Karl Geiser, Photographs

3 March to 20 May 2007

   

Karl Geiser (1898-1957), one of Switzerland's most important 20th century sculptors, was also an obsessive photographer. He used his camera to liberate himself from the unfulfillable demands that almost overwhelmed him in his sculptural work. He photographed when he wanted to record an atmosphere, a fleeting experience, a play of light or an outer or inner mood - on the streets and squares, in markets and at public festivals. Or in his studio, in order to "appropriate" his models. His photographs are intensive, lovingly taken pictures of people that also form a spontaneous and moving chronicle of his feelings.

Karl Geiser, France, ca. 1937
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Karl Geiser, Marseille, 1937
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Karl Geiser, Paris, 1936
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Karl Geiser died in his studio in Zurich at the end of March 1957 - the exact date is not known. 50 years after his death, the Fotostiftung Schweiz now provides the opportunity of rediscovering Geiser's photography. To this end, his photographic estate, which is looked after by the Fotostiftung, was systematically reappraised and evaluated. Numerous new prints were made for the exhibition from hitherto unnoticed negatives. A selection from the over 400 sheets of cardboard on which Geiser arranged his photographs thematically, serially or rhythmically also provide an insight into the astonishingly modern core of his work.

Karl Geiser, Maria Vanz, Zollikon ca. 1936
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

In the Alsace, before 1939
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

Guerino at the studio, ca. 1930
© Fotostiftung Schweiz

With the support of Memoriav, the Association for the Preservation of the Audiovisual Cultural Heritage of Switzerland.

Parallel to the exhibition in the Fotostiftung Schweiz, the Kunstmuseum Winterthur will show drawings and etchings by Karl Geiser under the title "Impressions de Paris" (opening on 2 March at 6.30 p.m.)