Hannah Villiger. I am the sculpture

01.07.2023 - 08.10.2023
Hannah Villiger, Block XXX, 1993/94, Jacques Herzog und Pierre de Meuron Kabinett, Basel © Foundation THE ESTATE OF HANNAH VILLIGER

The Swiss artist Hannah Villiger (1951-1997) was a trained sculptor who used the Polaroid camera to cartographically scan her own body and her immediate spatial surroundings, examining them for their sculptural qualities in large-scale image formats and expansive blocks. In her work, questioning of one’s own being by means of body, nature or urban architecture meets the experimental mixing of classical genres. Using these themes, her work formulates a clarity, a courage, and a poetry that are more relevant today than ever. Nonetheless, while the work of the artist, who died at an early age, is present in her native Switzerland and in her temporary adopted country of France, outside it has lacked the institutional recognition commensurate with its quality. The Weserburg Museum für modern Kunst now offers the possibility of a (re)discovery of this rarely showed oeuvre.

Swiss artist Eric Hattan (*1955, lives in Basel) was invited to select, compile, and focus the works on display. As a fellow artist and long-time administrator of Villiger’s estate, he is co-editor of her catalog raisonné and a proven expert on her oeuvre. The exhibition he has conceived for the Weserburg traces the essential thematic strands of her oeuvre in exemplary works and knows how to combine personal and objective access. In doing so, Hannah Villiger. Ich bin die Skulptur (engl. “I am the sculpture”) brings together surprising constellations of works with materials from her estate and Eric Hattan’s artistic approach with Villiger’s sculptural visual ideas.

In collaboration with Foundation THE ESTATE OF HANNAH VILLIGER.

Curated by Eric Hattan and Janneke de Vries