We are very pleased to announce the third solo exhibition by Swiss artist Mathis Gasser that will open on April 4th, 2019.
This follows the exhibition of 172 paintings of the ‘Heroes and Ghosts’ series that was recently presented at Haus zur Liebe in Schaffhausen.
For this exhibition, a set of 70 paintings was carefully selected and installed in sequence line through the gallery.
This is a very exciting opportunity to discover this ambitious body of work consisting of small oil paintings that the artist initiated in 2007 and that is presented for the first time in Geneva. Below is a text extract from Samuel Luterbacher analysis of Mathis Gasser Heroes and Ghosts series that will be included in the upcoming monograph (Edited by Bleach Books / Patrick Frey) to be published in the coming months:
‘’ “Spectral” could certainly describe our first impression of Mathis Gasser’s Heroes and Ghosts, a series of hundreds painted characters. Each of these figures appears in the middle of the frame, painted in oil on a thick stretched canvas. All images share the same dimensions and are juxtaposed symmetrically, creating a sense of uniformity in the viewing experience. Gasser’s figures are all taken from wide range of media, moving from the high budget Hollywood film, pulp horror and science fiction, comics to the work of art, shifting from the popular to the esoteric. Each figure stands eerily still and sometimes menacing before us. We might recognize one figure from a movie or cover of a book, but the painted surface obscures the image from its printed, photographic or digital source. What unites these figures is that they all are characters that inhabit fictional worlds; they are powerful icons, haunting our collective imagination. It is precisely these images’ collective power that draws Gasser to carefully select and paint them, making these characters occupy for a moment the context of the art gallery. However, Gasser’s appropriations go way beyond a generic mixing of “high and low” culture. Painting becomes here akin to a gesture of collecting that is almost anthropological in nature: Heroes and Ghosts decontextualizes and reframes each visual character in attempts to capture the force they sway over our imaginary.
There is something extremely personal in Heroes and Ghosts, as Gasser alone decides when the image is completed or when it bears satisfactory resemblance to its original source. However, his intentionally naïve renderings of these figures point to examples of “folk art” or “fan-based art,” which relates to a more collective likeness of these fictional characters. ‘’