Bernhard Giger: ‹KünstlerInnenporträts›



The personal collection of artist portraits by Bernhard Giger, allures the viewer on a parallel time travel back to the dynamic art scene of the seventies. The current director of the Kornhausforum, Bern, captured the time of transition within the Euro-American art world through the lens of his camera. Undisturbed by the future developments in the art history of the XX Century, influential figures of the art world or merely forgotten artists are displayed on equal terms within the exhibition.

The Museums of drawers by Herbert Diestel, was the starting point for the series of artists portraits by Bernhard Giger. Simultaneously, the close relation to Gerhard J. Lischka leads to the creation of the socio-cultural and philosophical magazine Der Löwe. As a lively personality within the art scene of the 70’s in Bern, Giger explored his talent as photographer, journalist and filmmaker further. Equally, the collaboration with Lisbeth Kornfeld, the director of the Berner Galerie at the time, opened many more doors to artist ateliers.

During this busy period, Giger had the opportunity to visit numerous artists in Switzerland as well as internationally. In New York, he met Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana and Nancy Graves. In Paris
he spent time with Roland Topor. In Düsseldorf, the famous couple, Bernd and Hilla Becher, welcomed him and at the local Kunsthalle he got introduced to Christian Boltanski. At the
Art Basel 4, he captured the glance of Joseph Beuys for a second. Another defining moment, were the visits to the actionists Hermann Nitsch, Otto Mühl, Günter Brus and Arnulf Rainer in Vienna.

Giger seized these encounters with great attention, yet his work remains discrete as the focus is dedicated solely to documentation of the moment in time. Subtly sober black and white photographs portray the artists in their private environment, without ever revelling more than the sheer minimum. Occasionally, a cup and saucer or a smile reveal more about the atmosphere or the person than the gaze itself. By a closer look, the often recognizable portraits might appear disturbingly cold or they may become more lively and familiar.

The personal archive of Bernhard Giger will be displayed for the first time this summer in the Gallery Bernhard Bischoff. The exhibition invites the viewer to critically engage with the time of change in the arts but also with the socio economic society turmoil of the seventies within the so-called western world.

Ann Huber-Sigwart, August 2014

Archiv Bern/PROGR:
Dong / Steinemann 2020
Christian Indermühle 2020
Peter Wüthrich - Literary Ghost 2020
Dominik Stauch - Painkillers 2019
Xerxes Ach - Secret Colors 2019
Peter Soriano Snowmelt 2019
Elsbeth Böniger - Prozesse 2004-2019
Filip Haag - Malerei und Zeichnung 2019
Pascal Danz - Works on Paper 2019
Bodo Korsig - Escape from Memory 2019
Kotscha Reist - Comptoire de Mystic 2019
Martin Kasper
Reto Camenisch 2018
Christian Denzler 2018
Martin Kasper - Im Wechsel 2018
Martin Kasper
Matchpoint 2018
Andrea Heller / Dominik Stauch 2018
Porter à l'envers 2018
Alfred Hofkunst 2018
Silvia Gertsch - Captured 2018
Winter Story 2017
Böniger / Indermühle 2017
Sereina Steinemann 2017
Xerxes Ach - inside outside 2017
Christian Indermühle - Glarea 2017
Peter Wüthrich 2017
Samuel Blaser - Skip the Pit Stop 2017
Filip Haag - Ins Auge 2017
Kotscha Reist - Painting As Usual 2017
Pascal Danz - Vor der Reise 2016
Laurent Schmid 2016
Freyschmidt/Merkisch/à Wengen 2016
Aquaréelles 2016
Com&Com - New works 2016
Reto Leibundgut - Clementine 2016
Erich Weiss feat. Otto Tschumi 2016
Dominik Stauch 2015
Christian Denzler - Neue Arbeiten 2015
Bodo Korsig - No regrets 2015
Filip Haag - Abrakadie & mehr 2015
Kotscha Reist 2015
Samuel Blaser 2015
Pascal Danz 2015
Elsbeth Böniger - Structures 2015
Catching Moments 2014
Now and Here 2014
(Hi)stories 2014
Summerproject 14
Com&Com - Sky 2014
Katia Bourdarel 2014
Otto Tschumi - Variationen 2014
Lorenz Spring - Spring im Winter 2014
En-lighted 2013
Reto Leibundgut 2013
Patterns 2013
Filip Haag - Oder nach Absprache 2013
Mit dem Körper sehen 2013
Samuel Blaser - Diptycha 2013
Originally Bern 2013
Zwischenspiel: PROGR In-House 2013
Kotscha Reist - Old Ideas 2013
Pascal Danz 2013
Dominik Stauch - Rhinestones 2012
Tiefen Wirkungen 2012
Summerproject 2012
On paper 2012
Com&Com - Clouds 2012
Arno Nollen 2012
Locking glass 2012
Raffaela Chiara - Transformer Kit 2012
X Years 2011
Dominik Stauch - Breathless 2011
Marius Lüscher 2011
Reto Leibundgut - Flora 2011
Kotscha Reist - Painting Life 2011
Microcosmes 2011
Elsbeth Böniger 2011
Laurent Schmid - Rope Tricks 2010
Reto Camenisch 2010
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