From the early 2000s, Marc Bauer (b. 1975 in Geneva. Lives and works in Zurich) has developed an artistic repertoire with a focus on drawing, wall installation, film and most recently paintings. Using large groups of works, central themes around cultural and historical developments and our collective, social and political heritage are unraveled in a mosaic-like manner. Bauer's works are like narratives, which can be followed without difficulty thanks to his characteristic, very precise drawing style.
Since 2019, the palette, previously almost exclusively reduced to black and white, has been expanded through the increasing use of colorful oil paint and chalk. The result is pictorial spaces of strong color intensity and radiance that underscore the narrative component so inherent in Bauer's works. The new works in the show "Smoke and Mirrors", Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland, cur. Cathérine Hug, 2020 comprise paintings on canvas and monumental, colorful wall paintings.
Speaking about his practice, Bauer notes that ‘painting and drawing is a way for me, and by extension the viewer, to comprehend reality, in all its complexity – subjectively, politically, symbolically. It also allows me to show how history, memory and shifting power structures shade the present moment.’
Bauer uses found images as a starting point for installation, drawings and paintings. While Bauer may take inspiration from a photograph of a historical event, a film still, or an image found on the internet, his drawings are not an exact replication. Bauer instead develops it into something new. When drawing from memory, he creates a world complete with fictional characters and narratives, embedding them in a familiar representation; allowing the viewer to witness an alternative existence through the subjective lens of his own experience.
Marc Bauer studied at the Ecole supérieure d’art visuel in Geneva and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. His work has been featured in many solo exhibitions, including the Berlinische Galerie, Istituto Svizzero, Milano, de la Warr Pavillion, UK, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, the Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris and the Frac Auvergne, Frac Alsace, Frac Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, the Drawing Room in London (2019). His work was included in numerous group shows, including the 21st Sydney Biennial (2018), the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2017) and the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich (2016).
Marc Bauer is the recipient of the 2020 Swiss Art Award - Prix Meret Oppenhein as well as the 2020 GASAG Art Prize (presented in collaboration with the Berlinische Galerie and comprising a solo exhibition and a monographic catalog).