Oct 16, 2021 · 4:14 AM

Date 1982
Object dimensions 7 x 28 x 28 cm
Technique/material Wire, paint on paper, wood, dispersion paint, acrylic glass
Credit Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by Hans Ulrich Schweizer
Inv. no. SK13001
Werner Buser


The paintings and sculptures of Werner Buser (born 1928 and died in 1994 in Basel, Switzerland) are characterized by both sensuality and logic. His “objects,” as the artist liked to call them, are made of diverse materials – like cardboard, wood, paper, and wire. What defines them is their completely non-figurative character. Instead, they represent a concrete alternative world based on abstract, geometrical forms that are also capable of expressing softness.
Buser studied window-dressing at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel. He also worked as an industrial arts teacher and a special educator, during which he also devoted himself to his own artistic career. The color scheme of his Constructivist objects is most often based on white, but occasionally on soft hues of blue and yellow. In his works, he addresses the relationship between form and space, the creation of tension, and the antagonism between external and internal. Some of his works are multi-layered compositions that play with the contradiction between fragile surfaces – usually paper or cardboard – and solid wire constructions. Great technical precision – wire is bent or soldered, the paper cut, glued, or folded – is typical for Buser’s objects. In his first artistic phase, his constructions are hermetically sealed in their frames. However, the artist soon began using Plexiglas covers that allow the beholders to look at the sides of the works as well. The external world only enters the reality of the artwork through the playful effects of light and shadow. However, he also created works in which straight lines or curves are painted on and/or are cut directly into the wood and paper elements, thus letting the individual parts form a coherent unit in the beholder’s perception.
In his later works, the structures of lines are covered with transparent white and black fabric, making it difficult for us to make out any more than mere contours. This situation is enhanced by the fabric being painted with arrows.
Werner Buser’s objects are strong gestures, but they are also subtle and restrained. They invite the beholder to approach the artwork – and consequently the secrets of the external world – in a meditative and watchful way.

Ursula Meier

With financial support by:

Lotteriefonds Canton of Zurich

Baugarten Stiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Dr. Adolph Streuli-Stiftung
Stiftung Kunstsammlung Albert und Melanie Rüegg

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Oct 16, 2021
4:00:00 AM CEST