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Roman Gysin

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Roman Gysin "Fall/Winter Collection", 2021/22 © Büttner

Fall/Winter Collection, 2021/22

Deep Decor, Really Rustic, and Fall/Winter Collection are the titles of recent exhibitions by Roman Gysin, the latter also the title of the presented wall installation. They reflect the artist’s interest in decoration and lifestyle and the social dimensions that underlie them. For the artist, decoration, like art, is not mere artifice but points to something deeper, really deep. In his work, Gysin attempts to undermine the hierarchy between art, located in high culture, and decoration, commonly attributed to popular culture. Hans Kaspar Hess-Werdmüller, for whom Haus zum Lindengarten was built around 1725, had the interiors of his residential building richly furnished and presumably some valuable paintings hung on the walls at the time. Both art and decorative elements in architecture and fashion have always been status symbols and markers of distinction. Gysin’s wall installation, consisting of various visual elements (his Satin Images, Level, and Jewellery Fragments), fits seamlessly into this environment. Standing next to the fireplace, anyone who has ever been to Gysin’s studio will inevitably be reminded of the chopping block and splitting axe, with which he skilfully shapes wood into the desired form for his works.

Roman Gysin draws inspiration from our everyday world: architecture and its encounter with nature; the world of consumer products and highly aestheticized visual worlds, such as stock images or fashion magazine photographs; and how we decorate both our homes and ourselves. A central theme is how the form and function of objects relate to one another. Also, how certain functions can be subverted, how objects can be presented in ways that go against the grain, and not least, how highly topical debates about identity and diversity can be negotiated through them. To this end, Gysin makes extremely precise use of stylistic devices such as deception, packaging, disguising, and hanging.

Roman Gysin (*1984) lives and works in Zurich. He holds a BFA from Zurich University of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Fine Arts Hamburg. Gysin is represented by Galerie Christian Lethert in Cologne. His work has recently been shown in Zurich at Toxi and Last Tango, and in Geneva at Le Commun and Topic.

Text: Josiane Imhasly

Details of the individual works:

Satin Image (teal), 2021
Fabric, wood, 34 × 27 × 3 cm

Satin Image (white/sage), 2021
Fabric, wood, 42 × 27 × 3 cm

Jewellery fragments, 2021
Metal, wood, string, leather, variable dimensions

Satin Image (indigo/dark grey), 2020
Fabric, wood, 42 × 27 × 3 cm

Level (part 3), 2021
Wood, cardboard, metal, paint, 34 × 27 × 3 cm

Satin Image (light green), 2020
Fabric, wood, 34 × 27 × 3 cm

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