They are developing a protean body of work that runs the whole gamut of possible mediums, including painting, sculpture, music, performance, photography and video. Their iconographic repertoire is inspired by fields as varied as art, history, ethnology, geology, wildlife, science and literature, references that the artists subtly combine in eclectic works.
Like an experimentation laboratory, and often resulting from chance, their artistic approach draws from imagination and humour no less than from a certain mockery. Created with simple means, elementary materials or diverted everyday objects (and thereby situated in the tradition of Dadaism and surrealism), their works systematically offer an element of surprise that bewilders or raises a smile, in both their form and their content. The attention they give to the very essence of the creative process and their playful perspective on the world clearly echo the work of another famous Zurich duo: Fischli & Weiss.
Lutz & Guggisberg’s inventive, zany spirit is also manifested in diverse object assemblages that appear incoherent at first glance—collections of conceptual odds and ends that could be likened to veritable cabinets of curiosities. Despite their apparent anarchy, these unusual landscapes are actually designed and choreographed with precision, a far cry from the dilettantism that one might ascribe to them at first sight. By the same token, the two artists’ essentially irrational creative freedom contrasts with the craftsmanship of their works, which recalls a certain kind of popular art that mixes shamanism and fetishism in its relationship with objects. This dualism adds weight to a body of work whose absurd universe paradoxically has a powerful rooting in a concrete world.
Lutz & Guggisberg have presented their work at numerous solo exhibitions (Kunstmuseum, Saint-Gall, 2000; Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, 2008; Centre culturel suisse, Paris, 2009; Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2010; MUDAM, Luxembourg, 2013). In 2013-2014, the duo established a novel collaboration with the Zentrum Paul Klee through interventions that took the form of various performances. More recently, the duo devised the project Il giardino (2018) for Collezione Maramotti in Italy. Lutz & Guggisberg live and work Zurich.