Echoes, Shadows and Reflections
Fride WirtlWalser’s Worlds Behind Glass
Exhibition extended until 11 May 2014
The Vitromusée, in collaboration with the Oberammergau Museum (D), is proud to present to the wider public, for the first time in Switzerland, the colourful and varied work of Fride WirtlWalser. This well-known artist, whose work has not only been shown in exhibitions in Germany, France and Italy but also in Egypt and Russia, demonstrates a complete command of all aspects of the challenging art of reverse painting on glass. She is equally at home in that abstract world of forms, lines and colours inhabited by Wassily Kandinsky, as in an art whose surreal aspects find an echo in the conceptual and pictorial structure espoused by Max Ernst, leading us into those enchanted worlds also called forth by Paul Klee.
Fride WirtlWalser was born in the small valley of Wals (D), and worked in Ammergau, a region with a rich tradition in folk art and reverse painting on glass. After studying sculpture in Berchtesgaden and Stuttgart, in 1952 she turned her attention to painting and glass art at the Munich Academy. Since the 1970’s, she has devoted herself exclusively to reverse painting on glass. On her numerous travels, she has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the various European schools of reverse painting, and has published several small handbooks on practising this art. Since the 1980’s she has explored many different reverse-painting techniques, always with the same lively enthusiasm and curiosity.
This exhibition presents her work from the earliest years right through to the present day: encompassing both religious and worldly subject matter, in large format or as small ‘curiosity cabinet’ objects for closer scrutiny; often with a mischievous side-ways allusion –- or perhaps with reference to the works of such poets as Verlaine, Baudelaire and Paul Celan.
A monograph (in French and German –- 112 pages with 120 colour illustrations), published in collaboration with the Oberammergau Museum, presents the oeuvre and life of Fride WirtlWalser. The artist herself, along with Constanze Werner of the Oberammergau Museum and Yves Jolidon of the Vitrocentre Romont, give insights into her personal and artistic journey through life.