7th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition Biel

M.Ziegler: Homage

The "Skulpturenplatz" (Sculpture Promenade) in Biel-Bienne — homage to Hans Aeschbacher

The special exhibition of nine steles by Hans Aeschbacher launches a new institution for Biel. Every year, the beautiful and generously appointed location by the mouth of the Suze river is to see the exhibition of an invited sculptor. The artist will be given the opportunity of presenting a sizable group of works in a much-frequented public space.

In years when the Sculpture Exhibition with its large selection of very recent works takes place, the "Skulpturenplatz" (Sculpture Promenade) may, as this year, hold a small retrospective. In the intermediate years, however, artists should be allowed to show their most recent works. Exposure to the public will give the artist valuable feedback on his work. However, the most stimulating and inspiring aspect will most likely be the arrangement of his works in a new environment.

Connoisseurs and passers-by alike will have the opportunity to engage with these sculptures over the course of a year, seeing them in various conditions of lighting and climate, and in various seasons and personal moods. The fact that the viewer will encounter a group of sculptures over an extended period of time will enable him to think more deeply about the themes and issues addressed by the artist and his works, and perhaps also to overcome some prejudices. Conversely, the annual rotation of exhibitions should prevent the public from becoming jaded and risk overlooking the works of art.

It has become a tradition for Biel to hold a Swiss Sculpture Exhibition every five years. Is it not, therefore, logical to establish an institution that will grant sculpture and sculptors an increased and continuous presence in this city? We are certain that the newly-created institution will contribute towards revitalising the promenade. Culture for pleasure, for the experience, for study or consumption, as a talking point or, quite simply, as a presence – that is what is to be found on the banks of the Suze.

We were able to discuss the exhibition and the selection of his works with Hans Aeschbacher before he died, recently, at the age of 74. And so, the last exhibition he planned has been transformed into a memorial show. Hans Aeschbacher was one of the most significant Swiss sculptors, a teacher and mentor of countless young colleagues, and for decades an important driving force whose influence can be seen everywhere. We asked him to inaugurate the "Skulpturenplatz" with his works. He restricted his selection to steles and stele-like figures hewn in stone. The group of works presented in Biel shows a consistent development in Aeschbacher's work, from the realistic fullness and voluptuous beauty of the female form to the abstraction as a flowing contour line and on to stele-like, disembodied, uprising sheaves of harsh and hard-edged stone.

There is no doubt that the unique quality of Hans Aeschbacher's oeuvre is due to his intimate relationship to stone. He always endeavoured to exploit the material's full potential. Its weight fascinated him as much as transcending the heaviness. And there are few better examples in contemporary sculpture of the artist's ability to render the sensuality of stone surfaces than Aeschbacher's "Venus Asylstrasse 23". In his lava figures the quality of the material becomes a formal principle: "re-creation" becomes pure three-dimensional creation. The stone surrenders its hidden life. In his later steles presented here the ribs, the "light-edged strings", are given a voice. Aeschbacher attempts to take the weight out of the oppressive stone.

Hans Aeschbacher participated in each and every one of the past Swiss Sculpture Exhibitions. This is why we are especially pleased that his presence also graces the current show. Finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to the owners for lending us their treasures for this exhibition.
Maurice Ziegler
Translation from german © Margret Powell-Joss

