Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Zahnradstrasse 21, CH-8005 Zurich
tel. +41 44 278 10 10
April 7 - May 27, 2017
When I wander around my apartment at night, I am filled with a deep sense of peace in our otherwise
very bright and loud world. I am interested in how light penetrates the night and how a familiar piece of
furniture appears at this very moment.
Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present a new series of monotypes by Swiss artist Zilla
Leutenegger in our project space. Zilla Leutenegger was born in 1968 in Switzerland and is known for
her distinct drawings and her video installations. With a new series of monotypes the artist entered a
surprisingly unusual territory in the fall of 2016: invited by the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur and specially
developed for the opening of the museum‘s new extension, the exhibition entitled Tintarella di luna
allowed us an insight into a poetic group of large-sized dark-colored interiors, which she has now
developed further for the gallery. On view in the project space is a selection of 14 large-size works hand
printed on cotton paper, which once again lead us to a silent world of nocturnal interiors.
Lights out is the moment when everything goes to sleep, when the twilight hour has passed and night
wraps itself around our perception like a finely woven cloth of dark blue velvet. An interplay between
surfaces, light and dark shadows. Sleepwalking and drifting, but curious, we stand in front of the Perfect
night (56.5 x 92 cm) and see a luminous yellow trapezium of moonlight trespassing the open window on
the left and shining in the center of the room. A plain bed, a chair glow in the pallid moonshine. Dynamic
lines are replaced by the calm, dim surfaces applied by the hand press, which here and there are
interrupted by color accents. Sharp outlines of pointed angles and edges are softened or swallowed
completely by black shades. On the other hand small details and the pieces of furniture, that appeared
insignificant before, come to the fore contrastingly; just as the white armchair in Loneliness 2017, (91 x
56.5 cm). Depending on the projection of light, absolute shadow also occur. In Black beauty (92 x 112
cm) we are dazzled by the bright window in the right upper corner, while the furniture in the foreground
almost entirely disappears in nocturnal obscurity; and the carpet is just barely distinguished by its gentle
The spaces themselves are the protagonists of Leutenegger‘s monotypes. The works Blinky Palermo (92
x 113 cm, see invitation card) and Studio Palermo (92 x 56.3 cm) lead us perspectively into the depth of
the respective spaces by means of plain composition lines and allow us to explore the nature of the
architecture through the moonlight. Simultaneously, the silent loneliness of the spaces holds something
very intimate, almost mystic. Every step we take through the unknown darkness of Leutenegger‘s
interiors could put us in the position of an involuntary observer, who hidden by the protection of a dark
corner becomes the witness of a private scene. What lies at the end of Black corridor (91.5 x 56.5 cm)?
Only a pale glow can be seen through the narrow slits of the blinds of the window on the left wall.
Between the dark elevated walls a pale glowing floor leads us into endless dark depths. Finally, we
discover that the rooms are not completely empty, when the artist allows in Pleated Skirt (86 x 69.5 cm)
a female protagonist, her alter ego, to appear as an umbral but familiar detail.
In 2016 on occasion of the exhibition Zilla Leutenegger: Tintarella di luna at the Bündner Kunstmuseum
Chur a monographic catalogue with the same title was published. A further major solo exhbiition took
place the same year at the Museé Jenisch, Vevey, Switzerland. In 2015 the Pinakothek der Moderne in
Munich, Germany presented the solo show Ring my Bell (cur. Inka Greave Ingelmann). Also in 2015 the
solo exhibition Exhibition Z took place at the Wolfsberg UBS, Switzerland. In 2014 it was possible to visit
the solo exhibitions At night at Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos CAB, Spain, as well as Fairlady Z at the
Museum Franz Gertsch in Burgdorf, Switzerland. In the context of the latter a catalogue was published
by Verlag für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg. Another highlight of the same year was also Leutenegger‘s
participation at the Sidney Biennial. Her works are currently exhibited in the group exhibition Ewige
Gegenwart in the Graphische Sammlung ETH, Zurich, Switzerland through April 17.