Exhibitions

Marc Bauer

An unser Schicksal von Heute und Morgen

February 25 - April 1, 2017

Galerie Peter Kilchmann is pleased to present its first exhibition with Swiss artist Marc Bauer. On view is a new series of

drawings and paintings based on black-and-white photographs by Annemarie Schwarzenbach.


“The trip to Afghanistan by Annemarie Schwarzenbach and Ella Maillart in 1939, alone in a car with Swiss

number plates, remains one of the most inspiring journeys of the 20th century. Both women have written

about their experience, their struggle with each other, with life, with fate and with the world beyond the

fathomable. In addition, Ella Maillart has filmed their journey, while Annemarie Schwarzenbach has taken

countless photographs. It is the latter that have inspired Marc Bauer for a new and compelling series of

drawings. Once again the Swiss artist, who is currently based in Berlin, has reworked well-known, iconic

photographs transforming them into worlds of his own. So while we return to the Herat, to the Mazar-i-

Sharif and above all to the Bamyan that the two Swiss travellers visited almost 80 years ago, we see these

places through the eye and pencil of a contemporary artist. Sometimes he adds colour to his images

drawing us into a world beyond the black and white of interwar photography. At other times he alters the

scenery by effacing people present in the originals or by adding them on – most hauntingly a group of

burka-clad women next to the large Buddha of Bamyan destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. That same year

the collapse of the Twin Towers has not only entered our collective memories but also ushered in a new

era of political uncertainty. The uncanny parallels between our times and the months and weeks before the

outbreak of the Second World War, when Annemarie Schwarzenbach and Ella Maillart drove to Kabul,

render Marc Bauer’s new series both haunting and inspiring. For despite the sense of dread some of his

images effuse, their coloured sisters are full of hope, the drug we now need more than ever. “

                                                                                                                             -Alexis Schwarzenbach-


Marc Bauer‘s graphic work is rendered almost exclusively in black-and-white, a pared-down aesthetic that seems

deliberately evocative of old photographs. Bauer often produces works in series, and his exhibitions are usually

conceived as site-specific installations that address the exhibition space as a larger composition. Visually, Bauer’s

works are typically dark in tone and the contours of his figures are often blurred, through his practice of using a hard thin

eraser to rub away and smear the graphite and lithographic chalk and to achieve a sense of depth. A key recurring

theme in Bauer’s art is history and memory – the personal and the collective – which he presents as closely intertwined.


Marc Bauer studied at the Ecole supérieure d’art visuel in Geneva and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, in

Amsterdam. He lives and works in Berlin and Zurich. His work was featured in numerous group shows, including the

Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, and in many solo exhibitions,

including the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, the Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris and the Frac Auvergne, Frac Alsace, Frac

Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur. On occasion of the exhibitions at the Centre Culturel Suisse and in the Fracs catalogues

were published.