  • Aktionsplastik, Lüchinger Roland, expo 1980
  • Schlafwandler, Pfenninger Kaspar, expo 1980
  • Rutschbahn, Weber Bruno, expo 1980
  • Kleines Bronzerelief VI – 1976, Rehmann Erwin, expo 1980
    Kleines Bronzerelief VI – 1976
  • JURA, Berger Ueli, expo 1980
  • Fig. XIX A, Presset Henri, expo 1980
    Fig. XIX A
  • 10/78, Niederer Heinz, expo 1980
  • Licht – Bild – Raum, Fricker Hansruedi, expo 1980
    Licht – Bild – Raum
  • Licht/Schatten Objekte, Nyffenegger Samuel, expo 1980
    Licht/Schatten Objekte
  • Profil eines Fluges, Egloff Anton, expo 1980
    Profil eines Fluges
  • Totenschlitten, Sigrist Kurt, expo 1980
  • Wasserspiel 37, Fontana Annemie, expo 1980
    Wasserspiel 37
  • Projekt Zeitraum, Sigrist Kurt, expo 1980
    Projekt Zeitraum
  • Stille Stelle, Fischli Hans, expo 1980
    Stille Stelle
  • Poetree, Buchwalder Ernst, expo 1980
  • Schiff, Sigrist Richard, expo 1980
  • Chromstahl, Talman Paul, expo 1980
  • Elément en 3 pièces, Emile Angéloz, expo 1980
    Elément en 3 pièces
  • Weiblicher Toso, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Weiblicher Toso
  • Autoportrait, Berthoud Francis, expo 1980
  • Borg, Bucher Heidi, expo 1980
  • Nombre 58 = Esther, Hess Esther, expo 1980
    Nombre 58 = Esther
  • Drei Obeliske aus dem Pentagondodekaëder, Storrer Peter, expo 1980
    Drei Obeliske aus dem Pentagondodekaëder
  • 5 Bielerrugel, Benazzi Raffael, expo 1980
    5 Bielerrugel
  • Boden – Raum – Schnittpunkt I, Haldemann Walter, expo 1980
    Boden – Raum – Schnittpunkt I
  • Euphorium, Kocher Lis, expo 1980
  • Projet Bienne II 1980, Huber Hans Rudolf, expo 1980
    Projet Bienne II 1980
  • Kardinal, Luginbühl Bernhard, expo 1980
  • Homo-Sapiens, Hotz Roland, expo 1980
  • Ouverture sur rencontre, Torres Manuel, expo 1980
    Ouverture sur rencontre
  • See Stück, Ruenzi Fritz, expo 1980
    See Stück
  • Figur I, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Figur I
  • La fleur du mal, Gerstner Karl, expo 1980
    La fleur du mal
  • Weibliches Idol, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Weibliches Idol
  • Don Quichotte III, Zeller André-Paul, expo 1980
    Don Quichotte III
  • 79/30, Mauboulès Jean, expo 1980
  • Liber, Werro Roland, expo 1980
  • Grosse Mondleiter, Küng René, expo 1980
    Grosse Mondleiter
  • Microcosme New York IV B, De Montaigu Charles, expo 1980
    Microcosme New York IV B
  • Agression, Mariotti Yves, expo 1980
  • Elch, Weiss Max, expo 1980
  • Wiesenfloss (3 Aufnahmen), Stocker Norbert, expo 1980
    Wiesenfloss (3 Aufnahmen)
  • Ohne Titel, Blättler Rudolf, expo 1980
    Ohne Titel
  • Biel Luminis, Fucktory Biel, expo 1980
    Biel Luminis
  • Figur II, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Figur II
  • La Perception visuelle en tant qu’art, Fischer Walter, expo 1980
    La Perception visuelle en tant qu’art
  • Objekt I, Streiff Matthias, expo 1980
    Objekt I
  • „Laa mi nöd gheiä“, Arbi (Bechtler Ruedi), expo 1980
    „Laa mi nöd gheiä“
  • Biel Luminis, Fucktory Biel, expo 1980
    Biel Luminis
  • Explosion, Wirz Tobias, expo 1980
  • Wandplastik, Mattioli Silvio, expo 1980
  • Objekt in der Schüss, Signer Roman, expo 1980
    Objekt in der Schüss
