Arthur Aeschbacher

Arthur Aeschbacher  Collagen

* 1923 Genf, Schweiz – † 10. Oktober 2020 Paris

Works of art 1958 to 1980

Works of art 1990 to 2020

Aeschbacher was one of the poster artists, but was only marginally part of the Nouveaux Réalistes movement, a term coined by the international art critic Pierre Restany. The Nouveaux Réalistes were active in Paris in the 1950s and 1960s. Members included Arman, Yves Klein, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, Mimo Rotella, Hains, and Jacques Villeglé.
Aeschbacher, however, did not share their sociological goals. Instead of celebrating “anonymous carving” like Hains or La Villeglé, Aeschbacher used the poster as “material for painters.” For him, the language of the poster, which he peels off, then pastes back on and reassembles, is above all the language of its colors, its thickness, and its heels. Thus his paintings in the 1960s consist of successive layers of cut-up posters whose texts have become illegible.

With the series of “lettres éclatées” or “stores surfaces” (1973), he further developed his relationship with letters by gradually abandoning the practice of collage/peeling. Painted in black, blue or dark on a gray background, these “fragmented letters” spread out behind color grids that structure the canvas. With the series “6, 4, 2” (1984), Aeschbacher reduced his compositions: The linguistic references were arranged in circular arcs that broke with the rectilinearity of the previous grid system. His last works remain faithful to the spirit of “graphic competitions”, in which the letter is charged with a figurative force, breaking through what the writer Michel Butor calls the “fundamental wall erected between letters and the arts”. His works are represented in numerous public collections in France and abroad. (For example, in 1992 Centre d`Art Contemporain de Corbeil, on which a monograph has been published).
From Larousse “Dictionnaire de la peinture”

Aeschbacher’s works were part of museum exhibitions: Kunsthalle Basel 1959, Louvre1964 (50 years of collage), Centre Pompidou 1985 (Lisible-illisible).
In 1993 the Centre d`art contemporain de Corbeil-Essonnes honored him with a retrospective. A monograph was published on this occasion.
Aeschbacher’s works can be found in numerous museums and collections worldwide.