In 2015, the Museum of Fine Arts will hold the 8th Triennial of Contemporary Prints and bringing together twenty contemporary artists, selected by an international panel of experts in contemporary art. While previous editions of the Triennial of Contemporary Prints focused on Swiss production, that of 2015 will be decidedly international.
Printed art, based on the use of traditional techniques that require a solid infrastructure and know-how (lithographs, serigraphs, photogravure, etc.), is now expanding to a mixed practice (digital prints) and contemporary aesthetic designs. The event offers an international overview of these practices, revealing to the public the best of contemporary production.
A particularity of the Le Locle Triennale is that an exhibition is offered to the winner of the previous edition (Prix de la ville du Locle). The Swiss artist Didier Rittener (b. 1969), and who was also awarded the Drawing Now prize in Paris in 2013, on this occasion will produce a work specifically for the Museum of Fine Arts.
The Triennial of Contemporary Prints presents printed work in different styles and techniques, from abstraction to figuration, from minimalism to realism, and from the techniques of classical engraving to hybrid procedures.
John M Armleder
Jonathan Delachaux, Un jour avec Naïma (vision de nuit), 2014, sérigraphie phosphorescente rehaussée à la main © Cyril Vandenbeuch
Marc Bauer, Abendland, 2006/2015, impression sur papier © Marc Bauer et Freymond-Guth Fine Arts Ltd.
For many centuries, engraving has played a key role in disseminating images and enabled the spread of subjects and styles between studios and regions of Europe. In his work, Didier Rittener (1969) continues this tradition of reproducing images, having copied them by hand, and opens up an exciting debate around reproduction, diffusion and representation.
Drawing on his series Libre de droits [Copyright-Free] – a corpus of more than 400 graphite drawings – Rittener leads the visitor into the garden of the Annunciation, a space “derived” from two Italian Renaissance paintings: Fra Angelico on one hand, and Leonardo da Vinci on the other. The artist concentrates on the skeleton of these two major works in the history of art, that is, their background. The structure evokes Fra Angelico’s portico and is placed in front of a landscape painted by Leonardo da Vinci, which Rittener has reproduced by hand in minute detail. By removing these images from their setting – there is in fact no trace of the Archangel Gabriel or the Virgin Mary – the space becomes both a stage set and an actor. This is similar for a seat found in the gardens of one of the Borromean Islands, in Lake Maggiore. Photographed by the artist and then drawn in pencil, this chair with its sinuous contours is bathed in a strange coloured light. Rittener immerses us in a theatrical scene. The spotlights are lit. It is up to us to recreate – or replay – the scene. He leaves us with his images, replete with memory and floating in uncertainty.
After graduating in mixed media and sculpture from the University of Art and Design in Lausanne (ECAL) in 1996, Didier Rittener decided to focus purely on drawing. His work is inspired by existing images and is regularly exhibited in Switzerland and internationally, and has won him many prestigious awards, including the Prix culturel Manor (2005) and the Drawing Now Prize (2013). In 2010, he was announced as the winner of the Triennial of Contemporary Prints at the Museum of Fine Arts in Le Locle and awarded a dedicated exhibition during the next event in 2015. He lives and works in Lausanne.
Didier Rittener, 424 – Libre de droit, d’après L’Annonciation de Léonard de Vinci (1475), 2015, crayon gris sur papier calque, 29,7 x 21 cm.
Prix de la Ville du Locle
The first triennial of printed art was held in 1992 and entitled “Prix de la Ville du Locle”. This competition was initially restricted to Swiss artists before opening up to the world in 1998. The 2007 event reaffirmed its place on the national stage by setting up an artistic commission that brought together the principal curators of printing in Switzerland. The eighth edition features 23 artists from Switzerland and around the world, and this year winner, Claudia Comte, was announced during the preview on Saturday 20 June.
Basics and Combinations, 2013, xylogravure, impression en relief© Claudia Comte / Photo: Annik Wetter
With the generous support of :
The Museum of Fine Arts also would like to thank the the Society of Fine Arts and the Museum, the Cultural Affairs of the State of Neuchâtel, the Sandoz Family Foundation and Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Cuncil.