Rémy Zaugg (1943-2005)
(2002/2003, Screen print in enamel paint on aluminium, 215 x 192 x 4 cm)
Ricola Collection

Photograph: Serge Hasenböhler

Rémy Zaugg in the Ricola Collection

With its white writing on a yellow ground this work by Rémy Zaugg (1943–2005) puts a paradox up for discussion. The text is not formulated as a question, but appears rather as a thought-provoking find that shapes our visual perception and at the same time exposes the limits of aesthetic insight.

As a painter Rémy Zaugg investigated questions of perception and was especially interested in the perceptibility of art and its dependence on the form of presentation. In 1982, Heiny Widmer, in those days conservator at the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, was working with Rémy Zaugg on the exhibition Le Singe Peintre when he asked him for a detailed account of where he stood as a painter in relation to American Minimal Art. Zaugg explained how he, unlike artists like Donald Judd, for example, designed objects for a given space and hence was concerned with the “visibility of things,” that is to say, with their “perceptibility.” The visibility of the work, he argued, presupposes a three-dimensional object, whose physical presence is absolutely central, “which is not the case with a picture of the usual thickness hanging on a wall.” The artist stressed that the “concept of perception” interested him very much: “It is bound up with that of perceptibility and hence with the perceiving subject, which being faced with the work has to create the work, so to speak, in much the same sense as poetry is about making, whereas a poet has to be.” [...]


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