Swiss Artists: Armleder - Ben - Delachaux - Fleury - Signer - Tinguely

22 November 2022 - 25 January 2023

Olivier Varenne is proud to inaugurate his new gallery with a group show of important Swiss artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century. Whether inspired by chance and performance of the Fluxus movement, or intellectually drawn by the ‘collective singularity’ of Nouveau Réalisme, or preferring a liberation from movementsaltogether, there are threads, irrespective of scale or medium, which connect these unequivocally Swiss artists.



John Armleder’s re-investigation of what art is, what art can do, and what art is allowed to do remains as vital in the current day as it has been throughout his career. The exhibited work relates to his Furniture Sculptures which evolved in 1979. Armleder explained the domestic subject: “I was involved in doing these works anyhow - later on you always find out the many reasons you choose to make a certain work. The apartment where John was living had no furniture in it, so I just brought furniture back.”



BEN joined the Fluxus movement in 1962 and that same year Daniel Spoerri invited him to exhibit at the Misfits Fair in London whereheparticipatedbylivinginagallerywindowfor14days. Fluxusforhimwas‘astateofmind’whichwouldleavealasting imprint on his works from 1963 onwards notably on his text-based pieces such as the three showing here.



Delachaux pushes conventional artistic boundaries. The world he has spent over 20 years creating is inhabited by his distinct characters who live on a 3km2 island, Tchan-Zâca City which floats on the 22km wide Tchan-Zâca Archipelago. Inspired by Dali and Duchamp Delachaux shares their desire to visualise the invisible.


SYLVIE FLEUR Y (b. 1961)

By appropriating Mondrian’s painting, and those of other male artists, Fleury reclaims art for women. She confronts works of art for which men were traditionally lauded, whilst turning them into something soft, tactile and approachable. Mondrian has been in particular focus. In 1993 as part of her participation in the 45th Venice Biennale she had 3 models walking through Venice wearing reproductions of Yves Saint Laurent’s Piet Mondrian dress.


ROMAN SIGNER (b. 1938)

An apple – a mystical or forbidden fruit – is transformed by Roman Signer. Detached from its typical associations through time, just as he does with tables and chairs, into something quite different, momentary and unexpected. Signer records the results with photography, to create his ‘time-sculptures’ or ‘sculptural happenings’.


JEAN TINGUEL Y (1925-1991)

The exhibited exemplary and rare work encapsulates Tinguely’s artistic and spiritual belief that art should reflect the ever-changing process of life and the infinite transformation of the universe. His early méta-mécaniques, such as this work, were highly influential in the development of kinetic art and post-war sculpture. Tinguely's ‘anti-machines’ are knowingly imperfect: degraded, noisy, uncontrollable. They are non-conformist, precisely useless - or rather unusable - dedicated solely to the liberation of movement and energy.