3rd Swiss Open-Air Sculpture Exhibition Biel
Sculpture in 1962
1954, 1958, 1962... Every four years Bienne plays host to an open-air sculpture show. A tradition is born and for the artists the exhibition in Bienne has become their «Biennial».
Recognition and thanks are due to the city authorities and the local donors whose generosity provides us with this unique showcase for Swiss sculpture at no cost to the artists and the visiting public. Thanks are due to the federal authorities as well for acquiring works of art and favoring three-dimensional works.
The 1962-edition of the exhibition presents 150 works selected by the jury from the entries submitted by 130 artists. It reflects current trends in Swiss sculpture (all works were made during the last four years), in all its stylistic and aesthetic variety. The works of confirmed masters stand side by side with the works of newly discovered talents. There are artists for whom the human body is clearly the central concern and their works variously bear the marks of classicism or expressionism or surrealism; or they become so free that they border on the abstract. There are works by sculptors who believe only in their imagination and conquer space by means of hewn blocks of stone or chunks of forged and cut iron. There are works based on traditional forms and there are experiments, which may or may not have a tomorrow. There are even cartoonish or ironic sculptures because there is room for humor in a show of art. All these works somehow complement each other and in our opinion give a fair impression of the best thing that our artists have created: the synthesis of a living art.
The selection of works will cause an animated discussion, some will laugh, and others will faint. That’s the way it should be. Only indifference would be regrettable. Not everyone will like everything, but everyone will discover a certain order, measure, or rigor; or else a certain poetry, abundance, and voluptuousness – each according to his sensibility and aesthetic criteria. Everyone will find food for thought about the artists and about our time, because there is one thing every artist struggles to achieve: an expression of his time by means of expressing himself.
A tradition is born. There is danger in that because tradition is the enemy of art and we don’t want a conventional exhibition. We will have to be even more innovative in the future. Our new locations require works conceived for large spaces and irresistibly call for sculptures in motion and sculptures on water.
For 1966 we would like to give our best artists an opportunity to realize big ideas. That would really turn our exhibition into the field of experimentation and confrontation that we dream about. Who will help us?
Translation French – English © Dieter Kuhn