7th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition Biel

Ziegler/Tschumi: Introduction

About the Exhibition 

Five years have passed since the previous Swiss Sculpture Exhibition (SPA) in Biel. In this time general exhibition activities have increased enormously, to a seemingly inflationary degree and endeavours to present art in the most attractive and consumer-friendly manner occasionally veer towards the merely spectacular.

What figure will the SPA cut in this changing landscape? By remaining true to some traditions, such as our specific focus on the artist's personality and concerns; and by continuing to give the exhibition the widest possible scope, not applying selection criteria too narrow-mindedly, we trust that we have managed to preserve the Exhibition's special character.

We consider it our most important mission to provide a platform for the artists to present their latest three-dimensional works – even very large ones – to a wider audience. The exhibition will achieve this task; this much can be deduced from the fact that every other participating artist presents a piece created especially for this event.

To many sculptors the SPA provides an opportunity to show new developments in their oeuvre, while others can meet a wider audience for the first time. For each and every participant, it will be stimulating to see his own works in a new environment, and in juxtaposition to works by a considerable number of colleagues.

To visitors from Switzerland and abroad, the exhibition shall provide a large-scale overview of three-dimensional art created in our country over the course of the past five years. This is an opportunity to see new works by already-known artists, and to discover new sculptors.

Some 1000 works have been submitted by over 300 artists; no direct invitations were sent out. The Jury consisted of four artists representing various tendencies and regions, as well as the two exhibition directors. 171 works by 120 artists have been selected to ensure representativity, variety and a high quality.

The dimensions of about one third of all the works shown here are very large, some of them monumental. The trend towards large dimensions – also to be noted at the international level – contrasts starkly with developments in painting, where the tendency seems to be towards greater intimacy.

In comparison with the previous SPA of 1975, we deem it noteworthy that more artists have reverted to stone and wood while the use of synthetics and concrete has become less common. A strikingly large number of artists have used natural elements such as trees, water and air, and have focused on environmental issues.

In addition to the SPA 1980, a permanent sculpture promenade is being established at Biel's Strandboden, a popular, park-like area on the shore of lake Biel. This is where each year one artist is to be given the opportunity of presenting a larger group of his works. The "Skulpturenplatz" (Sculpture Promenade) will be inaugurated with a retrospective of stone sculptures by Hans Aeschbacher, the recently-deceased Swiss sculptor.

To complement and extend our event, the Kunstverein Biel (Biel Art Association) has organised an exhibition of drawings and graphic art by all participating artists. It will no doubt improve our understanding of the sculptures if we can see how the artist has transferred his visions and ideas to the two-dimensional context. The fact that many sculptors are excellent draughtsmen lends great autonomy to this special exhibition.

In continuation of a project initiated in 1975 to document "Art in Public Space", this year's exhibition will contain some examples of this important topic that is relevant to sculpture and the "environment", among them the outcome of the Swiss contest for the artistic decoration of the new Gymnasium (High School). The works by artist-students of the Berufsschule (Vocational School), presented as projects in 1975, are now nearing completion and are already accessible to the public.

During our Exhibition, a group of artists will be working in open-air studios, or hold events in the exhibition grounds, giving visitors the opportunity of meeting them in person.

Even more than during past exhibitions, we want to consider the wishes of the general public and the situation of Biel. In a simple "Schule des Sehens" (School of Visual Perception), interested visitors may find out about some elementary rules as regards the viewing of sculptural art.

In cooperation with the city of Biel's Department of Culture and several of Biel's cultural organisations, some accompanying events have been organised to enrich our Exhibition and connect it with the city's cultural activities.

In the run-up to our Exhibition, a considerable number of classes from Biel's schools have worked on projects addressing the topic of "Wir leben in unserer Stadt" (We live in our city). We do hope that these projects have raised the awareness of both students and parents as regards their daily environments, and that they may have stimulated the creativity of our city's inhabitants.

During the previous Sculpture Exhibition of 1975, various projects concerning our city's "livability" were realised, such as the pedestrian walkway at Mühlebrücke; and the removal of car-parks from the squares in the Old Town. This year we have again endeavoured to suggest and implement urbanistic changes proposed by artists to prove that artistic ideas and works can have an immediate, positive impact on our quality of life. Sadly, our hopes have been dashed to realise a low-cost project initiated by the Municipal Head Gardener to transform the gardens to the south of the Neuhaus Foundation into a public recreation park and area. In the context of this year's Sculpture Exhibition, we also suggested holding a contest for the design and conservation of Biel's Bahnhofplatz (Station Square), which by now may well be a unique example of its kind in Switzerland. While our suggestion was received with interest, we deeply regret to say that it was postponed to an indefinite point in the future. We do hope that it will be possible to preserve the original function of this square, which is of great significance to the city of Biel.

We are, however, very happy to acknowledge the generous support of the Direction of the HTL (Higher Technical College) and the Municipal Authorities as well as the Neuhaus Foundation and the Lyceum Club, which has enabled us to use some essential interior spaces.

It is the SPA Exhibition organisers' earnest wish to present to our visitors an impressive overview of the diversity and high quality of sculptural art in Switzerland. If this goal has been achieved yet again in 1980, we owe it to the participating artists and their often extraordinary efforts.
Maurice Ziegler / Alain Tschumi, Artistic Directors, SPA

© Translation from German, August 2008: Margret Powell-Joss

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