Galerie Peter Kilchmann
Zahnradstrasse 21, CH-8005 Zurich
tel. +41 44 278 10 10
April 15 - May 28, 2011
Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present its new spacious facilities with three single exhibitions.
The new gallery space situates itself in the Diagonal building located on the Maag Areal, bordering on
Zurichs highest building to date, the Prime Tower. The Diagonal building was erected as a work site in
the 1940s with an architecture committed to the style of international modernism. The building, now
under protection, reopens its doors after comprehensive renovations in the last year. The gallery
space was renovated through Blättler Dafflon architects, Zurich.
With Francis Alÿs, John Armleder and Valérie Favre, Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present three
artists who all also work in the medium of painting, yet have very singular positions.
Francis Alÿs, *1959
Toujours essayé, Toujours raté. N'importe. Essayer encore. Rater encore, Rater mieux. (Samuel
Beckett, Cap au pire, 1983). On the occasion of last yearʼs solo exhibition at the Tate Modern and later
at WIELS, Brussels – the last station of this exhibition will open at MoMA on May 8th, 2011 – Alÿs' long
awaited piece Tornado (video, 55 min., 2000-2010) had its premiere. Every year since 2001, Francis
Alÿs has eagerly awaited the month of March, the high point of the dry season, to drive to the
shoutheast edge of Mexico City, where smoky clouds rise from cornfields burning after harvest, and
grey swirls of ash and sand loom against the horizon. Carrying his video camera, Alÿs runs towards
these tornadoes, hoping to catch them as a surfer catches a wave. Upon reaching one, he penetrates
its thick brown walls until he reaches the peaceful eye of the storm, intending to stay as long as
possible inside the swirl. (C. Medina, "Survey", Francis Alÿs, Phaidon, 2007). The artist used the long
wait for the next tornado to do several paintings on paper, canvas or wood, which will now be exhibited
for the first time. Francis Alÿs has been represented through the gallery since 1999.
John Armleder, *1948
John Armlederʼs multifaceted work can be compared to an associative game of art history, which until
today doesnʼt deny its proximity to the aesthetic of Dada and Fluxus. As Maurice Denis suggested in
1890, ʻremember that before a painting is a war-horse, a nude woman or some story or other, it is
essentially a flat surface covered in colors assembled in a certain order.' By way of updating this
statement, and to describe John Armlederʼs recent work, we should add that the forms do not
necessarily have to be arranged in a certain order, the colors are often 'just as good as they are in the
pot', and the story must not be scorned. The artist will design a space in the exhibit in which the walls
are covered with a carpet of hards, a certain ingrain wallpaper, on which five large-format Drip
paintings are then hung.
Valérie Favre, *1959
Valérie Favre emigrated to France when she was 18 years old. Paris became her home for two
decades. She painted, took acting classes and received schooling as a filmmaker. 1998 she headed to
Berlin and found her way back to painting. The work of the artist, who grew up in Evilard close to Biel,
Switzerland, is full of narratives and countless allusions. “I am a painting writer” Favre described
herself in an interview with Annka Karpowski (artnet, 24.02.11). Favre draws upon memories and
mostly paints in series. Until now, nine such cycles have been completed. The Lapines (rabbit women)
populate her canvases since 1999 and have a symbolic cosmos with the Lapines Univers. The alter
ego figures, in which Favre also paints herself as a hybrid female figure with long rabbit ears,
resemble comic figures, pin-up girls, as well as the triumphant woman stan ding on a pedestal on the
company logo of Columbia Pictures. The Lapine Univers thus becomes not only an ironic selfperception,
but also a kind of media-theoretic reflection. In the search for new motifs, Favre draws
upon newspapers, old myths and legends, as well as the repertoire of the cinema of the 1960s.