Elsbeth Böniger

‹Prozesse 2004-2019›

Curated by Susanne Schneemann


16.8. – 14.9.2019

Opening Thursday 15th August 2019 18-20h


Elsbeth Böniger, «5050 (Serie Inseln)«, 2018, Mixed Media/Leinwand, 230 x 90 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Bodenschatz Borneo», 2018-19, Mixed Media/Plexiglas, 200 x 70 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Drei Nüsse (Serie Inseln)», 2019, Mixed Media/Leinwand, 230 x 90 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Gleichseitig (Serie Inseln)», 2019, Mixed Media/Leinwand, 230 x 90 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Schlingpflanzen», 2018, Öl/Leinwand, 140 x 140 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Weiterdenken (Serie Inseln)», 2019, Mixed Media/Leinwand, 230 x 90 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Zeitkorridore (Serie Inseln)», 2018-19, Mixed Media/Leinwand, 230 x 90 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Mündung», 2018/19, Öl auf Leinwand, 140 x 140 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Fleur flottante», 2018, Ölfarbe/Alucorplatte, 208 x 125 cm
Elsbeth Böniger, «Inselwelten (Serie Inseln)», 2019, Mixed Media/Leinwand, 230 x 90 cm

Processes of imaging

The exhibition at Galerie Bernhard Bischoff & Partner presents the first opportunity to experience Elsbeth Böniger’s oeuvre in fast motion – in the shape of a bound book. A total of 83 pages, the first pages were created in 2004, the final ones in May this year. Due to its fragility, the book comprises the exhibition’s “absent” centre and the 15 years of artistic production are visualised in a film about the book produced for the exhibition.

Bernhard Bischoff tells us that Elsbeth Böniger has always been working with books, choosing them mainly for the quality or texture of the paper that ranges from lightweight paper to paper with braille dots. As a support for oil painting, the books acquire an entirely new function beyond reading, breaking away from their purpose to transport language in the form of text. Böniger’s books convey the language of painting: exploring them is to understand the processes of their creation. And there is no need to learn a new alphabet or to immerse oneself in the artist’s intellectual world. We “only” have to look. A simple task perhaps, but a challenging one when looking at Elsbeth Böniger’s paintings.

In the first room of the exhibition paintings from the series “Inseln” (2018/2019) have been laid out on the floor and can be looked at from an elevated standpoint. The works, gleaming in the silvery light, with expressive titles such as “Zeitkorridore” “Weiterdenken” or “Drei Nüsse” were painted while the artist was standing on a platform. Böniger applied layer upon layer of oil paint, added fluxing agents and many other alchemic additives from her inexhaustible store of knowledge about the changeable nature of oil paint, calling the result “mixed media”. On the canvas the paint appears to flow at times, sometimes to erupt and splinter. Looking for something to hold on to, the eye immerses itself in the boundless superimposed and juxtaposed layers of paint that merge and fuse into each other, thus experiencing the process of painting close up.

In the second room there is a big wooden storage shelf from Böniger’s studio. It is stacked with numerous of the rather small books the artist has been working on since 2004. By applying oil paint the paper has undergone quite a few metamorphoses, the artist pushing the material’s potential to the limits. The large works, on the other hand, lean against the walls, mirroring the conditions in Böniger’s studio where she lined them up or put them on wood blocks as they were drying. The way they are presented here thus conveys a reference point to their past. The drying process is generally an important time factor in oil painting, but for Böniger’s works it is more than a necessity. It takes days, even weeks, for the layers of paint to form an inseparable unit with the support and to develop their final surface structure. Exploring them with our eyes brings us closer to this artist who we could call a philosophical anthropologist studying the essence of painting. The exhibition provides us with the perfect conditions for doing so. And yet, the book remains its absent core.

The book will be exhibited for an hour at the exhibiton’s closing event. The artist will be present.

Susanne Schneemann 2019

Archiv Bern/PROGR:
Erich Weiss 2020
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
Archiv Bern
Archiv Thun