Estate of Heidi Bucher
Alexander Gray Associates
Image: Heidi Bucher, c.1977–78

Estate of Heidi Bucher

 

Alexander Gray Associates

 October 2013

Alexander Gray Associates is pleased to announce the U.S. representation of the Estate of Heidi Bucher (1926–1993), with the Gallery's first exhibition of the artist opening April 9, 2014. Bucher, born in Winterthur, Switzerland, explored the effects of transformation on the body and architectural space in her work. She attended the School for the Applied Arts in Zurich under the teaching of artists Johannes Itten and Max Bill, and began her career making textile collages. Her most well-known artworks are her sculptural objects produced in the 1970s and early 1980s. These works are deeply concerned with feminine, domestic, and private spaces, as well as bodily and collective experiences.

In the early 1970s, she collaborated with her husband Carl Lander on Landings to Wear, wearable sculptures that transgressed the boundaries between sculpture and apparel. During this same period, she created her Bodyshells sculptures, expanding the limits of art and life by designing them as inhabitable objects. Bucher’s emphasis on participatory art reflects the artistic changing attitudes toward the spectator, emblematic of the 1970s, and the artist’s keen interest in converging art and life.

Bucher began focusing on architectural spaces in the late 1970s, beginning with an exploration of her studio. Her process entailed coating a room or elements of a room with latex and peeling it off, creating what has been referred to as a “skinning.” Among the spaces where she created “skinnings” were her childhood home and her family’s ancestral home. This body of work mined a domestic, private space, and a personal past. Works such as Skinning Bellevue (1988), which explored architectural elements of a psychiatric ward, embodying notions pertaining to national histories and identities. Bucher’s high emphasis on process and the transformation of architectural space, gender, and the body relates to the work of some of her contemporaries from the 1970s, such as Gordon Matta-Clark, Eva Hesse, and Ana Mendieta.

Heidi Bucher’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and North America. In 2004, Bucher was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland. Her work has also been exhibited in the 1972 one-person exhibition Bodyshells at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; as well as the 1971 exhibition Soft Sculptures to Wear at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Museumstrasse, Switzerland; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montréal, Canada; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, France; Museum für Gesteltung, and the Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland; and the Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Germany; among others. Bucher’s work is in the permanent collection of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland. Her work is represented in Europe by Freymond-Guth Fine Arts, Zurich, Switzerland.

Bucher's current exhibitions include Water, Houses at Freymond Guth Fine Arts in Zurich, Switzerland, on view through November 16, 2013; and Heidi Bucher at Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris, through December 8, 2013, and will the subject of an exhibition at The Approach, London in November 2013. Her work will be included at Alexander Gray Associates' presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach 2013.