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Martin Disler

Press release


Martin Disler – Häutung und Tanz

During an intense creative period in the early 1990s, the Swiss painter and sculptor Martin Disler (1949–1996) worked on a series of life-size bronze sculptures. These 66 figures, which occupy a prominent position in Disler’s artistic work, were exhibited between 1991 and 1992 under the title The Shedding of Skin and Dance at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, Kunsthalle Basel as well as the Kunstforum of the Lenbachhaus Munich.

After 30 years, 21 of the sculptures were brought together again this spring thanks to private and public loans and were exhibited in Sculpture Park Waldfrieden in Wuppertal.

Buchmann Galerie is now showing a selection of nine works from the Wuppertal exhibition. These expressive figures, which are at once fascinating and unsettling, allow us a glimpse into the restless creative energies which marked Disler’s work. The sculptures arose from an irrefutable inner necessity characterized by the use of physical force and the immediacy of gesture.

Martin Disler, born in Seewen, Switzerland in 1949, was a self-taught painter, sculptor and writer. He lived the life of a restless traveller, moving between New York, Zurich, Amsterdam, Lugano, Samedan and Milan, before finally settling in Les Planchettes in the Swiss Jura Mountains. Martin Disler died on 27 August 1996 at the early age of 47. 

Disler first attracted international attention with his exhibition Invasion durch eine falsche Sprache (Invasion by a False Language) at Kunsthalle Basel in 1980. In the following years, he rapidly gained growing recognition with solo exhibitions in the aforementioned institutions as well as at ARC Paris and Arte Moderna Sao Paulo, and by taking part in the 1980 Venice Biennale and documenta 7 in Kassel in 1982.