In the Monastery Church from 21.11.2015 to 24.4.2016

Gottfried Honegger was born in Zurich in 1917. His mother came from Sent in Lower Engadine and Honegger has been devoted to that place throughout his entire life: “terra ladina – to you I owe my delight in the sensual”. His early work, which he produced between 1953 and 1958 and for which he drew from the reservoir of nature and its regular forms, is the germ cell of his art.

Everything that, to this very day, takes shape in an almost infinite variety is already inherent in the töchterzellen (daughter cells), 1953, the first relief keim (germ), 1953 and, somewhat later, in the two earliest sculptures dated 1961. The interplay of regularity and chance which forms the matrix of Honegger’s oeuvre gives rise to large format monochrome tableau-reliefs and stone and metal sculptures that abide by geometrical structures and conjure up a space full of tranquil, meditative harmony.

Following the retrospective exhibition at the Centre Pompidou this summer, Schönthal Monastery is focussing on the essence of Gottfried Honegger’s artistic mission. The 98-year-old artist, who matured in the art worlds of Zurich and Basle, New York and Paris, and can still be found every morning in his studio thinking and writing, drawing and making, returns to his sources.

That can be the structure of a pine cone.

Guido Magnoguagno

Photos: Peter Wälchli (works), Peter Münger (portrait)

→ The 2015 retrospective at Centre Pompidou in Paris
→ l’Espace de l’Art Concret in Mouans-Sartoux