Exhibition: Oct. 23, 2008 to Jan. 31, 2009
They all work by the river Rotbach in a small hamlet called Strahlholz in the rural municipality of Gais: Hans Schweizer (*1942), his daughter Harlis (*1973), and Birgit Widmer (*1964), mother of his fourth child. Their old house provides enough working space for all three of them. What binds them are their family ties rather than a common artistic aim.
Art history provides countless examples of artists whose children followed in their footsteps, yet produced only few independent works. There have also been artist couples whose creations were highly symbiotic; in others, the male partner outshone his female partner. Neither is the case in Strahlholz. Hans Schweizer, Harlis Hadjidj Schweizer, and Birgit Widmer pursue very different goals in very different ways.
The painter Hans Schweizer was born in Toggenburg and worked – after spending time in Paris, Canada, and Berlin – in Zurich in the 1980s. Art lovers know him through his many exhibitions and publications. Harlis Hadjidj Schweizer and Birgit Widmer were first introduced to a larger public by the exhibition at Haus Appenzell in Zurich.
The exhibition and the illustrated catalogue (texts by Peter Killer, Franziska Messner-Rast, St. Gallen) present an unusual artist family that is characterised not least by its strong ties to its place of residence and workplace.