previews

Dritschi und Tinley schauen den Niesen
Aeschi 21./22.
(Dritschi and Tinley look at Mount Niesen Aeschi), 1988, oil on canvas, 11 3/4“ x 8 1/4”.

Basel

Jean-Frédéric Schnyder

Museum für Gegenwartskunst, mit Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung
St. Alban - Rheinweg 60
April 28 - August 26

Word has it that Swiss artist Jean-Frédéric Schnyder is much admired by his countrymen Peter Fischli and David Weiss, yet his work—stateside, certainly—remains obscure. Since the late 1960s, he has worked in various media, with little concern for stylistic consistency. His earliest works, fashioned from bits of wire, Lego, bamboo, pewter, and ceramic, alluded to imaginary folk cultures. Schnyder later turned to painting: landscape, portrait, still life, and abstract. Somewhat belated international recognition came at the 1993 Venice Biennale with his series of small-scale paintings of autobahn vistas. Philipp Kaiser’s survey of about fifty paintings and sculptures from the past thirty-seven years falling on another Biennale year could do much to resuscitate Schnyder’s elusive reputation. If Fischli & Weiss like him, discriminating sensibilities beyond the twenty-six cantons should be open to persuasion.