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