exhibited around the world and created artwork for musicians such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as companies such as Coca Cola, Disney, NBA, Gibson Guitars and Bang & Olufsen. Most recently, Laurence Gartel was officially commissioned to create unique artwork for the Grammy Awards, NASA and the Newport Jazz Festival. Since then, he has focused on collaborations with automotive brands such as Tesla, Mercedes Benz and Maserati.
At the Rhy Art Salon Basel, Laurence Gartel will present his Shashibo collection for the first time together with Galerie Zum Harnisch - art to touch as a limited collector's set with autograph and certificate.
Sandy Iseli (Wil SG, Switzerland)
Sandy Iseli grew up in Las Vegas and studied at the University of New Mexico. She moved to Switzerland for love, while her love of beautiful objects and artwork was turned professional at an interior design school in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sandy Iseli gave up her art gallery on Lake Constance in 2018 to devote more time to painting. Sandy Iseli owes her inspirations to nature, and so the preservation of our environment is also close to her heart. Iseli's paintings reflect the beauty of nature, its colours, and shapes. She invites us to linger, to consciously see and enjoy. Sandy Iseli paints with dedication acrylics and mixed media on canvas. Further series of nature paintings are in progress.
David Kämpfen (Geschinen, Switzerland)
David Kämpfen was born in Sisteron (France) in 1995. As his parents are Swiss-German, he grew up bilingual. At the age of ten, the family moved back to Switzerland. In 2016, he completed a bilingual art baccalaureate at the Gymnasium in Brig (VS). David Kämpfen is currently pursuing his master's degree in History and Social Sciences at the University of Fribourg (CH), but art has remained a central part of his life over the years and developed into a true passion especially during his cancer illness.
In a unique way, David Kämpfen shows at the Rhy Art Salon Basel how nature and the man-made can harmonise together. Even as a child, David Kämpfen drew a lot, and he was particularly enthusiastic about antiquity. Out of a childish impatience, he thus developed a minimalist drawing style in the manner of ligne claire with simple figures without shading at an early age. Only later did he realise that "omitting" need not be bad at all.
When David Kämpfen became acquainted with French Impressionism, he fell in love with painting. Especially Monet's paintings kindle a fire in him that burns to this day. Many people think landscape painting is dead, but David Kämpfen proves the opposite with his atmospheric paintings. Loosely based on David Hockney ("You can't get really bored of nature, can you?"), David Kämpfen immortalises a kind of divine beauty of nature in his paintings. One element that always recurs in his paintings is water in its various forms. Like life, water can be calm and serene, but in the next moment stormy and wild. In David Kämpfen's opinion, art should be self-explanatory and not need a legend. The artist describes this with a traditional saying by Leonardo Da Vinci: "How much beauty the heart receives through the eyes". With his eyes, the viewer sees something that another person does not see in this way. A painting is to the artist as a poem is to the poet: it is more than just words and lines. For David Kämpfen, art only unfolds its real value when it is shared with others.
Housi Knecht (Rubigen, Switzerland)
The artist Housi Knecht from Bern was born in 1951. As a machine mechanic, he first emigrated to Australia, but opened his first studio in the old town of Bern in 1971. With a great interest in the world, he travels a lot, among other places to New York, Hong Kong or through Russia and Japan. In 2014 Housi Knecht and his wife Barbara M. Scheidegger took over the castle in Rubigen and created an art and culture park that can also be visited. Here they create water-light sculptures, terrace sculptures, sculptures for public spaces and wall reliefs.
Shintaro Kobayashi (Tokyo, Japan)
Shintaro Kobayashi is a contemporary artist living in Japan. His works consist mainly of paintings and photographs. In his current main series, "MDF", the images are applied with graphite directly onto an MDF plywood panel. Each painting has a spatial relationship to each other - creating a continuous image between the individual works. And sometimes a picture is mirrored by the picture installed opposite. Thus, the paintings reveal spatial relationships with each other.
Taras Loboda (Prague, Czech Republic)
Taras Loboda's masterfully composed and executed artworks range from sensual female acts and portraits to dreamy waterscapes full of colour play. The new figurativeness predominates, even if abstractions lighten the mood in some places. Unexpected pictorial disturbances or impasto painting grounds create an extended level of observation that goes beyond the motif. Taras Loboda masters the play of light and shadow between realism and impressionism. The artist's palette seems inexhaustible. He creates his paintings in oil, watercolour, sepia and with graphic techniques.
