Roman Signer (Contemporary Artists)

Roman Signer (Contemporary Artists)

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First Monograph on the Explosive and Prolific Swiss Artist

Though Roman Signer (b. 1938) identifies himself as a sculptor, his work is without boundaries and doesn't fit into an artistic mold. He is interested in fire, water, wind and time, inspiring unique and witty artistic expressions that cross and include many different artistic mediums.

ROMAN SIGNER, by Gerhard Mack, Paula van den Bosch and Jeremy Millar, the only monograph to cover the scope of this, literally, explosive artist. The Swiss artist is best known for creating events in which simple materials (rockets, balloons, rushing water) react with natural forces to create surprising lyrical results. Part mad scientist, part sorcerer's apprentice, part Buster Keaton, Signer often appears in these actions, sometimes at considerable risk to himself.

Since the mid 1970s, Signer has examined the forces of elements - air, fire, earth and water - in a combination of performance (documented by photography and video) and sculpture (the physical remains of his acts). With a Dadaist love for the absurd, his artworks include Race (1981), in which the artist races a rocket across a field (hopelessly behind from the beginning, the artist loses by nearly the entire length); Action at Hotel Weissbad (1992), in which an ordinary table is shot out a hotel window, the resulting photographs showing a table flying incongruously over a sleepy Swiss village; Power of Rain (1974), in which rainwater gathers slowly in a funnel until its force shatters a block of plaster; and Bicycle with Rockets (1991), the photographs of which show a fiery bicycle flying through the gallery like a demon comet.

Often Signer will exhibit the remains of an event not witnessed by the public, such as four empty barrels and a violently splattered wall, the remains of an explosion of paint in the gallery space (Portrait Gallery, 1993), or four sand piles with perfectly round craters on each, the neat result of four simultaneous explosions at their peaks (Cones of Sand, 1988).

Roman Signer's work has been exhibited at major venues across Europe and North America as well as international exhibitions such as the 48th Venice Biennale. ROMAN SIGNER offers incredible insight into this prolific artist's life, career and influences. This book is an exciting addition to any contemporary art library as well as the perfect gift for anyone with an interest in or appreciation for art.