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(1926 – 1993), Switzerland

Heidi Bucher Biography

Heidi Bucher was a Swiss avantgarde artist best known for her sculptural moulding of objects and architectural spaces that unravel notions of individual and collective memory.

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Born Adelheid Hildegard Müller in Winterthur, Switzerland, Heidi Bucher studied at the School of Applied Art in Zürich in the 1940s. She exhibited her early silk collages and drawings in the mid-1950s, following some time spent in London. Travelling to the United States in 1956, Bucher was further shaped by contact with New York avantgardists like the Dutch painter Karel Appel and German photographer Hans Namuth.

Following her return to Zürich in 1960, and subsequent marriage to fellow artist Carl Bucher, Heidi Bucher came to know several figures of the European art world including Swiss architect Max Bill, critic Willy Rotzler, and art historian Erika Billeter. Her sculptural approach to the body emerged in the early 1970s in California in a collaboration with her husband titled Bodyshells (1972): a series of foam wearable sculptures that would also be used in a filmed performance.

From the 1970s, Heidi Bucher began embalming clothing and other textiles in latex and mother of pearl. Towards the end of the decade she began using this method to imprint household items and spaces. Initially focusing on objects and domestic spaces typically assigned as feminine, Bucher's works stand as a feminist critique and conceptual liberation from a patriarchal world.

An interest in memory-filled architectural spaces came to dominate Heidi Bucher's practice from the late 1970s to her passing in 1993. This manifested in her Hauträume (Roomskins): large-scale latex casts recording fragments of buildings of personal—and, later, public—significance. The casts were suspended partly torn in mid-air like ghostly architecture, evoking the human memories forever tied to these spaces.

Heidi Bucher's art works feature in prominent public collections around the world including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou in Paris; and the Kunst Museum Winterthur.

Heidi Bucher Solo Exhibitions include:

Heidi Bucher, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London (2018); Heidi Bucher, Swiss Institute, New York (2014); Heidi Bucher, Centre culturel suisse, Paris (2013); Heidi Bucher: Mother of Pearl, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2004); Hauträume, Kunst Museum Winterthur (1983); Bodyshells, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1972).

Heidi Bucher Group Exhibitions include:

Sublime Anatomies, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2019); Women House, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. (2018); PerformanceProcess, Museum Tinguely, Basel (2017); Variable Dimensions, Pavillon de l'Arsenal, Paris (2015); It's All an Illusion: A Sculpture Project, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2004); La femme et l'Art, Trienniale Le Landeron, Switzerland (1983); Weich und Plastisch: Soft Art, Kunsthaus Zürich (1980).

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2020

Louise Bourgeois, THE FAMILY (2008). Gouache on paper 12 works, each: 23.5 x 18 inches (paper) 59.7 x 45.7 cm. Courtesy Lehmann Maupin.

Heidi Bucher Featured Artworks

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Untitled Dragonfly object (from the "Libellenrochen" series) by Heidi Bucher contemporary artwork
Heidi BucherUntitled Dragonfly object (from the "Libellenrochen" series), 1978–1983Textile, latex, mother-of-pearl pigment
83.5 x 73 x 5 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Untitled (Der Parkettboden des Herrenzimmer / The Parquet floor of the Herrenzimmer by Heidi Bucher contemporary artwork
Heidi BucherUntitled (Der Parkettboden des Herrenzimmer / The Parquet floor of the Herrenzimmer, 1979Latex and mother of pearl pigment
87 x 61.5 x 4 cm (incl frame)
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Door of the Borg, detail by Heidi Bucher contemporary artwork
Heidi BucherDoor of the Borg, detail, 1976Textiles, latex, glue, mother of pearl pigments
105 x 80 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Bett (Bed) by Heidi Bucher contemporary artwork
Heidi BucherBett (Bed), 1975Latex, textile, and mother of pearl pigment
220 x 160 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Der Schlüpfakt der Parkettlibelle (The hatching of the parquet dragonfly) by Heidi Bucher contemporary artwork
Heidi BucherDer Schlüpfakt der Parkettlibelle (The hatching of the parquet dragonfly), 1983Textile garment, latex, and mother of pearl pigment
130 x 105 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Villa Bleuler by Heidi Bucher contemporary artwork
Heidi BucherVilla Bleuler, c. 1991Latex on fabric
19.69 x 19.69 inches
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Villa Bleuler by Heidi Bucher contemporary artwork
Heidi BucherVilla Bleuler, c. 1991Latex on fabric
19.69 x 19.69 inches
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery

Heidi Bucher Current & Recent Exhibitions

View All (4)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Body Topographies at Lehmann Maupin, London
Open Now
16 June–4 September 2021 Group Exhibition Body Topographies Lehmann MaupinLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, be/longing at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Closed
26 June–15 August 2020 Group Exhibition be/longing Lehmann MaupinHong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Unconscious Landscape. Works from the Ursula Hauser Collection at Hauser & Wirth, Somerset
Closed
25 May–8 September 2019 Group Exhibition Unconscious Landscape. Works from the Ursula Hauser Collection Hauser & WirthSomerset

Heidi Bucher Represented By

Lehmann Maupin contemporary art gallery in 536 West 22nd Street, New York, USA Lehmann Maupin New York, Hong Kong, London, Seoul
Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in São Paulo, Brazil Mendes Wood DM São Paulo, Brussels, New York
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