‹Fusions›: Ruth Buck, Reto Leibundgut


Ruth Buck and Reto Leibundgut, after having just been shown with a small group at the new gallery location in Berne, are now currently showing works that have accrued over the year. Both are perfectionists in their own way, always challenging the idea if the work is actually complete, or has achieved the level of satisfaction in their perception. This occurs even after the finished work had passed numerous intermediate steps and much scrutiny.

Bucks car paint pictures are undulated by the technique of adhering many layers of paper in a humid environment. Therefore the colouring agents exude a unique quality all their own. Only when these paintings have repeatedly been varnished and polished, they obtain a sleek reflecting surface. Therefore what remains in this creation has nothing left in common with the mechanic process from the manufacturer.

These new compositions from different car paint pictures reveals the path on which Buck currently treads with her painting. The colourfulness of classic masterpieces, like van Gogh, Vallotton or Manet inspired her to use similar colours in an assemblage of different car paints. Three to five boards of different sizes are placed to relate to each other. They interact both in the sense of colour and also in a historical context; reflecting the masters. The vibration of the actual monochrome areas is enhanced by the interaction between the single photo carriers; compositions of a great and colourful radiant force come into being. The photo performance ‹I want to touch two moons› shows once more of Bucks various oeuvre. The artist points to the sky with both hands mirroring each other thereby creating two points of light, two moons to reach out to and wanting to touch. It is a wonderful small story about the wish for utopia and fiction. ‹Invasion of Butterflies› is a poetic installation, consisting of four separate sheets; all of them are “pinned” to the wall with one needle. On these, blurs of paint can be seen, which in their symmetry, look like butterflies. In the drafts of air the sheets move, creating a wall full of real butterflies.

Reto Leibundgut shows seven new figurative works out of wood. As with his early intarsia pictures he transfers motives on wooden boards, saws them out, and then puts them together again. He colours single parts with resin paint. With the series ‹Virgins› he created a work group of tempting stringency. He transforms illustrations from erotic websites, not least due to the headfirst pose, into spherical images of young women and thereby invents a new iconography of the holy virgin herself. ‹Pollution› is a gigantic wall installation made of carton shingles. Leibundgut has cut numerous shingles out of old carton rubbish. Combined they seem like pixels – and actually the artist has ‹drawn› two cloud formations on the monochrome wall. Finally with ‹o.T.› the artist creates a sculpture out of old leather sofas, ironically challenging the use of everyday life objects. As usual, the shown works consists of the contradiction of ‹filthy› material and lovely made objects.

‹Fusions›, meldings / minglings, the title of this exhibition reflects the fact that both artists continually find new ways mixing materials - be it in the material assembly itself, or in an astonishing new contextualisation of their own oeuvre.

Bernhard Bischoff, May 2006