DANIEL ROBERT HUNZIKER: It’s never been this close before

von Bartha, Basel
20 November 2017 – 20 January 2018

Known for his special relationship with space and architectonic practices, Hunziker’s work uses structures and configurations to reveal visions, or fractions, of reality. At von Bartha, the artist transforms the gallery into a parcours – creating new, surprising spatial references, merging object and sculpture, and enabling opportunities for chance-encounter and discovery. The exhibition title It’s never been this close before can be seen as a reference to the ongoing search for knowledge – one may get close, but will never fully possess it. The complex installation dissolves the boundaries of the gallery space, subsequently removing the border between artwork and visitor.

Hunziker’s artistic practice is often guided by moments of discovery; during the artistic process the artist wanders through spaces, documenting their iconic characters and ‘objets trouvés’, which, in turn, become the starting point for his works. In doing so, he pursues a problem-solving model of perception-finding. This systematic process of collecting, compiling and sorting allows the artist to fully internalize his surroundings. In doing so, Hunziker can be likened to the ‘flaneur’, a wondering figure in need of knowledge.

In his work, Hunziker often questions how we perceive and appropriate knowledge from objects presented in formal displays and exhibitions. Past works have seen Hunziker position weathered stones (commonly found in parking areas to prevent cars rolling forwards) or frayed branches, inside cubes reminiscent of vitrine displays. Repositioning the vitrine as sculptural object, Hunziker comments on our viewing patterns and the object as an instrument of knowledge.

Adapted from the artist text written by Stefan Wagner

About the artist

Daniel Robert Hunziker (born 1965 in Walenstadt, Switzerland) lives and works in Zürich. After leaving his studies in architecture, he then trained in Fine Arts at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.

His work has been shown in various solo and group shows, including in Aargauer Kunsthaus, Kunsthalle Zürich, Villa Merkel Esslingen, Kunsthaus Langenthal, Kunstmuseum Luzern, ANNAELLE Gallery Stockholm as well as Hales Gallery London. Awards include Vordemberge-Gildewart-Stipendium, Manor Kunstpreis and Eidgenössischen Preis für Bildende Kunst.


Daniel Robert Hunziker, Installation view, 2014, von Bartha, Basel