Taras Loboda graduated from the Academy of Arts in Kiev (Ukraine) in 1985 and trained at the renowned Atelier Zaretzky. He has lived in Prague since 1997 and has exhibited his work in galleries in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Slovakia, Lichtenstein, the United States and France. Taras Loboda runs an artist's gallery in the heart of Prague.
Guido Lötscher (Dulliken, Switzerland)
Spontaneously and at the same time thoughtfully, Guido Lötscher develops his works with numerous layers of paint, scrapings and overlays with squeegee, spatula, and brush. The intuitive intrinsic effect combined with randomness is the focus of his work. In the sequence of addition and subtraction with tools and paint, compositions emerge that are often reminiscent of spatial and landscape depictions.
«Painting reveals to me a consciousness that liberates and at the same time stimulates my intuition and creative work. In the search for my personal artistic language, I have gone through various processes. The confrontation with the overwhelming work of the American painter Mark Rothko finally caused me to turn away from figurative painting towards non-objective painting and colour field painting. In my further artistic development, I increasingly turned to the Informel of the expressive-abstract squeegee technique, in which strong parallels to the "metaphysical" colour field painting can be recognised. The aspiration is the same, to create quiet, meditative and at the same time energetic, powerful images that lead to contemplation and allow for inner balance.» (Guido Lötscher)
Rita Madelaine Loewenthal (Genève, Switzerland)
Rita Madelaine Loewenthal (RML) is fascinated by the signs of decay and new beginnings in landscape viewing, which are often diametrically opposed to the perceived eternity of the Swiss mountain landscape. In contrast to the landscape paintings of the Renaissance, Baroque or Romantic periods, which convey a real experience of nature to the viewer, Loewenthal does not intend to depict an untouched natural space or a topographical portrait of the Swiss mountain world. With this value-free approach, the artist succeeds in bringing uniqueness and beauty to the canvas. In her paintings, the mountains tell stories of silence, devotion, and forgiveness. In reduction, Loewenthal creates permanence and power, recreates the myth of the holy grail.
Loewenthal's landscapes are based on Chinese ink paintings that address the cycle of decay, survival and new beginnings in nature. Loewenthal underscores her vision with a thick primer of seven layers of gold ground. Gold, as a uniquely luminous material, powerfully supports the transcendence of the here and now. Loewenthal was born in Germany and after childhood in the USA studied in Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland.
Mamuka Kapanadze (Genève, Switzerland)
Mamuka Kapanadze is a Georgian artist and iconographer. Mamuka was born in 1979 and studied at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts from. Mamuka participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Tbilisi, Georgia from 2007 to 2015. He also painted frescoes in various Georgian churches.
Mamuka began as a modern expressionist painter. He plays masterfully with perspectives and colour gradients. In his landscapes and still life's, he uses fine lines alongside broad brushstrokes to tell finely arranged stories that the viewer discovers anew with every glance. He is constantly working to develop style and techniques. Currently, Mamuka mainly uses mixed media and various abstract styles in his work, such as splashes of colour, abstract expressionism, and lyrical abstraction. Mamuka's works are in many private collections in Georgia and abroad, as well as in several public collections, including the Georgian Embassy in the Swiss Confederation.
Olivier Messas presented by coGALERIE (Karlsruhe, Germany)
Olivier Messas was born in Vietnam and grew up in France. His artistic creation is the means for him to express his emotions, his cultural heritage but also his need to escape in colours, shapes, and motifs. He finds inspiration in his many travels and in encounters with different cultures. Over the years, Olivier Messas refined his style, which ranges from figurative to abstract and is characterised by vivid colours and clear lines.
Olivier Messas now lives and works in Germany. His works are represented at numerous exhibitions and are presented by galleries in Europe, Asia, and America.
Kristine Narvida (Potsdam, Germany)
Kristine Narvida shows her series "Look how I move" at the Rhy Art Salon in Basel. Kristine Narvida is a Latvian fine artist and a graduated Magister of the Art Academy in Riga. Since 2006 she lives and works in Berlin and Potsdam. She works with oil on linen, using models as her subjects. Conceptually her paintings explore the acceleration of time and humankind's place within the present moment.
