What's on in Switzerland: The anxieties of Dieter Roth and the expressiveness of Rolf Iseli

Also showing are Rauschenberg, Richard Long and Ryman


About one hundred items by Dieter Roth are on show at Galerie Andy Jullien in Zurich (Rämistr.18, tel. 1 252 95 00) until 23 November. Roth shows symptoms of chronic anxiety and this makes it difficult to build up a coherent impression of his work; this exhibition includes drawings, paintings, objects, collections of refuse, films etc, covering twenty-five years of his career. For those sorry not to be able to see the big exhibition of his work that was to have been held at the Musée Rath in Geneva, transferring to the Tate Gallery in London, and the Museums of Modern Art in Barcelona and New York, the current show offers a rare chance to get an overview of the work of this artist, considered to be one of the most important figures in contemporary art in Switzerland.

In a show entitled “Anagrams”, Robert Rauschenberg is exhibiting about thirty works on paper at Galerie Jamileh Weber in Zurich (Waldmannstr. 6, tel. 1 252 10 66) until 16 November. He has been working on this series for the last two years and the result is a mixture of small (60 x 80cm) and very large (153 x 368cm) works. The American artist’s usual bright palette is replaced here by translucent tonalities reminiscent of water colour. The use of colours extracted from plants for the first time lends a different atmosphere to this new work. The silk screen print made specially for this exhibition contains no less than sixteen colours.

Returning to a theme first broached two years ago, Galerie Gisele Linder in Basel (Elisabethenstr. 54, tel. 61 272 83 77) has a mixed show entitled “Not forgetting white” until 23 November. The ten Swiss artists participating in the show include Gottfried Honnegger, Robert Ryman, Jean Stern and Rémy Seugg, who all work in monochrome.

Galerie Techudi in Glarus (Eichenstr. 26, tel. 55 640 63 60) has an exhibition of recent works by Richard Long until 14 December. As usual the English artist has retraced the routes he has covered, this time in Mongolia and Tirol. Materials picked up during his travels are used to compose the different items in the exhibition, including a large piece of stone on the floor and several pieces in wood and mud on the walls. Photographs and texts support and extend Long’s form of poetic journal or diary.

The Venetian painter Emilio Vedova is having a one-man show at Galleria Palladio in Lugano (Via Nassa 30, tel. 91 923 48 61) until 14 January 1997. The artist, who was born in 1919, is represented by about twenty works produced between 1986 and 1991, and the publication of a small volume in his honour. During his career Vedova has attempted to transcend the two-dimensional quality of a painting; here collages, works on paper and paintings take up the theme of the “Large Disc”, a series of studies made by him in 1985.

Galerie Ditesheim in Neuchâtel (Rue du Château 8, tel. 38 245 700) is showing engravings by Rolf Iseli until 30 November. This talented Swiss painter and engraver is the frequent subject of museum exhibitions; his work does not change or develop very significantly. Here, his gestural images still demonstrate an attachment to earthy materials and a desire to express inner tension.

The Association Genevoise des Galeries d’Art Moderne (AGGAM) is holding its annual open days at nineteen contemporary art galleries in Geneva over the weekend of 2-3 November from 10am to 6pm; this year they have decided to exhibit the work of Swiss artists only.

The line-up for what is generally a very popular shop window for contemporary art promises to be very interesting; it includes, among others, Thomas Huber, also showing at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, the admirable John Armleder, Gianfredo Camesi from Ticino, Hans Erni and works in lead by Aliska Lahuson.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'The anxieties of Dieter Roth'