Bernd Nicolaisen

1959 · Switzerland

Artist biography

Bernd Nicolaisen is a contemporary artist considered well established, who was born and brought up in Switzerland, like other famous artists such as Sir Güdel, Onorio Mansutti, Mario Botta, Franz Gertsch, and Roy Andres Hofer. Bernd Nicolaisen was born in 1959.

Historical Context of Switzerland

Perhaps the most significant Swiss contribution to the development of Modernism was the formation of the Dada movement in Zurich in 1916. Its founding members included Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Emmy Hennings, and Marcel Janco. Their headquarters, the Cabaret Voltaire, quickly became an important centre of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde, with the political neutrality Switzerland being a shelter from political uncertainty elsewhere in Europe. precedingly, Switzerland had produced some quirky and distinctive artists in the Post-Impressionist span of the early twentieth century, including Ferdinand Hodler and Felix Vallotton. Another key movement that can be attributed to a Swiss artist was the ‘International Style’ of modernist architecture, pioneered by Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier might have become a French citizen in 1930, but he was born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in the Neuchâtel canton of Switzerland in 1887. Indeed, his first autonomous projects were realized in his hometown of La Chaux-de-Fonds, including proto modern domestic villas for wealthy local clients. Important Swiss artists of the twentieth century include Jean Tingely, Alberto Giacometti, John Armleder, Pipilotti Rist and Thomas Hirschhorn.

Further Biographical Context for Bernd Nicolaisen

Bernd Nicolaisen was born in 1959 and was primarily inspired by the 1970s growing up. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a longing to grow and strengthen itself, as a reaction to the many conflicts of the previous decade. One of the most important movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which appeared as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative journey of Process art emerged by combining essential elements of Conceptualism with further considerations on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, sculpting the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its status, predominantly in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The city of New York persisted as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with international artists wandering through the downtown scene, visiting bars and art galleries, strengthening the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and sophisticated cultural capital. Towards the end of the 1970s, street art, emerging from graffiti, was starting to truly fascinate the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, demonstrating that their artworks could subsist at the same time in art galleries and on city walls. Following, the international extent of street art would become extremely significant, representing an astonishing form of artistic expression.

Bernd Nicolaisen

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