Hannah Villiger

Art, Solo exhibition, Roma

TUE/WED/FRI: 11:00-18:00
THU: 11:00-20:00
SAT/SUN: 11:00-18:00
Entrance: Via Ludovisi 48


Art, Solo exhibition

TUE/WED/FRI: 11:00-18:00
THU: 11:00-20:00
SAT/SUN: 11:00-18:00
Entrance: Via Ludovisi 48


Opening times:

Tuesday / Wednesday / Friday: 11:00-18:00
Thursday: 11:00-20:00
Saturday / Sunday: 11:00-18:00

It is possible to visit the exhibition by registering at the entrance.

Free entrance

Istituto Svizzero
via Ludovisi 48, Rome


Istituto Svizzero presents Works/Sculptural, the first major solo exhibition of Swiss artist Hannah Villiger (1951-97) in Italy.
Hannah Villiger gained prominence in the 1980s with the large-format photographs of her own body. Arranged into so-called ‘blocks’ of several images, the works show close-ups of sometimes fragmented and abstract body parts. The artist, who viewed herself as a sculptor rather than a photographer, was a fellow at the Istituto Svizzero in Rome from November 1974 to the summer of 1976. These ‘Roman years’ were decisive in shaping her artistic practice: in her studio and in the garden of Villa Maraini, Hannah Villiger began developing simple objects inspired by the materials of Arte Povera. She then gradually shifted to photography, perceived in her eyes as a more “sculptural method”. In Rome, for example, she created the early black-and-white photo series featuring palm leaves burning.

The exhibition at the Istituto Svizzero provides a comprehensive overview of the artist’s oeuvre and presents a selection of works, retracing all of her work phases. A section of the exhibition will focus on Hannah Villiger’s stay at the Istituto Svizzero, also presenting her working diaries and part of her research material.

The exhibition will be complemented by a book released with Mousse Publishing in summer 2021, containing the photographs of the work diaries as well as text contributions by Elisabeth Bronfen, Gioia Dal Molin, Quinn Latimer, and Thomas Schmutz.



Download English press release here.

Our curator Gioia Dal Molin introduces us to the work and life of Hannah Villiger (1951-97) and provides insights on the exhibition ‘Works/Sculptural’.


Hannah Villiger (b. 1951, Cham, Switzerland; d. 1997, Auw, Switzerland) studied sculpture with Anton Egloff at the School of Applied Arts in Lucerne from 1972 to 1974. In 1974 she received the Swiss Federal Art Scholarship and a scholarship for the Istituto Svizzero in Rome. She lived in Rome until 1977, first at the Istituto Svizzero and then in the Trastevere neighborhood. After that, she moved to Montefalco, Italy, before returning to Switzerland. Starting in 1986 she lived in Paris, and between 1992 and 1996 she held a teaching position at the Basel School of Design.
Hannah Villiger’s artistic work is recognized in Switzerland and internationally. In 1975 she represented Switzerland at the 9th Biennale de Paris alongside John Armleder and Martin Disler, among others. In 1981 she took part of the group exhibition KĂŒnstler aus Basel (Artists from Basel) at Kunsthalle Basel, followed by the solo exhibition Neid (Envy) in 1985, curated by Jean-Christophe Ammann. Institutional exhibitions have taken place at Centre culturel suisse, Paris (1986); Museum fĂŒr Gegenwartskunst, Basel (1988); Kunstverein Frankfurt (1991); and the 22nd Bienal de SĂŁo Paulo (1994), where she presented her work in the Swiss Pavilion together with Pipilotti Rist. Posthumous solo exhibitions have taken place at Kunsthalle Basel (2001); Kunsthalle Bonn (2001); nGbK Neue Gesellschaft fĂŒr bildende Kunst, Berlin (2002); MAMCO MusĂ©e d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva (2007); Museum fĂŒr Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2008); and Centre culturel suisse, Paris (2012). In 2020 and 2021, Villiger’s work was included in group exhibitions at Kolumba, Cologne, and the Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen.