Samuel Blaser, Katia Bourdarel: ‹Microcosmes›



For the first time the French artist Katia Bourdarel (*1969) and the Bernese artist Samuel Blaser (*1973) are combined in a double  show. Both artists feature small-format figurative-narrative paintings. The groups of works seem obviously related even though they are completely different. Each of the two artists works in his or her own microcosms of story finding and they both create absurd-surreal modern fairy tales, using classical techniques such as oil painting on wood and watercolors on paper.

Katia Bourdarel’s stories or fictional fairy tales open up a new dimension to the viewer. At first glance the motives seem pretty and poetic but on a closer look traumatic compositions are being disclosed. She virtuously paints and draws her imaginary worlds and leads the viewer into a seemingly lost world. Katia Bourdarel is a gifted weaver of narratives – mostly leaving the outcome open or offering several options to the viewer’s own conclusions. Some of the exhibited series were produced in the last years, showing an unusual oeuvre. In 'Le baiser du Papillon' or 'L’ultime naissance' the focus is on the communication between humans and animals, whereas 'Petit Frère' or 'Memento Mori' deal with the human-animal transformation. The series 'De l’autre côté' indicates a distant dream world. Three-dimensional objects are spread in between the paintings, wonderfully connecting the different group of works.

Samuel Blaser’s oil paintings are composed of found modular components. His sources derive either from photographs, taken on walking-tours or travels, or distant memories. As in a puppet theater the artist composes the figures into fey landscapes, thereby creating his own stories. A recently created group of works deals with the landscape illustration – as well as in a metaphorically as concrete way. The delicate oil paintings fall back on a vast repertoire of old master paintings, just to be reloaded with contemporary issues. Leaving the quotes highly visible, each painting nevertheless stands independently. The artist’s work can be distinguished in three main groups: portraits are of great importance, next to symbolically charged miniatures as well as illustrations of absurd situations of human existence. Samuel Blaser’s works go back and forth between seriousness and wit, grief and overwhelming joy. All his paintings are single pieces; however they seem to respond in a comprehensive dialog.


Bernhard Bischoff, January 2011


Katia Bourdarel, «Memento Mori», 2011, Auarell/Papier, 42 x 31 cm
Katia Bourdarel, «Memento Mori», 2011, Auarell/Papier, 42 x 31 cm
Katia Bourdarel, «Memento Mori», 2011, Auarell/Papier, 42 x 31 cm
Katia Bourdarel, «Memento Mori», 2011, Auarell/Papier, 42 x 31 cm
Katia Bourdarel, «Memento Mori», 2011, Auarell/Papier, 42 x 31 cm
Katia Bourdarel, «Memento Mori», 2011, Auarell/Papier, 42 x 31 cm

Archiv Bern/PROGR:
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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