Istituto Svizzero is pleased to present an exhibition by the late Swiss artist Balthasar Burkhard, which brings together two bodies of work.
The first, for which Burkhard received international recognition, is a collection of medium and large-format monochromatic photographs of city landscapes in which he captures the immensity of the world: the “Naples” series (1998) and the “Mexico” series (1999). Complementing these pieces are his late works; still-life photographs of flowers, which reveal a different eye and sensitivity. Portraying three different flowers from different parts of the world—Lisianthus, 2009, Japanese Iris, 2009 and Phlox, 2009—they recall a baroque sensibility and are characterized by rich, deep colours and intense light and dark shadows. The show also acts as a starting point for a broader reflection on photographic reproduction in the context of the exhibition as a medium.
Balthasar Burkhard (b. Berne, 1944-2010) studies between 1961 and 1964 under the Bernese photographer Kurt Blum. In 1965 he opens his own studio and works as a freelance photographer. Chronicler of the Kunsthalle Bern, he maintains close contact with artists and curators. Along with Harald Szeemann, he travels to and documents various art centres including the Venice Biennale among others. In 1968 he starts collaborating with architects Atelier 5 and photographs their work for several years. In 1977 Balthasar Burkhard had his first solo exhibition at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago. Significant institutional exhibitions include: The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva; Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, Humblebaek; the Venice Biennale; Kunsthaus Zurich; and The Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris. The Folkwang Museum in Essen is currently holding a major touring retrospective exhibition of Balthasar Burkhard.