Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Zahnradstrasse 21, CH-8005 Zurich
tel. +41 44 278 10 10
April 14 - April 12, 2014
Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present Swiss artist David Renggli (*1974) for the first time in a single exhibition.
Renggli studied at the School of Applied Arts in Zurich and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. His artistic oeuvre
spans painting, sculpture, works on paper, as well as sound installations, all of which Renggli combines in a cleverly
devised labyrinth of semiotics and aesthetics. A central theme is found in the system of language, especially its
inclination to misconceptions and double entendres which make human interaction so exciting. Confusion, surprise,
incomprehension – to name only a few results of treacherous communication situations – constitute the source for
Renggli's art. In his art works the artist abstracts everyday expressions with his nonchalant esprit and quiet subversive
The main focus of the exhibition lies on new, large-scale reverse paintings on glass in black & white and color from the
series “I love you” (2014, various formats, glass, ink, anodized aluminum, wood frame). The title picks up one of the most
trivial set phrases of today. Even so, the powerful presence of color and forms provide content in another sense and
challenge the distinction between illusion and reality. The intensity and luminance of the art works is intriguing. The
transparency of the compositions add unexpected depth to the paintings, as paint streaks cast a shadow on the gleaming
aluminum background. The two-dimensional glass plane is thus transformed into a three-dimensional shape, an intriguing
force of attraction with tremendous expression.
Stone sculptures, so-called “Daybeds” (2013, concrete, stone, aluminum, approx. 72 x 170 x 57 cm) made of arranged
river rocks and coins, are shown side by side with the paintings. The décor seems to be randomly placed – some
benches only allow one to sit on the edge, whereas others provide enough space to lie down. Here, resting becomes a
sensory journey of discovery in a world of stranded knickknacks and treasure troves.
Large neon sculptures (2013, neon, metal, transformer, approx. 400 x 200 x 50 cm) are placed at different locations as
well as on the roof of Maag Event Hall. Each sculpture is dedicated to a single word, an expression that “everyone
understands intuitively, yet does not possess any specific meaning,” Renggli states. “Sorry”, “Irgend” or “Aber” are words
used so often in everyday situations, that they have become emptied of meaning. Renggli takes them out of context and
makes them into abstract light objects that develop their own visualized formal expression and allow for an illusionary
playfulness. The neon sculptures were last shown in 2013 in the single exhibition “Scaramouche” in the Kunst Halle
The last space is dedicated to works on paper from the series “Charm of Ignorance” (2012-ongoing, in series of 9 works
on paper, each 42 x 32 cm). Thematically the works revolve around our Western culture. Renggli combines pictures of
profane and religious architecture elements with cut-outs from art catalogs and tabloids, snippets of his own works,
furniture pieces, fashion, pornography or Teletubbies. At times single elements are embellished or altered by adding
paint, leafs, bandaids or strips of tape. They are odd combinations, at times comical or scandalous – yet always intriguing
on closer examination. The artist chose a selection of 2000 works from this series for his single exhibition of the same
title at the Museum im Bellpark in Kriens in 2012, where the works on paper were hung in salon style.
The book “David Renggli, 25% Painting” (2013), recently published by Edition Patrick Frey, shows a selection of the
series “Charm of Ignorance” (2012-ongoing) and its precursor “You, can you recommend your psychiatrist” (2007) on
nearly 500 pages. The publication can be purchased in the gallery.
Important single exhibitions include, apart from already mentioned exhibitions at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen and the
Museum im Bellpark, Kriens, exhibitions at Galerie Münsterland, Emsdetten (2013), and Kunsthalle Winterthur (2006).
Works by Renggli are currently shown as part of the collection exhibition of the Migros Museum for Contemporary Art in
Zurich, and will be part of the exhibition “Gastspiel” in the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, opening on July 12.