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The Swiss painter Arthur Aeschbacher, or Arthur Aesbacher, was born in Geneva in 1923. A student of Fernand Léger, he studied successively at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva, then after moving to Paris, at the Ecole du Louvre, the Atelier de la Grande...
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Biography of Arthur Aeschbacher
The Swiss painter Arthur Aeschbacher, or Arthur Aesbacher, was born in Geneva in 1923. A student of Fernand Léger, he studied successively at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva, then after moving to Paris, at the Ecole du Louvre, the Atelier de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Julian.
His first solo exhibition was organized in 1952 at the Galerie Etoile Scellée in Paris, under the aegis of André Breton and Jacques Prévert prefaced the catalog of his second Parisian exhibition. Many others will follow (Colette Allendy Gallery in 1958, Jacques Damasse Gallery, etc). In the same way, from 1959 until his death, Arthur Aeschbacher will participate in a multitude of collective exhibitions (Galerie Iris Clert, Gallerie Coletteb Allendy, "Sonia Delaunay and some friends" at the Galerie Varenne, etc).
"It all began with my immoderate love for characters, words, the smell of ink and the trace of lead printing that gives a slight relief to the paper," the artist wrote. Arthur Aeschbacher will work with torn posters, using them as pictorial material. The shreds of posters will be used for formal recompositions. The work on typography will become, thereafter, the center of interest of his work. His work on the explosion of the typography will make him, according to the expression of Pierre Restany: "a poster artist who is not new realist". Arthur Aesbacher occupies an original place in the space of contemporary creation. Classified among the "poster artists", he keeps his distance from the poster tearing done by Raymond Hains or Jacques Villeglé, using letters of typography, he will never be part of the Lettrists. "My imaginary writing tends to produce another sense and speaks to another sense," said the artist. However, the work of Arthur Aesbacher is not limited to his work on the poster. His research, with the series of "exploded letters" or "blind surfaces" (1973), develops a new use of letters by gradually abandoning the practice of collage-peeling. More surprisingly, in the nineties, the artist collaborated with the MADI group (originally created in 1946 in Buenos Aires), whose rigor of concrete art does not seem so close to him. In his "Turn-cuts", the texts are cut into small squares, then glued back together in a circular movement. Arthur Aeschbacher appropriates words to make them into painting material. Arthur Aesbacher's work on letters integrated into complex frames has certainly interested and even influenced artists of the following generation, notably those who found themselves in the Textruction group, which was created in 1971 (Jean Mazeaufroid, Georges Badin, Gérard Duchêne, Gervais Jassaud, Michel Vachey). Arthur Aesbacher had an almost majestic appearance. The painter presented himself, consciously or not, as a theatrical character and his way of speaking added to the first impression.Arthur Aeschbacher, an artist who never ceased to amaze and to bring to light a beauty both modern and eccentric, died in Issy-les-Moulineaux in 2020, he was 98 years old.