  • Figur II, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Figur II
  • Kunstauktion im Marzilibad Bern, Jordi Ernst Kretz Walter Schneider Jimmy Fred Vögeli Walter Suter Urs, expo 1980
    Kunstauktion im Marzilibad Bern
  • PARADISE LOST, Siegenthaler Albert, expo 1980
  • Die Weisen, Weber Bruno, expo 1980
    Die Weisen
  • Environnement mit Performance, Gfeller Reinhard, expo 1980
    Environnement mit Performance
  • Raumplastik, Mattioli Silvio, expo 1980
  • Venus Asylstrasse 21, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Venus Asylstrasse 21
  • E 1 P, Duarte Angel, expo 1980
    E 1 P
  • F. Y. 26 – 1979, Bolomey Roger, expo 1980
    F. Y. 26 – 1979
  • Annabello, Kohlbrenner Beat, expo 1980
  • see, Weber Willy, expo 1980
  • Flugkörper, Pedretti Erica, expo 1980
  • Vitrine mit 10 Zinkblechmodellen, Burger Walter, expo 1980
    Vitrine mit 10 Zinkblechmodellen
  • Figure debout, Ferrario Aldo, expo 1980
    Figure debout
  • Teatraedre, Ischi Pierre, expo 1980
  • Werk Nr. 04.07.79 B. 1979, Mattes Rudolf, expo 1980
    Werk Nr. 04.07.79 B. 1979
  • Video blind piece, Minkoff Gérald, expo 1980
    Video blind piece
  • F. Y 3 – 1976, Bolomey Roger, expo 1980
    F. Y 3 – 1976
  • Wiesenfloss (Projektskizze), Stocker Norbert, expo 1980
    Wiesenfloss (Projektskizze)
  • Der leere Raum, Blättler Rudolf, expo 1980
    Der leere Raum
  • Sky-Lab II: ein Environnement, Etcetera Ateliergemeinschaft, expo 1980
    Sky-Lab II: ein Environnement
  • Espace Nord-Sud, Fontana Dominique, expo 1980
    Espace Nord-Sud
  • Kreis-Stele I, Engler Jakob, expo 1980
    Kreis-Stele I
  • Figur III, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Figur III
  • Allee, Häckel Wolfgang, expo 1980
  • Fût no 793, Delieutraz Edouard, expo 1980
    Fût no 793
  • Objekt III, Streiff Matthias, expo 1980
    Objekt III
  • Poisson femme, Polliand Daniel, expo 1980
    Poisson femme
  • Eisenplastik geschmiedet, Odermatt Josef Maria, expo 1980
    Eisenplastik geschmiedet
  • Der Rezipient als Bestandteil, Eberle Urs, expo 1980
    Der Rezipient als Bestandteil
  • Die Baumfee und ihre Tänzerin, Balmer Hans, expo 1980
    Die Baumfee und ihre Tänzerin
  • Fanfan II, Schwarz Heinz, expo 1980
    Fanfan II
  • Traktor und div. Materialien, Tinguely Jean, expo 1980
    Traktor und div. Materialien
  • PARADISE LOST, Siegenthaler Albert, expo 1980
  • Sculpture 76 J, Wiggli Oskar, expo 1980
    Sculpture 76 J
  • Les 12 signes du zodiaque, Aeppli Eva, expo 1980
    Les 12 signes du zodiaque
  • Gruppenbild, Engel Michel, expo 1980
  • Reflexion über die Gegen-Stände, Grossert Michaël, expo 1980
    Reflexion über die Gegen-Stände
  • Accumulation no 792, Delieutraz Edouard, expo 1980
    Accumulation no 792
  • Rostiges Eisen um Farbkreuz, Bürkler David, expo 1980
    Rostiges Eisen um Farbkreuz
  • Figur I, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Figur I
  • Entelechie 1 + 2, Stocker Ludwig, expo 1980
    Entelechie 1 + 2
  • Baum und Welt, Aeberli Matthias, expo 1980
    Baum und Welt
  • Olymp, Metzler Kurt Laurenz, expo 1980
  • Lächelnd sah er aufs Meer hinaus, Meier Dieter, expo 1980
    Lächelnd sah er aufs Meer hinaus
  • Standortbestimmung, Brand Heinz, expo 1980
