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Roman Signer

*1938 Appenzell, lives in St.Gallen www.romansigner.ch

  • Überfliegen der Zeitung I, 1997/2022
  • Direct and indirect flat printing
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 52,10 cm x 69,70 cm
  • Size: 58,50 cm x 76,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 1100.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Überfliegen der Zeitung II, 1997/2022
  • Direct and indirect flat printing
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 52,10 cm x 69,70 cm
  • Size: 58,50 cm x 76,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 1100.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Überfliegen der Zeitung III, 1997/2022
  • Direct and indirect flat printing
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 52,10 cm x 69,70 cm
  • Size: 58,50 cm x 76,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 1100.00
  • available
  • Inquiry
  • Überfliegen der Zeitung IV, 1997/2022
  • Direct and indirect flat printing
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 52,10 cm x 69,70 cm
  • Size: 58,50 cm x 76,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 1100.00
  • available
  • Inquiry

Series

  • Überfliegen der Zeitung I-IV (Mappe)
  • Edition of: 25
  • Size of image: 52,10 cm x 69,70 cm
  • Size: 58,50 cm x 76,00 cm
  • Production: Thomi Wolfensberger, Zurich
  • CHF 4000.00
  • available
  • Inquiry

In 1997, at the invitation of the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Roman Signer had a daily newspaper spread out on the ground and flown over by a model helicopter for the project "Überfliegen der Zeitung". Since there were no drones or other comparable flying objects with cameras at the time, the artist had a small video camera with a transmitter installed on the model helicopter. The images of the newspaper were to be transmitted to a video monitor and recorded at the same time. Again and again, strange interference images flickered across the screen. The glitches were caused by the ignition spark of the engine and the rotor blade. The glitches shaped, unintentionally, the outcome of this performance, which resulted in a new series of works. Thus, as is so often the case with Signer, this is not a documentation, but the result of the process. The stills have already been shown as large-format cibachrome photographs in several museum exhibitions, four of them are being published for the first time as a printed edition.

With this performance, the artist blurs the boundaries between conceptual and performance art, Arte Povera and a pinch of Dada. For this work Signer uses, as he so often does, simple everyday objects, which he transforms with his humorous ideas into protagonists of experimental set-ups. The artist stages the everyday ritual of reading the news and consuming the media by having newspaper articles transmitted as videos. The expectation of a smooth recording is disrupted due to interference, so that in the end the work consists of individual glitch screens. The stills resemble landscapes and celestial bodies through their colorful geometric constellations. The works are reminiscent of the omnipresent media stimuli to which we are exposed and which, due to their ubiquity, blur into a barely perceptible background noise.

Roman Signer is considered one of the most important representatives of process and conceptual art today. His works are represented in numerous collections worldwide, including the MoMA, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris or the Kunsthaus Zürich. Roman Signer represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and took part in both the Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997) and Documenta 8 (1987).

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  • Aktion mit einer Zündschnur von Ap. nach St.G.1989/2014
  • Direct flat printing, 4-colour
  • Edition of: 60
  • Size of image: 60,50 cm x 90,50 cm
  • Size: 68,30 cm x 97,50 cm
  • Production: Urban Stoob, St. Gallen
  • CHF 1100.00
  • Sold
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The sheet has a documentary character: it refers to material that Roman Signer used for an action in 1989. It shows the imprint of fuse reels that were delivered on a wooden pallet. The artist laid fuses along the railway tracks from Appenzell to St. Gallen station, about 20 km away, and had them burned. The performance lasted about 35 days - 150 seconds for 1 meter - and ended with music and a small fireworks display in St. Gallen. The graphics remind us of the stored energy, the dormant potential, the "rolled up" time. In the film "Action with a Fuse" by Peter Liechti, Signer says: "It is an incredibly interesting experience for me to stretch time like this for once. Because the fuse burns so slowly, the days are so long, the weeks are so incredibly long. A month has never been so long for me as it is now. And I have gained time. And I have felt very clearly what a provocation it is today to do something like this. The provocation of slowness. In this age where everything is geared towards speed, slowness is an insane luxury and a great provocation."