"Through the understanding of time, the acceleration of which we can physically feel, through the vis-à-vis of a human model, a pause is created, a place is created for the emergence of the present. Every line and every brushstroke are precise, just like every meeting with this person, a dream, a thought. A technical work with a thought makes it possible to see how the ideal becomes material. I observe the movement, participate in it, and this process is what gives honour and meaning, joy and suffering." (Kristine Narvida)
Tomomi Nishizawa (Tokyo, Japan)
In her works, Tomomi Nishizawa analyses current issues of social aesthetics from her own perspective under the motto "the way of beauty in our time". She creates subtle works of art that often appear at first glance to be the usual perfect advertising images for beauty products, but on closer inspection reveal a tremendous power as allusions to the medical-industrial reproduction of beauty ideals. There is, for example, a sculpture that combines the cold glow of syringes and make-up utensils, or a monumental sculpture that is a symbiosis of medical forceps with an eyelash curler, as well as other very impressive installation works.
Tomomi Nishizawa's concept is always "the state of beauty in our time". Since nowadays the concept of beauty is inseparable from medicine, Nishizawa questions the limits of the human body by intervening with artistic means on the level of form and concept.
Florian Nörl (Burglengenfeld, Germany)
«Textilstein» (textile stone) is a material specially developed by Florian Nörl that redefines the boundaries of the textile medium in the visual arts. The "Textilstein" finds its place at this interface with an interaction of sculptural and pictorial engagement with the textile material. Through a special process and technology, the feel is velvety, and the surface is reminiscent of "stucco lustro" from a distance. Only through touch can the viewer really understand the textile material. The textile stone is a layering of memories," explains artist Florian Nörl. The "textile stone" is created in a process in which pieces are cut from multi-layered rolls of fabric, usually donated bed linen, placed in a frame, soaked in a special liquid, and pressed for several months. The image mass hardens, and the loose scrolls turn into ornamental fabric inlays. "Postmodern material is transformed into contemporary art," Nörl emphasises. (…)
Nörl studied textile.art.design at the Linz University of Art. Since 2020, the textile artist has been working in a studio in the Egon Hofmann House in the Dörfl in Linz. During an art scholarship from the Federal Ministry, Nörl came to the Hartheim Institute for six months in November 2021. "Together with the Institute's clients, I create works of art. The aim is to gain a new perspective on one's own work and to experience a creative exchange together." Florian Nörl regularly presents his works at international exhibitions and art fairs. From April, his pictorial objects can be seen at the Hofburg Innsbruck and in the summer in a large solo exhibition in Görlitz (Germany). In the Dumas Living Room Gallery in Linz/Urfahr, Nörl's "Textile Stones" can be experienced all year round in a cosy atmosphere.
In their materiality, the spiral-shaped textile snails tell a story of evasion, resisting, letting go and ultimately resigning oneself to permanent adaptation. An inescapable being pressed against each other, a moment in which individual softness's solidify into a hard conglomerate mass and their exhaustion materialises in the textiles. A moment in which, according to Nörl, "contemporary gems" are created. The fingertip traces contours of small snails and suddenly feels the hardness of their structure. It senses associations of shimmering smoothness that penetrate from a roughened, frayed pictorial mass. (Text: Cultural Report of Upper Austria, Victoria Windtner, 03/2022)
Alexandre Plattet (Villars-sur-Glâne, Switzerland)
During his artistic career of more than twenty years, the Swiss photographer Alexandre Plattet (* 1972) has participated in solo and collective exhibitions in various places around the world, such as Montreux, New York, and Paris. Many of his photographs have also been published in various international art books. Alexandre Plattet's images are on the borderline between painting and photography in terms of content and technique.
« Nature photography is always for me a moment of contemplation and wonder that I try to reproduce sometimes in a completely different way through abstract photography. In my artistic research, I often use water as a creative medium, as it offers infinite possibilities to create something different from what one can usually see in reality. Each shot I take of nature is a moment of wonder, an encounter between Man and his Creator. » (Alexandre Plattet)
Tom Reed (Zurich, Switzerland)
Tom Reed is an English artist and illustrator. After studying Fine Art at Oxford University and the London University, he now lives and works in Zurich. His art is personal and direct, the works present themselves enthusiastically and joyfully, full of subtle stories.
Tom is a figurative painter working mainly in oils. The theme of "environment" is found in many of his series. This is also the case with the remarkable landscape series in outdoor painting with motifs from Switzerland and France. Outdoor painting is a constant companion in his work.
Tom Reed has written fifteen picture books. His latest book, 'Lea and Finn are Bored', was published in German by Dörlemann Verlag (Zurich) in March and was very well received by critics.
His paintings have been exhibited in London and Paris, including an exhibition at the Mairie de Paris.
