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From Tuesday 21 June 2022
To Sunday 26 June 2022



Language is one of three parameters in the art of Markus Raetz (Bern, 1941–2020).

His work is constantly seizing on and sizing up words, pushing them further, exploring their interconnections within several languages, and embodying them in eloquent visual forms – eloquent, too, in the etymological sense of “speaking out.” In this brilliant artist’s output, language is a singular source of inspiration as well as matter for an inventiveness that is bound up with both its translation into images and Raetz’s craftsmanship, the other two elements at the beating heart of his body of work.

Raetz’s reflection on words and language generally is both playful and systematic, deep and done with a twinkle in the artist’s eye, personal and implying the participation of others. As the viewer looks on, one and the same stationary object embodies a no and a yes; seen from the left, above, and the right, a little brass object collectively exclaims AHA; the ich (I) at the head of a body floating in space is transformed into a wir (we) at the other end. This message counts in the artist’s thinking. He knows what we owe others and emphasizes exchange and sharing. Time to fire up our imaginations! “One’s own movement is important. I give the viewer responsibility – or free play, room to manoeuver. I want to give them certainty, like a fine instrument,” the artist once declared.

Through the sculptures, drawings, prints, and sketchbooks on display, the exhibition makes clear one of the forces at work in Raetz’s artmaking. That is, it shows what happens when words become forms and activate our perception. We are truly given to read and see plays on words, homophones, phrases whose terms make sense in two distinct languages, the unlikeliest forms of writing that are perfectly decipherable all the same, figurative illustrations that are literal, and virtuoso three-dimensional objects with surprising reversals of meaning. “There is no meaning without interpretation. If you don’t interpret, there is only a formless mass,” Raetz maintained, reinforcing our ability to discriminate.

Markus Raetz Exhibition
Le reflet des mots
From 18 March to 10 July 2022

Fondation Jan Michalski
En Bois Désert 10
Route de Chardève 2 (GPS)
1147 Montricher

Open: Tuesday to Friday, 2 pm – 6 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm
CHF 8.- (full price)
CHF 5.- (students, retirees, unemployed, groups, disabled persons)
Free for children and teens under 18 and residents of Montricher.

*Free admission the first Sunday of each month.