  • La concièrge, Polliand Daniel, expo 1980
    La concièrge
  • L’Ile aux oiseaux, Camesi Gianfredo, expo 1980
    L’Ile aux oiseaux
  • 9/78, Niederer Heinz, expo 1980
  • Kelch symmetrisch, Schneider Jimmy Fred, expo 1980
    Kelch symmetrisch
  • Licht/Schatten Objekte, Nyffenegger Samuel, expo 1980
    Licht/Schatten Objekte
  • Komposition, Teucher Otto, expo 1980
  • Modell für eine Plastik, Megert Christian, expo 1980
    Modell für eine Plastik
  • Marmor-Block, Meister Peter, expo 1980
  • Kopf aus Hauterive, Kunz Peter, expo 1980
    Kopf aus Hauterive
  • Zeichen, Büchi René, expo 1980
  • L’Uomo nel Tempo, Paolucci Flavio, expo 1980
    L’Uomo nel Tempo
  • Phönix, Moser René, expo 1980
  • Rencontre XXX, Torres Manuel, expo 1980
    Rencontre XXX
  • Venus de Six-Fours, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Venus de Six-Fours
  • Ein Schatten zwischen Sein und Schein, Schwarz Martin, expo 1980
    Ein Schatten zwischen Sein und Schein
  • Feuer, Wiedmer Paul, expo 1980
  • Ohne Titel, Raboud André, expo 1980
    Ohne Titel
  • Déméter, Perrin Fred, expo 1980
  • Entwicklungsreihe (6 Steine), Grunder Mariann, expo 1980
    Entwicklungsreihe (6 Steine)
  • Microcosme New York III, De Montaigu Charles, expo 1980
    Microcosme New York III
  • Zusammenarbeit Urs Suter, Vögeli Walter, expo 1980
    Zusammenarbeit Urs Suter
  • Grab, Brodwolf Jürgen, expo 1980
  • Baalbek, Bucher Carl, expo 1980
  • Schwebendes Ringpendel, Witschi Werner, expo 1980
    Schwebendes Ringpendel
  • Sans titre, Bonnot François, expo 1980
    Sans titre
  • Mère et enfant, Ferrario Aldo, expo 1980
    Mère et enfant
  • Sans titre, Bonnot François, expo 1980
    Sans titre
  • Figur I, Aeschbacher Hans, expo 1980
    Figur I
  • Projet Dimension Uniques, Transmutation Forme et Terre, Camesi Gianfredo, expo 1980
    Projet Dimension Uniques, Transmutation Forme et Terre
  • Pavillonskulptur aus 6 Rundhölzern, Bill Max, expo 1980
    Pavillonskulptur aus 6 Rundhölzern
  • Seelenführer Anubis, Conne Louis, expo 1980
    Seelenführer Anubis
  • Fils, Winteler Anna, expo 1980
  • Paravent, Suter Hugo, expo 1980
  • Zentrum, Büchi René, expo 1980
  • Sculpture 77 D, Wiggli Oskar, expo 1980
    Sculpture 77 D
  • Diagonale Faltung, Staub Josef, expo 1980
    Diagonale Faltung
  • Rasterteppich, Bauer Heiner, expo 1980
  • Windrad Esche, Küng René, expo 1980
    Windrad Esche
  • Quebec, Ischi Pierre, expo 1980
  • Ferienlandschaft, Buchli Rudolf, expo 1980
  • Béatrice, Schwarz Heinz, expo 1980
  • Figur I, Wimpheimer Willy, expo 1980
    Figur I
  • Scheiterhaufen, Hächler Peter, expo 1980
  • Arbre, Candolfi Serge, expo 1980
  • Stahl-Konstruktion XIIX, Altherr Jürg, expo 1980
    Stahl-Konstruktion XIIX
  • Arbeit III, Baviera Michael, expo 1980
    Arbeit III
  • Objekt II, Streiff Matthias, expo 1980
    Objekt II
  • Mondaffe, Eggenschwiler Franz, expo 1980
  • 2 Trees, Gruber-Stieger Jaqueline, expo 1980
    2 Trees
  • Der Papalagi, Seibt Dieter, expo 1980
    Der Papalagi
  • Vertschaupet, Hutter Schang, expo 1980
  • Komposition, Teucher Otto, expo 1980
  • Eisenplastik geschmiedet, Odermatt Josef Maria, expo 1980
    Eisenplastik geschmiedet