At the same time as the atmospherically rather cool photographs by Lukas Hoffmann, the Kunsthaus Zug will be exhibiting paintings by Adrian Schiess (*1959 in Zurich) from its own collection. This exhibition will also be an experiment for the artist himself – many of these works will be shown for the very first time, and some of them in a manner that Schiess has not attempted before.
Schiess will here be declining his vocabulary of colour. At M for “maize yellow”, he will pause – as will the observer, standing in front of his large, varnished panel. It measures two by three metres and explores what the young artist laid out in his colour notes. It was back in New York in the 1990s that he began to collect colour impressions. He gathered 426 of them over several months – small painted snippets of cardboard or canvas. Schiess will be presenting this work for the first time: as an installation on tables that he has conceived himself, and performatively as his activity in the studio.
The maize yellow panel, based on a small colour sample from this group, casts back a maize yellow light into the room. A world is reflected in this maize yellow: the world of the museum and its visitors. These pieces change continually, according to the perspective of the observer and the light conditions at different times of the day. There are “Fetzen” (“shreds”) hanging on the walls – irregularly formed, painted pieces of cardboard. Colours and their impact are important to Schiess, not the virtuoso gesture of painting.
It is thanks to a donation from the collector Christian Graber in 2015 that the Kunsthaus Zug possesses this important group of works. Graber has been friends with Adrian Schiess for decades. He began an intense period of interaction with him, visited his studio and purchased his first works at a time long before Schiess became celebrated by galleries and museums.
Curated by Marco Obrist