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Swiss artist Beat Zoderer exhibits at von Bartha
Installation view. Photo: Courtesy of vom Bartha.


BASEL.- Internationally acclaimed Swiss artist Beat Zoderer exhibits at von Bartha, Basel from April 6- July 23, 2017. Over the past four decades, Zoderer’s ever-evolving artistic style has seen him explore the qualities of the grid - through the manipulation of pattern and negative space, and the repetitive combination of uniform elements - and experiment with the properties of industrially produced materials. The artist explains:

“It is good to have the freedom to change directions from time to time. I start something and as soon as I see that a work unexpectedly develops into a different direction, which I have not intended – it is ok. I think this has to do with how I approach a new work in the research laboratory and the complete freedom of experimentation.”

Through a complex process of removal and addition, organisation and re-adjustment, Zoderer explores the potential of grid systems, often disturbing or interfering with their composition; faults, omissions or chaos allow the regularity to become more apparent and even more effective. Using a range of readily available materials such as wood, sheet metal and office supplies, Zoderer creates sculptures, room installations, drawings and paintings. Exploring the material’s inherent pos­si­bil­i­ties, Zoderer pos­es for­mal ques­tions that lead to inge­nious and often ironic visual expe­ri­ences. He materialises his ideas within authen­tic and direct gestures, indulging an enthu­si­asm for lumi­nous ready-made colours, and for the diverse char­ac­ter­is­tics of the mate­r­ial itself. The imper­fec­tions of his con­struc­tions are clearly vis­i­ble - an essen­tial char­ac­ter­is­tic of Zoderer’s work - small sur­face irreg­u­lar­i­ties, or so-called “sur­prises”, are integral to the artistic process.

The title of the exhibition; “um 5 Ecken herum“ (“Around 5 Corners”) refers to two-dimensional shapes, consisting of five angles and five sides. Starting his works with scalene pentagrams, Zoderer creates various complex sculptures and wall objects. The repetitive combination of these uniform, geometric polygons results in irregular plastic objects, which consciously provoke the attention of the spectator through their manipulation of negative space.

Born in Zurich in 1955, Zoderer currently lives and works in Wettingen.

Zoderer com­pleted an appren­tice­ship as an archi­tec­tural drafts­man and worked in archi­tec­tural offices from 1971–78. Since 1979 he has worked as an inde­pen­dent artist. In 1995 he was awarded the Manor Art Prize and in 1998 he received an award from the Max Bill / Georges Van­tonger­loo Foun­da­tion, Zumikon, Zurich.

His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions around the world, most notably Mies van der Rohe Haus, Berlin, Germany (2016); Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, USA (2013); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland (2008) and Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Germany (2003). His work is held in many public collections including Kunsthaus Zurich, Kunstmuseum Bonn and Kunstsammlung der Julius Bär, Bank Julius Bär, Credit Suisse Collection, Cisneros Collection Miami Beach and Caldic Collection Rotterdam.






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