Jean-François Réveillard (Engelberg, Switzerland)
Jean-François Réveillard aka JfR will exclusively show the video installation Love & Dance at the fair:
Finding hope and joy here and now in the face of what is happening in the world is difficult. Must we then watch daily as this darkness stops all life and we remain grey and despairingly negative, without a plan to share, to create and to progress?
Art can bring hope, art needs joy, art shows the enthusiastic face of man against the gloomy picture that some want to see as the only way forward. Art must resist, dance and love, art is the ultimate weapon against war and ignorance, this installation is something like an answer against darkness.
Jean-François Réveillard (JfR) from Paris is a graphic designer, photographer, sculptor, musician, video artist and installation artist. He applied new technologies to his work early in the 1980s and helped launch one of Europe's first web TV stations and a digital TV studio in 1997. Since 2002, Réveillard has lived and worked in the Engelberg mountains (Switzerland), in proximity and in direct contact with the magnificent nature that inspires his philosophical-artistic interventions.
Sarah Richani (Zürich, Switzerland )
Sarah Richani, originally from Lebanon, is an artist based in Zurich, Switzerland. She tackles topics related to philosophy, psychology, and society through her mixed media art.
The series "Shaped by memories", centres around how the stories of our lives are created by the power of forming memories. For the artist, we are the product of all the bits and pieces of individual memories and everyday experiences. Her paintings display fragmented pieces of recollections, each telling a different story. We are always trying to make sense of who we are. At the end, we are our memories. And once we understand that; we could be creating the memories that we desire through our everyday experiences. Her paintings are layers of oil paint, charcoal, collage, paste and eroded metal solutions on jute canvas. A multi layered process comes all together to reveal the journey of us evolving, understanding who we are and finding our purpose.
Oto Rimele (Maribor, Slovenia)
Oto Rimele is a painter, an author of spatial-acoustic ambiences, a researcher of mental dimensions of the visual expression and sound. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in 1990 and a master's degree in 1992 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, he has dedicated most of his creative path to researching the painting communication and the phenomenon of visual expressive possibilities. His personal experience with the world and reality we live in has led him to achieve a unique painting expression and surpass the classical appearance of paintings. Expanding his painting image first directed him to the field of "painting objects", "combined paintings", painting installations and to activating atypical parts of the painting – its hidden edges and rear parts. Thus, he created unique painting images – "generators of light", where the frontal image gives way to the expressiveness of the "edges" or "rear" parts of the painting. After finishing his studies, his painting expression was first focused on the painting mimesis of the visible reality, but then the motif was upgraded to a symbolic and non-material meaning. His final motif is light itself and the mental-sublime reality in the sense of exploring the optical and painting reality of the medium of expression. The painter describes his attitude to light in the following words: "…this is why I don't depict light in my paintings, but I directly activate it as the literal sensory presence".
His painting images (painting objects) are three dimensional and allow for the colour to reflect onto the wall, so that the observer can see its non-material reflection in the shape of coloured Light and as a non-material connection. Dr Nataša Smolič describes his "generators of light" as: "The oval paintings give the feeling that somewhere in their essence, invisible to the human eye, there is a light source, which disperses the cleansed and superior light through the reflective whiteness of the wall into the space." Dr Marjeta Ciglenečki recognises his sublime communication with the individual as a bridge that allows the observer to gain an insight: "Many of Mr Rimele's public expositions can be described as simply beautiful if we follow Plotinus's explanation of the Beautiful and if we believe that observing the Beautiful also makes the observer beautiful."
In 2016 and 2017 he participated in the joint exposition in the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. He has been passing on his creative experience as a full professor to the students at the University of Maribor for many years.
The project "Berlin Portraits" by Oto Rimele makes a group of people visible in a spatial installation. The cycle consists of 13 portraits of people who lived in Berlin between 1961 and 1989. They are Helmut, Werner, Karl, Liselotte, Ingrid, Monika, Walter, Manfred, Gerhard, Ute, Günter, Peter, and Hans. Each person is depicted with a specific combination of light and shadow, which is reflected from the thirteen vertical objects onto the wall or onto the surroundings. The portraits emerge as colour reflections, as light and shadow reacting to the changes in daylight or artificial light in the surroundings. They offer the viewer an image that changes slowly but steadily, warning us not to try to piece together the emerging images into a whole. The portraits do not show the external material and physiological characteristics of the person portrayed, but reflect their immaterial image, their ethical dimensions, and their mental and spiritual space. The portraits show the personality of the sitter in a moving image defined by the presence and absence of light produced by a single painting object.
