ELSBETH BÖNIGER: ‹Deconstructed Sediments›



The preoccupation with beauty and the sensually appealing repeatedly forms the basis of Elbeth Böniger’s works, intertwined like a labyrinth: painting, sculpture combined with painting, room installations - everything coexisting. Böniger is a thinker; her thoughts constantly wander through space and time, often coming to rest in different eras of art history. She then breaks free of all constraints to be in the here and now. She is a passionate collector, gathering diverse materials from which she draws her inspiration and new ideas.  Her work is characterized by constant growth, rendering different groups of work easily distinguishable. Her studio is a melting pot: ancient African spears stand next to the most recent developments of the plastics industry. Sketches bearing witness to an ongoing process lie next to newspaper pages, small stones, text fragments, memorabilia – the vast conglomeration from which her work originates.

Like an alchemist the artist mixes varnish and colours, creating new, mysterious surfaces. Chemical-physical gimmicks generate structures, reacting and operating under Böniger’s magic wand, be it paintbrush, scraper, small rod or knife. Pigment mélanges on colour media become war paints; an homage to unfathomable emotions, a barometer of tempers and moods. The most recent works cover a span between “Readymade” and “Design”. They are highly brilliant objects or seemingly fossilised figures. This duality shows constantly in her panels, placed next to each other, or in the honeycomb pictures. Unique works of different format are often grouped together, random at first sight, yet upon closer inspection, perfectly composed.

The surfaces of her works play a central role in Böniger’s oeuvre, often provoking sheer amazement. The surrounding reflecting mirror finish fascinates as well as the undefined consistency of the multiple applied layers of paint. The works oscillate from totally planned perfection to fortuitous results. All the works share a strong tactile element. The viewer has the urge to feel and touch the works. The structures emerge from the chosen material like nets, varnish, rubber or bitumen and are woven into a whole of format and technique. The artist is a tinkerer, building imaginary and real spaces and, as an architect, organising fragments into an artistic whole.

The most recently produced group of works, shown for the very first time, are objects completely covered in lead. Like a second skin the lead fits the existing objects: jars, masks, antlers, surf - or skateboards, rendering the objects useless and yet, empowering them with a heightened presence


Bernhard Bischoff, December 2010


«Punkt», 2007/2008, Mischtechnik auf MDF, Durchmesser 156 cm
«Punkt», 2007/2008, Mischtechnik auf MDF, Durchmesser 156 cm

Archiv Bern/PROGR:
Dong / Steinemann 2020
Christian Indermühle 2020
Peter Wüthrich - Literary Ghost 2020
Dominik Stauch - Painkillers 2019
Xerxes Ach - Secret Colors 2019
Peter Soriano Snowmelt 2019
Elsbeth Böniger - Prozesse 2004-2019
Filip Haag - Malerei und Zeichnung 2019
Pascal Danz - Works on Paper 2019
Bodo Korsig - Escape from Memory 2019
Kotscha Reist - Comptoire de Mystic 2019
Martin Kasper
Reto Camenisch 2018
Christian Denzler 2018
Martin Kasper - Im Wechsel 2018
Martin Kasper
Matchpoint 2018
Andrea Heller / Dominik Stauch 2018
Porter à l'envers 2018
Alfred Hofkunst 2018
Silvia Gertsch - Captured 2018
Winter Story 2017
Böniger / Indermühle 2017
Sereina Steinemann 2017
Xerxes Ach - inside outside 2017
Christian Indermühle - Glarea 2017
Peter Wüthrich 2017
Samuel Blaser - Skip the Pit Stop 2017
Filip Haag - Ins Auge 2017
Kotscha Reist - Painting As Usual 2017
Pascal Danz - Vor der Reise 2016
Laurent Schmid 2016
Freyschmidt/Merkisch/à Wengen 2016
Aquaréelles 2016
Com&Com - New works 2016
Reto Leibundgut - Clementine 2016
Erich Weiss feat. Otto Tschumi 2016
Dominik Stauch 2015
Christian Denzler - Neue Arbeiten 2015
Bodo Korsig - No regrets 2015
Filip Haag - Abrakadie & mehr 2015
Kotscha Reist 2015
Samuel Blaser 2015
Pascal Danz 2015
Elsbeth Böniger - Structures 2015
Catching Moments 2014
Now and Here 2014
(Hi)stories 2014
Summerproject 14
Com&Com - Sky 2014
Katia Bourdarel 2014
Otto Tschumi - Variationen 2014
Lorenz Spring - Spring im Winter 2014
En-lighted 2013
Reto Leibundgut 2013
Patterns 2013
Filip Haag - Oder nach Absprache 2013
Mit dem Körper sehen 2013
Samuel Blaser - Diptycha 2013
Originally Bern 2013
Zwischenspiel: PROGR In-House 2013
Kotscha Reist - Old Ideas 2013
Pascal Danz 2013
Dominik Stauch - Rhinestones 2012
Tiefen Wirkungen 2012
Summerproject 2012
On paper 2012
Com&Com - Clouds 2012
Arno Nollen 2012
Locking glass 2012
Raffaela Chiara - Transformer Kit 2012
X Years 2011
Dominik Stauch - Breathless 2011
Marius Lüscher 2011
Reto Leibundgut - Flora 2011
Kotscha Reist - Painting Life 2011
Microcosmes 2011
Elsbeth Böniger 2011
Laurent Schmid - Rope Tricks 2010
Reto Camenisch 2010
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