Bruno Jakob

Hovering and Pulsing

April 23 - May 30, 2015

Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to announce the new solo exhibition of Bruno Jakob showing selected works from the last

30 years. The exhibition includes early works on paper from 1986, the installation Happy Nothing: Still Collecting from 1990-98,

his latest work Hovering And Pulsing (1 table, 1 slate slab, 9 photographs), Invisible Paintings from 1996-99 and a performance

on the opening evening.

The exhibition title Hovering and Pulsing refers to Jakobʼs new work, a photographic documentation from 2014. It depicts a

performance of the artist on the remains of the burnt down house of his parents in Aarburg, Switzerland.

The earliest exhibited works are from 1986, three years after Jakob moved to New York. The paper works are figurative and

abstract at the same time and are precisely dated to the day on the back. The artist sketched every day for a period of three

months and is showing a selection from the month of April 1986 in the exhibition. He depicts everyday moments both indoors

and out. Although the sketches have a figurative character the artist describes them as Invisible Paintings because they are

preliminary sketches for large formats which according to Jakob exist as “pictures in the head”. The drawings are of different

sizes and are individually cut.

An early installation work can be seen in the middle of the exhibition space. Happy Nothing: Still Collecting (1990-98) consists of

four tables, upon which are spread two paintings on canvas and 29 paintings on paper in various formats. The installation was

shown for the first time in 1998 at the trailblazing group exhibition “Freie Sicht aufs Mittelmeer“, curated by Bice Curiger & Juri

Steiner, at Kunsthaus Zurich and recently in a solo exhibition at the Kolumba, Cologne. The water, without pigment but thought

as colour, makes waves in the thin paper and leaves an elusive picture which, as the artist says, “is given back to the

atmosphere drying”. The paper itself becomes the actual conveyor of expression, and the different types of white and the

materiality of the various sheets essentially determine the effect of the picture. Jakobʼs pictures are the result of his intensive

concern with the process of painting and deliberations about painting using painterly means (meta-painting). The artist himself

describes his pictures as Invisible Paintings/Drawings. A painter without paints - only pure water without pigments is used. And

as the title Still Collecting reveals, a further element is added to the installation. A fifth table with a black slate slab laid upon it

joins the ensemble for this exhibition. This “work in progress” stands in relation to the artistʼs Fluid Performance on the opening


Since the late 70s Jakob has been concerned with the idea of the invisible, incomplete, provisional, precarious and ephemeral -

aspects which have remained part of his painting until now. The titles of the paintings play a central role here because they

contain narrative elements. They remind the viewer that although he is confronted with the two-dimensionality of the canvas, the

figurativeness behind it should not be forgotten - or put another way: it is painting and simultaneously “meta-painting”. The

series Philosophy Escaped (1999) can be integrated into this idea. His interest in painting as illusion and in the painted picture

as illusory space is well demonstrated here and he gives the viewer the chance to produce his own picture. The title of the

painting and details about its production process trigger inner pictures which follow their own rules. The work group Flesh Net

(1995, installation with 2 canvases, 1 canvas panel, 1 photograph (framed), 1 paper work (framed)) fits into this concept of art

because all the materials are charged with energy by the artist and their apparently untreated surfaces point to the illusion of


After studying at the Kunstgewerbeschule Basel and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf the Swiss-born artist (*1954) moved to New

York in 1983. He has participated in many solo and group exhibitions. A catalogue appeared in 2007 on the occasion of his solo

exhibition at Kunsthaus Langenthal and can be obtained from the gallery. Works by Jakob were to be seen at the exhibition

“Greater New York” (2010) at MoMA/ PS1 in New York. Recently (2011) he participated at the 54th Venice Biennale at the

Arsenale and in the main pavilion with two installations. The same year he also exhibited at the “Beispiel Schweiz” exhibition at

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz and in the show “Die phantastischen Vier – Zürich konkret” at Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich. In

2012 Bruno Jakob exhibited at the group exhibition “Monochrome” at Kunstraum SALTS in Basel and at Kunstmuseum Luzern.

In 2014 Bruno Jakob was awarded the Ricola Collection Prize. This year, 2015, his work will be seen at the “White Noise” group

exhibition at Kunsthaus Glarus (17 May to 16 August). He is also exhibiting until 17 May at Museum Tinguely in Basel as part of

the group show “Belle Haleine. The Scent of Art”.