Oto Rimele is aware that each viewer has the impulse to appropriate and combine the real world and the truth depicted into a whole. In this work, the viewer shares his or her own light and shadow with the person portrayed. In this way, the portrayed persons come alive in the here and now. The viewer becomes an active participant in the picture.
Irina Schönhals (Reigoldswil, Switzerland)
Irina Schönhals (* 1967 in the Soviet Union, in what is now Kazakhstan) received artistic training at a young age and learned the art of classical painting from the famous painter Alexander Shevchenko. As a teacher and lecturer for painting, she was mainly concerned with multi-layered painting according to the old Dutch school. In multi-layer painting, the work on the painting is divided into several stages, which are interrupted by long pauses for the paint to dry completely. Each canvas thus becomes a captured moment of life - a reminder to preserve life on our planet. In the early 1990s Irina Schönhals moved to Germany and, fascinated, learned the craft of floristry while continuing to perfect the techniques of the old masters with oil paints. In Irina Schönhals' paintings, the flower motifs come alive and radiate light and joy. The motifs appear so realistic that the viewer feels the desire to touch them.
Paul Severin (Rebstein, Switzerland)
The Swiss artist Paul Severin presents large-format abstract and figurative oil paintings. Severin paints his expressive works mainly with oil paints, but also with putties, pigments, and various resins. The paintings are created in different working steps, so that structure and composition emerge, but the sweeping working method remains visible. In his paintings, Paul Severin processes impressions from time and life in a very colour-intensive way and creates new worlds of colour and form again and again.
Shona Art Gallery (Brienz, Switzerland)
Artists: Mike Masedza, Peter Kananji, and more
Stone sculptures from Zimbabwe have been present on the international art scene for over 50 years and have influenced generations of artists far beyond their stylistic genre. The artistic potential of this country is impressive. However, contemporary sculptors in their economically poor country have hardly any access to the international art market. The Shona Art Gallery in Brienz offers current Shona artists a platform in Switzerland.
SHOWROOM (Zürich, Switzerland)
Artists: Hanna Klopotowska, Frantisek Jungvirt, and more
SHOWROOM, based in Zurich, Switzerland, aims to promote emerging and independent artists, designers and manufactures from all over the world and to create a setting that supports creativity whether manifested in the form of art, lifestyle objects, or new ideas. SHOWROOM offers visitors the opportunity to find the right objects to make their surroundings unique and attractive.
Hanna Klopotowska is a graduate of both the Faculty of Graphics and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz as well as Nottingham Trent University in the UK, where she received her Executive M.B.A. Klopotowska's artworks are primarily composed of pop-art inspired female portraits and face close-ups. These show an idealized version of the contemporary woman, deftly performing a sophisticated study of a 21st century female archetype. While on the surface, the artist seems to paint only beautiful faces, underneath lies an insight into a woman's psyche and the various moods, expectations, worries, and fears she faces in today's day and age. Klopotowska uses various techniques including oil, acrylic, pastel, in addition to her white charcoal and pencil drawings. Her real hallmark, however, is her use of electrifying colours and coloured chiaroscuro that juxtaposes cold and warm tones. The Polish tradition of colourism is one of her creative inspirations, in particular the achievements of artists for whom colour was not only a painting material, but also a subject of the art itself. As we discover more historical biographies of female artists long kept in the shadow of the male counterparts of their times, the cultural dialogue is shifting its attention toward the artistic creativity of women and their representation of art. Klopotowska's large-format artworks play a major role in this trend as she depicts extraordinary women entering bold relationships with the world.
Frantisek Jungvirt is a young artist who specialized in working with glass. Jungvirt is a glass designer and painter based in Prague. After graduating from the Trebon Secondary Art School, Frantisek continued to develop his talents and passion for glass while working for international studios as well as world-famous luxury glass brands such as Moser and Preciosa. Today, Frantisek's engagements involve a variety of projects ranging from art direction to glass design. Whether designing everyday products, gallery pieces, or site-specific artworks, he's constantly working on perfecting his unique style as an artist. Strongly rooted in the most classic techniques of Czech glassmaking, Frantisek brings a new perspective and contemporary trends to his work that aim to push the technical and visual boundaries of glassmaking. With multiple exhibitions and awards on his resume, Frantisek Jungvirt is also making the time to be an active member of artist's platforms including the Michelangelo Foundation and Northlands Creative.