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  • < Schwarze Sonnen > 2011
  • Lithography
  • Edition of: 50
  • Size of image: 101,50 cm x 74,50 cm
  • Size: 108,50 cm x 80,50 cm
  • Production: Urban Stoob, St. Gallen
  • CHF 1200.00
  • Sold
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Fire, water and air are fixed points in Roman Signer's work. They form the basis for many of his experimental arrangements and performances. While in earlier VFO works the artist acted as a "blaster" who had already caused the lithographic stones to crumble, this time the stone has remained intact. Air has been gently applied. A layer of carborundum grinding dust on a lithographic stone was partially blown away with controlled air blasts. The exposed areas were sprinkled with greasy ink and thus made receptive for the printing ink. Nine stains thus became black suns. The title of the graphic seems paradoxical, where the dark is coupled with the light. The "Black Suns" do not aim at the esoteric, but remain on the track of the unexpected, the accidentally (and ingeniously) composed. Signer's suns document an experiment, an action. They put the energy of air on paper - black on white. "For a long time I was simply misjudged, I was called an explosive artist and 'blaster'. That is not the point at all. I do a lot of silent work. But sometimes I just feel like blowing things up. That does me and my psyche good. But I'm never interested in destruction, it's not the destruction that interests me, but the change of conditions. From a blast, from every change something new emerges." (Interview with Ursula Badrutt Schoch, Kunstbulletin 13/2010).

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  • < Blitz > 2010
  • High pressure from lithographic stone
  • Edition of: 50
  • Size of image: 40,00 cm x 48,50 cm
  • Size: 50,50 cm x 66,00 cm
  • Production: Urban Stoob, St. Gallen
  • CHF 560.00
  • Sold
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There are no chairs flying out of the windows, no fuse is burning, nothing dangerous is rolling towards us. But still Roman Signer worked explosively again, for the VFO the corpus delicti was a lithographic stone. The experiment involved a "faint explosion on the back of a lithographic stone". The explosion, a minimal intervention, caused the stone to burst. It was reassembled for the printing process, bandaged. The effect: the crack in the stone becomes a minimalist "drawing" that appears surprisingly delicate and hardly reports anything of the physical violence that created it. "Experiments usually go wrong. It's important that you don't just stubbornly look at the result. A scientist does result-related experiments. An artist must also look at the environment and the trivialities. Then he comes up with more far-reaching ideas, including ideas for 'marriage'. There are certain elements in my work - boots, sand, kayak, rocket, skis - that you can always reconnect." (Interview with Roman Signer, Weltwoche, 02.08.2006).

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  • Explosion 1/2008
  • Lithography
  • Edition of: 50
  • Size of image: 48,00 cm x 37,00 cm
  • Size: 65,50 cm x 50,20 cm
  • Production: Urban Stoob, St. Gallen
  • CHF 500.00
  • Sold
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  • Explosion 2/2008
  • High pressure/lithography
  • Edition of: 50
  • Size of image: 48,50 cm x 37,50 cm
  • Size: 65,50 cm x 50,20 cm
  • Production: Urban Stoob, St. Gallen
  • CHF 500.00
  • Sold
  • Inquiry
  • Explosion 3/2008
  • Etching
  • Edition of: 50
  • Size of image: 32,70 cm x 76,00 cm
  • Size: 45,00 cm x 87,00 cm
  • Production: Urban Stoob, St. Gallen
  • CHF 500.00
  • Sold
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Released energy, which acts on a medium over a certain period of time and thus leaves traces, also determines the latest works of action artist Roman Signer. The three current graphics are based on explosions on printed media: Explosion of a detonator in a plastic cup filled with autographic ink on a lithographic stone (Explosion 1/2008), Explosion of a detonator in the hole of a lithographic stone (Explosion 2/2008), Simultaneous explosion of three detonators mounted on a copper plate (Explosion 3/2008). In all three graphics the artist succeeds in making both the process and the result sensually perceptible. The sheets seem to have stored within themselves a part of the energy that has affected the respective printing medium.

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  • < Rakete > 2006
  • Lithography
  • Edition of: 50
  • Size of image: 42,00 cm x 31,00 cm
  • Size: 65,00 cm x 50,00 cm
  • Production: Urban Stoob, St. Gallen
  • CHF 440.00
  • Sold
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"Roman Signer sees himself as a sculptor. His concept of sculpture, however, is considerably expanded by the dimension of time. The artist himself defines the moment of change as a sculptural process. In doing so, he distinguishes between three phases of work: the potential of an event, the actual work process as an energetic movement and the traces of its course." (Konrad Bitterli)
For the present work, Roman Signer has fixed a rocket on a lithographic stone and ignited it. The ejection of the burning rocket left traces on the stone, which appear as blank spaces in the printed sheet. In this sense, the realized lithograph can be seen as the concretization of an experiment.

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  • < Versuch > 1999
  • Photolithography (video still)
  • Edition of: 50
  • Size of image: 29,70 cm x 39,50 cm
  • Size: 53,50 cm x 72,50 cm
  • Production: Urban Stoob, St. Gallen
  • CHF 400.00
  • Sold
  • Inquiry