Marc-Antoine Fehr


January 17 - March 1, 2014

Galerie Peter Kilchmann is happy to rediscover renowned Swiss artist Marc-Antoine Fehr for a wider audience. For

the first time, the gallery presents a solo exhibition featuring the full power of Fehr's paintings and drawings. Born in

1953, the artist now lives between Zurich and Pressy-sous-Dondin in Burgundy.

Fehr, the autodidact, has dealt with classical, figurative painting since the 1980ʼs. His impressive, mostly largeformat

works oscillate between classical and magic realism. Often located in monumental dream worlds, populated

with real and artificial figures, they narrate about unfulfilled longings, of loneliness and of events in alternate


Under the title Fêtes, in English Festivals or Celebrations, Fehr presents his new paintings and works on paper;

around 20 new works will be on display. They are not to be perceived as a series but as independent imageries.

Usually only after years, Fehr is re-attracted by found toy figures and objects, mostly drawn by the ravages of time

and use, and breathes new life into them. Also, motifs found in his immediate environment play a major role.

In the large-format work "Der Verschollene" (see invitation card, "The Man Who Disappeared", 2013, oil on canvas,

275 x 400 cm) a small advertisement figure made of iron acted as a model. It is a servant with a tray that Fehr has

found years ago in an antique shop. The figure is floating horizontally, in front of a neutral, blue background,

without revealing a story - and still, it begs the question where the solidified creature has raptured off. The title

refers to Kafka's novel, in which protagonist Karl Rossmann, employed as a bell boy for some time, is mercilessly

dismissed because of his moral courage. Fehrʼs vision can be taken as a monument to this small, brave and

insignificant man and to all of his kind that once lived and are still living.

The no less impressive work "Le baiser des masques" (2013, oil on canvas, 320 x 285 cm) illustrates the

immersion of two faces or rather masks into each other in diverse film stills; there are 77 suspended moments of

encounter and subsequent separation.

Other works deal with familiar subjects or visions. The servant meets us again lying on a toy car (Reklameauto im

Schnee, 2013, oil on canvas, 120 x 160 cm) or standing in the night (Der Diener, 2013, oil on canvas, 160 x 120

cm). Interior views of masks make unknown, strange downsides visible (Grand détail du masque retourné, 2013, oil

on canvas, 200 x 270 cm). "Le livreur égaré" (2013, oil on canvas, 200 x 270 cm) in English "The stray deliverer"

shows a horse-drawn carriage with a coachman riding along a meagre landscape fragment. Another work depicts

an abandoned resting place. Tables and benches are deserted, the traces of former sociability long wiped out

(Rastplatz, 2013, oil on canvas, 100 x 250 cm).

Works from Fehr, in particular from the Pierrot and Midas cycle, were exhibited in the solo exhibition Still Life / Le

paysage sans fin at Helmhaus, Zurich, 2011. The corresponding catalog will be available at the gallery. Fehr was

further included in group exhibitions such as Voir est une Fable at Chambres à Part, Paris, 2013, Interiors at the

Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, 2009, or Diana und Actaeon at the Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf, 2008.

The Kunstmuseum Zürich, the Aargauer Kunsthaus, the Kunstmuseum Olten, the Federal Art Collection in Berne

and the Collection Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden, to name but a few, have works by Fehr in their collections.