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Albrecht Schnider

Albrecht Schnider burst onto the Swiss artistic scene in 1988, during his first exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern. Outside the aesthetic canons of the period, he practised a narrative figuration tinged by classicism, then close to the Nazarene movement. Later, the combined influences of Félix Vallotton and Hans Emmenegger nourished his art.

As time went by, his manner became more simplified and the motifs – portrait and landscape – were progressively envisaged as abstractions: the precise and smooth pictorial treatment neutralised forms and invalidated any possibility to place them in time and space. For the small panoramic landscapes and, likewise, the immense iconic portraits, his two favourite subjects with his abstract canvases, the dialectic of fullness and emptiness filled the space of the picture.

His painting refutes established categories: the cold artificiality of the colours, the mysterious hieratic quality of the portraits without faces and the virtual appearance of the landscapes produce a visual force of attraction inversely proportional to the abstruseness of the forms. Beneath the matt aspect of the whites, the iridescence of the greys and pinks and the range of greens there lurks a multitude of possible interpretations, whose resolution is left to the spectators alone.