Stephan Melzl

1959 · Switzerland

Artist biography

Stephan Melzl is a contemporary artist considered well established, who originates from Switzerland, like other prominent artists such as Sabina Lang, Hannes Schmid, Katja Schenker, Urban Zellweger, and Pia Fries. Stephan Melzl was born in 1959.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Stephan Melzl's work is on display at Nicolas Krupp in Basel, Switzerland. Stephan Melzl most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Beck & Eggeling in Düsseldorf with the exhibition GEHEIMNIS DER DINGE. MALSTÜCKE. The exhibition was open from 16 November 2018 until 02 February 2019.

Historical Context of Switzerland

Perhaps the most significant Swiss contribution to the history of Modernism was the establishment 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 evolved into an significant centre of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde, with the political neutrality Switzerland being a haven from political instability elsewhere in Europe. Prior to that, Switzerland had produced some quirky and extraordinary artists in the Post-Impressionist era of the early twentieth century, including Ferdinand Hodler and Felix Vallotton. Another key movement that can be connected 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 executed in his hometown of La Chaux-de-Fonds, including proto modern domestic villas for affluent local clients. Remarkable Swiss artists of the twentieth century include Jean Tingely, Alberto Giacometti, John Armleder, Pipilotti Rist and Thomas Hirschhorn.

Further Biographical Context for Stephan Melzl

Born in 1959, Stephan Melzl was largely influenced by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a longing to evolve and reinforce itself, as a response to the many tensions 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 materialized by combining essential aspects of Conceptualism with further considerations on art itself. The earliest ideas of environmentalism bounced from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the regression of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its status, particularly in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The city of New York remained as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with global artists drifting through the downtown scene, visiting bars and art galleries, consolidating the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and sophisticated cultural capital. A few significant global movements that sharpened the era include photorealism, which was initially introduced in the 1960s and reached commercial and critical success in the 1970s, as well as feminism which deeply influenced the visual culture.

Stephan Melzl

  • Exhibitions 3

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