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Life and Work

Since the 1990s, Stefan à Wengen has worked on larger groups of works that investigate questions of cultural codes and memory. Issues such as the foreign or the strange, death and memory, melancholy, existence, sexuality, anxiety, and the uncanny form the core of his artistic work. Empty landscapes, animal and human portraits, and reoccurring representational motifs make up part of his pictorial repertoire. His motifs are reminiscent of images from art history, film, or the subconscious.

Starting from the strange and uncanny, Stefan à Wengen uses his serial working method to explore questions about the culture and nature of human existence. With recourse to art history, ethnology, literature, philosophy, film, media as well as his own memories mysterious sceneries develop, which offer viewers a reflection of their own world of experience along with all its abysses. Symbolic pictorial elements are combined to form a new, individual pictorial reality, which emanates something threatening and oppressive. Skulls, animal skeletons, and moths painted with great attention to detail evoke an awareness of the transience of earthly existence. Mysterious interiors, lonely architectures, or abandoned boats in alien landscapes
address themes such as fear, strangeness, and the other. Influenced by the artist's individual travel experiences through the jungle, his motifs recall the beginnings of human history.

The ongoing series of works »Detected Dictionary« (since 2014) is dedicated to images of cultural memory. Worn-out teddybears, flower still lifes, toadstools and animals, all isolated on a 30 x 25 cm canvas mounted on wood, belong to this »wunderkammer of the subconscious«. The pictures in this series are strictly black-and-white with various shades of gray, accentuating à Wengen's technically sophisticated and detailed painting style.

The unusual name of the Basel-born painter comes from the direct lineage of the Basel painter family à Wengen, which dates back to the 16th century. Stefan à Wengen's works have been shown internationally in numerous exhibitions and can be found in important public and private collections in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the USA, and Switzerland, including the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Kunstmuseum Luzern.

Stefan à Wengen lives and works in Düsseldorf.

Biography

1964 born in Basel, CH
1981 – 1986 Visits the School of Design, Basel, CH
1988 – 1990 lives and works in New York, US
1991 – 1998 lives and works in Cologne, DE
1999 lives and works in Dusseldorf, De
2011/12 Teaching and workshops at the Haute École d'Art et Design, Geneva, CH
2013 Co-founder of the project space SPAM-CONTEMPORARY, Dusseldorf, DE
2016 – 2018 Lecturer for art history at the Kulturforum Neuß, DE

Prizes and Awards

1987 Kiefer-Hablitzel-Stipendium, Montreux, CH

Works (Selection)

Stefan à Wengen, Animal Farm, 2022
Stefan à Wengen, Animal Farm, 2022
Stefan à Wengen, Animal Farm, 2022
Stefan à Wengen, Animal Farm, 2022
Stefan à Wengen, Amèricá X, 2021
Stefan à Wengen, Amèricá X, 2021
Stefan à Wengen, Amèricá IX, 2021
Stefan à Wengen, Amèricá IX, 2021
Stefan à Wengen, Le Singe Peintre XXXII, 2020
Stefan à Wengen, Obstacle 075, 2019/2022
Stefan à Wengen, Obstacle 067, 2019
Stefan à Wengen, My Kingdom for a Horse #4, 2016
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2019
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2019
Stefan à Wengen, Version III, 2015
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2020
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2020
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2021
Stefan à Wengen, Das Schweigen der Steppe, 2020
Stefan à Wengen, The Mission (In der Mitte der Nacht beginnt der neue Tag), 2015
Stefan à Wengen, Version V, 2017
Stefan à Wengen, Le Singe Peintre, 19/IX/19, 2019
Stefan à Wengen, Basic on Composition, 2014
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2019
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2014
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2019
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2018
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2018
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2017
Stefan à Wengen, Detected Dictionary, 2014, © Stefan à Wengen
Stefan à Wengen, Mission XV, 2010
Stefan à Wengen, The Occurrence II, 2011
Stefan à Wengen, o. T., 2008
Stefan à Wengen, o. T., 2003
Stefan à Wengen, o. T., 2012
Stefan à Wengen, Baumhaus V., 2002

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2001 Zwölf Uhr mittags, Kunstraum Riehen, Riehen, CH

Group exhibitions (selection)

2000 Eidgenössische Preise für freie Kunst 2000, Fri Art – Centre d’art contemporain, Freiburg, CH

EXHIBITIONS AT BECK & EGGELING (SELECTION)

Publications

Stefan à Wengen. Detected Dictionary

Stefan à Wengen. Detected Dictionary

  • Artist: Stefan à Wengen
    Editor: Ute Eggeling, Michael Beck
    Text: Stefan à Wengen, Raimund Weyers
    Design: Beck & Eggeling (Martina Löhle)
  • German, English
    Softcover, 21 x 25 cm
    80 pages, 53 illustrations
  • Beck & Eggeling Kunstverlag, 2015
    ISBN 978-3-93091998-7
  • 20 €
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Renaissance Reloaded. Deconstructing Piero della Francesca

Renaissance Reloaded. Deconstructing Piero della Francesca

  • Artists: Aljoscha, Gisela Beck, Herbert Beck, Gehard Demetz, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Bertozzi & Casoni, Alkis Boutlis, Michael Craig-Martin, Heribert C. Ottersbach, Joachim Elzmann, Dorothee Golz, Wolf Hamm, Anton Henning, Thomas Kesseler, Julia Kissina, Jiri Kolar, Victor Kraus, Heinz Mack, Xavier Mascaró, Vik Muniz, Hartmut Neumann, Morio Nishimura, Apostolos Palavrakis, Pablo Picasso, Katharina Schilling, Emma Stibbon, Manolo Valdés, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Stefan à Wengen, Thomas Wrede
    Editor: Ute Eggeling, Michael Beck
    Text: Michael Beck, Alkis Boutlis, Jil Gärtner, Wolf Hamm, Thomas Kesseler, Antonia Lehmann-Tolkmitt, Heinz Mack, Xavier Mascaró, Kirsten Nordahl, Stefan à Wengen, Thomas Wrede
    Design: Beck & Eggeling (Martina Löhle)
  • German, English, Italian
    Hardcover, 28 x 24 cm
    128 pages, 82 illustrations
  • Beck & Eggeling Kunstverlag, 2013
    ISBN 978-3-93091982-6
  • 30 €
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Further publications

bibliography

Detected Dictionary
Beck & Eggeling Kunstverlag (Hg.), Düsseldorf 2015
Renaissance Reloaded
Beck & Eggeling Kunstverlag (Hg.), Düsseldorf 2013
The Mission
Kunstmuseum Luzern (Hg.), JRP Ringier, Zürich 2010
Nightology
Black & White Gallery (Hg.), New York 2009
Die Kunst zu sammeln
Katalog Museum Kunstpalast (Hg.), Düsseldorf, 2007
Kava Kava - Facetten der Angst
Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr, Mühlheim a.d. Ruhr (Hg.)
Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld/Leipzig 2007
Fink forward- the collection/connection
Kunsthaus Glarus (Hg.), Edition Fink, Zürich 2003
Der Mondopunkt
Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Hg.), Edition Fink, Zürich 2003
Ex(o)DUS
Haifa Museum of Art (Hg.), Israel 2000
Eidgenössische Preise für freie Kunst
Katalog Fri-Art, Centre d`Art Contemporain,
Kunsthalle Fribourg, BAK, Bern 2000

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