Alex Hanimann

BETTY

‘We can be pretty sure that there’s no real way to read it. And yet the free-floating letters leave us no peace. The idea or illusion that the point is to establish a complete, integral text can be attributed to the all-encompassing desire for ultimate truth. We are not happy with empty spaces. The solution to the riddle seems to be hidden beneath a surface full of evocations and references… We undertake the search meticulously and with perseverance. Is it about filling in gaps? Is it something that needs to be completed? Does the substitution or shifting of the individual letters help? Are these abbreviations, coded letter combinations? In order to tackle the problem more concretely, we switch to fantasising. But where will proceeding without a plan take us? Might chance help us, give us a lead? What elements can be combined and connected? What do we ignore? What bridges can we build? Logical thinking and a systematic procedure seem better suited to reaching the goal. So, do we cook up a plan? Do we ask questions about what has been concealed or left out? Where are we anyway? And so we become persuaded that there is really something to be found, that there must surely be some hidden or encrypted message here.’
 
        Alex Hanimann, from ‘Sehen und Lesen’  (Seeing and Reading)
 

Alex Hanimann (born 1955) counts among the most important contemporary Swiss artists. His conceptual and playful application of text reminds of artists like Rémy Zaugg and Christopher Wool and brings him into vicinity of the great conceptual artists, such as Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth or Jan Wallace. Hanimann’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group shows in Switzerland and abroad. He teaches at the Academy of Arts in Zurich, is a co-founder of Kunsthalle St. Gallen, and was a jury member for many years for the Swiss Federal Art Commission. In 2009 he was featured with an extensive exhibition in the Kunsthaus Aarau (‘Conceptual Games’), along with a comprehensive publication: ‘Alex Hanimann, Textual Work’, ed. by Stephan Kunz, Aargauer Kunsthaus / Verlag für moderne Kunst, Aarau/Nurnberg, 2009. Recent group shows include ‘Voiciundessinsuisse 1990–2010’, Musée Rath, Geneva (2010) and Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2011); ‘Konstellation 3’, Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Kartause Ittingen (2011), and ‘Merz World’, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich (2011), Mamco (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain), Geneva (2012) and his oeuvre "Vanessa" won 2012 the ART AND THE CITY-Award, Zurich.

 


Artist: Alex Hanimann
Title: Betty
Material: Wool, Silk, Nylon
Colour: White, Red, Beige
Size: W 180 x L 236 cm
Edition: 8 + 2 AP