Baloise Art Forum: Jenni Tischer

Basel, The works of Jenni Tischer are on show at the Meeting Point exhibition until 28 October 2016.

Exhibition at the Baloise Group Art Forum

15 June 2016 – 28 October 2016
Art Forum opening hours: Tuesday, 20 September 2016 at 5 pm and 25 October 2016 at 12:30 for a guided tour by curator Martin Schwander or by appointment.

At Art Basel 2013, the German artist Jenni Tischer presented a group of delicate, mostly colourful objects at the Galerie Krobath in Vienna. Tischer was awarded the 15th Baloise Art Prize for this balanced collection. In its report, the jury highlighted the following with regard to her work: "The essential design principle of the three-dimensional works by Jenni Tischer is the combination of material, colour, shape and text. There are references to modern art, which are incorporated in the context of her own work, while at the same time being withdrawn again. (…) The work of Jenni Tischer hints at political issues such as authorship, production and feminism – this is made clear in particular with regard to the selection of her techniques, as she focuses on typically female activities such as knitting, sewing and weaving, and transfers these to the context of art in a sensitive manner."

For her current exhibition at the Baloise Art Forum, Tischer has selected the title Meeting Point. She understands the term in this context as follows: "Meeting Point as a place to meet and also as a place at which interaction occurs, a point of contact. The definition of the space at Baloise as a place for employees, visitors and an exhibition hall. In other words, the interaction between two different functions of the space."

The title Meeting Point also provides a key for understanding the artworks that Tischer is exhibiting in the Baloise Art Forum. In the exhibition, interior space (the objects and works on paper created for the  Baloise Art Forum) and exterior space (the floor sculptures placed in a courtyard) enter into a direct dialogue of form and content. The artworks themselves combine "male"-dominated modern art and everyday "female" activities, two and three dimensions, lines and structures, and also abstraction and decoration, complex ornamentation and repetitive patterns.

In works with titles such as Pattern Recognition and Recognition, Tischer makes reference to the ornamentation on a facade relief which she came across on a former Baloise building (Aeschengraben 25). In the mirrored objects, fine patterns decorate and fragment the faces and bodies reflected within them. Tischer also considers these faceted self-perceptions and object perceptions as reflections on patterns generated by algorithms.

In this way, Tischer creates finely detailed works of art reduced to the essential elements, which are given seriousness and dignity by materials and techniques far removed from art. This manifests an approach about which Tischer said the following in a discussion with the art theorist Ines Kleesattel:  "The forms are based on various pieces of equipment, such as looms, weaving frames and spindles, as well as measuring instruments, etc., which always make reference to the body using the device in terms of their size. (…) The slowness of the process of creating my objects, the formal reduction  and the selection of my materials and colours are of course also based on approaches that can in turn be transferred to non-artistic arenas. For me it is more productive to think about how I produce and do things than to try to explicitly integrate the latest political topics into my work."

Text: Martin Schwander

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