Agnes Skipper (Basel, Switzerland)
For artist Agnes Skipper, colour is the ideal medium to express what cannot be put into words. In all its forms, colour has the unique ability to connect the real and the imagined, the felt and the seen. Skipper's evolution from the early abstract to the now more minimalist concrete works shows her progress in reducing the complex, often wild and chaotic world we live into its essentials. In large-scale, colourful, and vibrant works, Agnes Skipper explores profound themes that provoke thought. With her nature-inspired compositions, Skipper creates a vibrant and sometimes whimsical world of colour.
In the exhibition, Agnes Skipper presents the series THE DAY I BECAME A BUTTERFLY, in which she explores the theme of psychological violence. The artist finds a visual approach to the "invisible" subject, which is difficult to put into words. Layer by layer, the images are taped off and then gradually released - as if from a chrysalis to a butterfly. In this way, the difficulty of getting out of a toxic, psychologically violent relationship becomes visible. The series is divided into four sections that describe this long process as a metamorphosis: From egg (repression) to larva (awareness and escape) to pupa (self-discovery) to butterfly (liberation and unfolding).
Agnes Skipper, Danish artist, lives in Basel since 2018. Her art is very graphic with strong colour combinations and clean lines. Agnes Skipper has exhibited in Sweden, Denmark, France, Italy, and Switzerland. Her paintings are popular with collectors in Canada, the USA, Finland, France, UK, and Germany and hang in Swedish government buildings and offices in the Canton of Basel-Stadt (CH). In addition to her commercial solo work as an artist, both charity work and collaborations with other artists and in other art fields are important to her.
Haiting Tang (Tolochenaz, Switzerland)
The artist Haiting Tang was born in Inner Mongolia (China) in 1974. She studied at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts from 1994 and taught at the Tianjin University of Science & Technology School of Art from 1998, while completing a master's degree at the Beijing Fashion Institute in 2001. From 2010 to 2011, she was a visiting scholar at the Center Academy of Fine Arts under the guidance of Professor Luo Shiping, studying the art of the Han and Tang dynasties. Haiting Tang worked at Tianjin University for over 20 years as an associate professor and supervisor of master's programmes. In 2018, she settled in Switzerland and deepened her career as a professional artist.
Joss Toledo (Zürich, Switzerland)
Originally from Spain, artist Joss Toledo lives and works in Zurich since several years. The differences between Spanish and Swiss culture, although both are European, go beyond typical stereotypes. Toledo knows, loves, and lives both. This duality is a constant source of inspiration: on the one hand, the family, tradition, and religion; on the other, the city, society, and current affairs.
Toledo's works always deal with these themes from a dual perspective, both in form and content. His art plays with aesthetics, with the simplicity of Euclidean geometry of flat colours and continuous lines. But it is also symbol and purpose, embodying the will to tell the story behind the curtain. At first glance, his paintings show a canonical and regulated reality, but on closer inspection one discovers details, signs, clues, and traces that reveal a multitude of hidden meanings. The artistic avant-garde of the early 20th century, geometry and the language of colour are omnipresent in his work. Joss Toledo is a lively artist who always tells a story, suggests a feeling, and seeks a relationship with the viewer through proximity, similar experiences, and parallels in life.
Taeko Tsunoda presented by Smart Ship Gallery (Tokyo, Japan)
The Japanese painter Taeko Tsunoda was born in Tokyo and studied at Tama Art University. She is a member of the Japan Artists Federation and chairperson of the 21 Art Association. Her paintings are both realistic and abstract and appeal to the viewer through a wide range of moods and styles. Tsunoda has won numerous exhibition awards and has participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.
Smart Ship Gallery was founded in Tokyo in 2011. Smart Ship presents works by contemporary artists from all over the world under the guiding principle that individual dignity and identity can be built up and communicated through art. Smart Ship stands for the promotion of creative thinking. Ship, the ship, traditionally connects not only trade but also art, culture, and the social life of Japan with the world. Smart Ship makes extraordinary creations from all over the world accessible to the public to promote cultural and social creativity with the help of a consciously living intellect. Art should be more integrated into society, according to Smart Ship's philosophy. In all eras, art is something created by people; its significance lies in the unique human expression in which social realities are reflected. Smart Ship assumes that interest in and demand for art is rooted in elementary humanity, in the longing to understand one's own self and to fill it with life, as well as to allow subsequent generations to participate in it.
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