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Photos by GION

November 7 - December 28, 2019

Étienne Krähenbühl

Notre Terre (Our Earth), 2019 

Iron, stainless steel, nickel titanium

50.4 x 16 x 15 inches (128 x 41 x 38 cm) 

Photo by François Busson

SEIZAN Gallery is pleased to present Notre Terre / Our Earth, the first solo exhibition of Swiss artist Étienne Krähenbühl (b. 1953) in New York. His lifelong fascination with the paradoxes inherent in materials has led him to create pillars of iron and stainless steel and spirals of Corten steel and nickel titanium that are unyielding and yet constantly in a state of flux. Krähenbühl’s sculptures and large-scale installations explore the various states of metals beyond their static nature—using movement, sound, and time to transform his works into living pieces of the Earth. 

Notre Terre / Our Earth focuses on Krähenbühl’s innovative metal works alongside his recent series, Plastiques. Comprised of 730 monotypes documenting the daily plastic consumption of the artist’s family from September 2017 to September 2018, Plastiques forms a stunning visual map of the objects we freely use and discard. The series of works underscores Krähenbühl’s preoccupation with unchecked consumerism and the far-reaching consequences it has for our planet.

After two years at the School of Fine Arts in Lausanne, Étienne Krähenbühl moved to Barcelona and then Paris. Returning to Switzerland, he first went to Agiez and then set up a workshop in Romainmôtier, where he devoted his time to sculpture, taking particular interest in the marks left by time on various materials. In what has been described as a turning point in his career, he met Dr. Rolf Gotthardt, a specialist in metal alloys and superelastic metals at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, or EPFL). Their long collaboration inspired Krähenbühl to create at the intersection of science and poetry, monumentality and fragility, gravity and weightlessness—to “test the limits of materials to bring out their movements and sounds from the depths of the earth,” according to the art critic Françoise Jaunin.

Since the mid-1970s, Étienne Krähenbühl has exhibited his work in solo and group shows in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, India, China, Japan, Lebanon, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and the United States. Among his many distinctions, he received the Edouard and Maurice Sandoz Foundation Award in 2009. Krähenbühl’s studio is currently located in Yverdon, Switzerland.

Étienne Krähenbühl will be present at the opening reception on Thursday, November 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  

The catalog for the exhibition with accompanying essays by Frances Loeffler, Curator at Oakville Galleries in Ontario, and Karine Tissot, Director of the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Yverdon, Switzerland, will be available at the gallery. 

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