Newsletter27 May 2021
The Swiss graphic artist, painter and sculptor Gottfried Honegger (1917 - 2016) uses basic geometric shapes such as circles, rectangles and triangles as central design elements in his works. Born in Zurich and raised in Grisons, his path took him to the cities of the world, to New York and Paris. There he met well-known artists – including Sam Francis, Al Held, George Sugerman, Ludwig Sander, Franz Klien and Mark Rothko – with whom he was a close friend for the rest of his life.
He also remained loyal to his hometown of Zurich. He adopted the deterministic ideas of the Zurich Concrete Art movement as his own, but he always remained in search of freedom, the spontaneous, the adventure within order. In concrete terms, there were no limits to the combination of its basic elements. In an effort to banish the subjective element of an artistic handwriting from his work, he used systems and even computer algorithms to determine the design of his work. He moved away from this strict formalism in later creative phases, which, however, should not be understood as overcoming determinism, but rather as exposing the desired artistic expression.
When asked whether he sees himself as a painter, Honegger replied: »I love colors, but I've rarely managed to organize them on a surface.« His works are always monochromeand show a love of craftsmanship. Honegger's relief works live from the light that the monochrome, but sometimes differently processed surfaces stand out and stand out from each other. His sculptures represent the expansion of the reliefs into space.
Gottfried Honegger values nature. As a result of their utilization, untouched areas are decreasing, while ›artificial‹ areas that have been processed by humans are increasing. The artist does not indulge in the idea of being able to stop this development, but devotes himself to the task of designing these ›artificial‹ spaces in such a way that they offer a high quality of life. In this context, above all, his works in public space can be seen, such as his artistic intervention on Büchnerplatz in Zurich-Irchel (The Blue Square) and the Salecina-Maloja project, as part of which he placed different-colored steles on a dam.
Gottfried Honegger's work can be found in numerous public and private collections around the world. He has received various important awards – including the Order of the Chevaliers des Arts et Lettres – and enjoys international recognition. He lived and worked in Paris and Zurich.
You want find out more about the work of Gottfried Honegger? Then you should check out this video about Art Karlsruhe Selections 2021 which features a selection of his works! New videos from the series are released regularly on our YouTube channel.
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Ways of Worldmaking · Weisen der Welterzeugung
Publications about Gottfried Honegger