5th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition Biel
One hundred sculptors present two hundred works: all the works on view here were conceivedand executed in the short period between 1966 and 1970.
One hundred sculptors is a great number for a small country! Perhaps we could have raised the level of quality a notch or two by applying more rigorous selection standards. But we know how arbitrary value judgments can be with regard to art in development. A jury’s first responsibility is to select works that will endure. But at the risk of being disavowed by time jurors should also take chance with young artists who arrive with the promise of original artwork.
What is presented here, then, reflects the current trends in sculpture in Switzerland. The richness of the mix of directions and temperaments is nothing less than astounding.
If one calls to mind the exhibition of 1966 one is struck by the changed face of the current edition. Certain artists, to be sure, have remained true to their manner and serve as familiar and reassuring landmarks for the visitor. Others however, whether they have abandoned a seemingly exhausted vein or undergone one of those abrupt changes so characteristic of the modern world, are completely changed. And then there are the newcomers who, with the audacity of youth, think nothing of working in vast dimensions right from the start.
A surprising number of sculptures, mostly simple and giant forms, are covered in vivid colors. Consider them Switzerland’s contribution to a recent global phenomenon. These works have roots in both painting and sculpture. Some were made by painters who seized on them as a means to expand their color-vision into the third dimension, others are the result of a collaborative effort between painters and sculptors.
Contemporary art, like the age which it reflects, is bubbling, searching for its reflection maybe, but constantly evolving in any case.
The jury tried to select truly accomplished works and excluded projects that it deemed too experimental or not sufficiently developed. Not that these latter are devoid of interest, they just fell outside the range of our concerns. Besides, we have given some artists the possibility to create a «environment».
Even as our exhibition has become the privileged site of a four-year survey its main goal remains the promotion and encouragement of living art. It hopes to achieve this by allowing artists to present their works to the public while giving art lovers and public art funds the opportunity to support artistic creativity by buying its products.
A great number of our sculptures merit a definitive placement in the streets or parks of our cities, or at the gates of our towns. And why not along our freeways and great arteries of communication as in of Mexico City, which created for its Olympic Games a «Path of Friendship» lined with eighteen monumental works of sculpture? We admire the monuments of the past. Couldn’t we, in the present, create those of the future?
Translation French – English © Dieter Kuhn