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b. 1962, Switzerland

Pipilotti Rist Biography

Pipilotti Rist is a Swiss moving image, sculpture and installation artist born in Grabs, Switzerland. In the early- to mid-1980s she studied commercial art, illustration and photography at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and then video at The Basel School of Design. From 1988 to 1994 she was also a member of the pop music/performance group Les Reines Prochaines.

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Rist's international profile skyrocketed when she was selected for the 1997 Venice Biennale and then won the Premio 2000 prize for her video Ever is Over All, which showed her walking down a city street smashing the windows of parked cars with a large flower. More recent awards she has won include the Prix Meret Oppenheim (2014) and the Joan Miró Prize (2009).

Rist is now widely acclaimed for her immersive installations that merge organic video projections, music, internal architecture, drapes and furniture. Her upbeat, intensely colourful, light-filled practice—which often references childhood, unexpected scale and pantheism as well as female sexuality—has a distinctly elemental and visceral nature, as well as humour and optimism. The projections are often 'painterly' in the sense of using saturated hues, blurring, patterning, inserted forms and distortion.

In a recent conversation with Ocula Magazine (co-ordinated with her show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney), she discussed her use of scale:

'How we perceive scale is completely relative. ... In my work, I am referring to inner human worlds, often most active when you feel safe. When you are in a bed, or your home as a symbol of civilisation which is a protection from the natural extremes of temperature, wind, rain and snow. ... The piece I did with the oversized, red living room had visitors sinking back into something they weren't really aware of anymore; sitting in that huge armchair made you remember the time when everything used to be too big and too high, but it was also a time when you knew: it's all mine. For children, the whole world belongs to them. People acted as if the museum was an extended living room. I like that.'

Rist is obviously not interested in lining her works up in a row in an extended linear plane like paintings spread out on a long wall to be contemplated in individual viewer isolation:

'...I treat collective rooms—such as museums—as a space to invite visitors' whole bodies; a space where groups of people who don't know each other can spend time in a common surrounding. ... for my practice it makes no sense to ignore the three-dimensional space and limit the possible posture of just standing on two feet, as well as neglecting the possibilities of the ceiling.'

Because her work is sensual, bodily and emotional, Rist has over the years had many highly popular large surveys and public commissions. These shows include Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2017–18); Open My Glade (Flatten), Midnight Moment, Times Square, New York (2017); Tactile Lights, Kunsthaus Zürich (2016); Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest, New Museum, New York (2016–17); Your Saliva is my Diving Suit in the Ocean of Pain, Kunsthaus Zürich (2016); Gentle Wave in Your Eye Fluid, Guang Dong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2013); and Spear to Heaven, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2012).

In 2009 Rist released Pepperminta—her own full-length feature film about a strong-willed 'anarchist of the imagination'—for festivals and various theatres. In this surrealist presentation Pepperminta (Ewelina Guzik) fearlessly lives according to her own codes, inhabiting her own heightened, rainbow-coloured universe alongside two friends—a reflection of the artist's practice, as you'd expect.

John Hurrell | Ocula | 2018

Pipilotti Rist Featured Artworks

Untitled 9 by Pipilotti Rist contemporary artwork
Pipilotti RistUntitled 9, 2009Colour print on fir wood panel, glued relief
67.5 x 120 x 3 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Peeping Freedom Shutters tbc by Pipilotti Rist contemporary artwork
Pipilotti RistPeeping Freedom Shutters tbc, 2020Flat monitor integrated in wooden window frame and red shutters with video player
195.6 x 217 x 20 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Wasserschatz (Schwarzlicht) <Water Treasure (Black Light)> by Pipilotti Rist contemporary artwork
Pipilotti RistWasserschatz (Schwarzlicht) <Water Treasure (Black Light)>, 2019Video Object; monitor, player and alamar ice, silent
75 x 44 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
The Help, 2004 (For Parkett 71) by Pipilotti Rist contemporary artwork
Pipilotti RistThe Help, 2004 (For Parkett 71), 2004Cut-out, 4 colour print on fabric
178 x 110 cm
Parkett Contact Gallery
Trust me by Pipilotti Rist contemporary artwork
Pipilotti RistTrust me, 2016Neon, 120V supply
10.8 x 45.7 x 5 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
You Called Me Jacky by Pipilotti Rist contemporary artwork
Pipilotti RistYou Called Me Jacky, 1990Video tape
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery

Pipilotti Rist Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, SALON D’HIVER at Hauser & Wirth, Limmatstrasse, Zürich, Zurich
Closed
27 November–18 December 2020 Group Exhibition SALON D’HIVER Hauser & WirthLimmatstrasse, Zürich
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Seeing Touch at Hauser & Wirth, St. Moritz
Closed
26 September–15 November 2020 Group Exhibition Seeing Touch Hauser & WirthSt. Moritz
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, (SELF) PORTRAITS at Parkett, Zurich Exhibition Space
Closed
22 February–30 September 2020 Group Exhibition (SELF) PORTRAITS ParkettZurich Exhibition Space

Pipilotti Rist Represented By

Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Hauser & Wirth New York, Southampton, Los Angeles, London, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz, Zurich, Hong Kong

Pipilotti Rist In Ocula Magazine

Juliana Engberg Catalogues Catastrophes at Auckland Art Gallery Ocula News Juliana Engberg Catalogues Catastrophes at Auckland Art Gallery Auckland, 14 June 2021

Pandemic misery finds company in artworks responding to the Fukushima disaster, the Christchurch earthquake, and other calamities stretching back 3.2 billion years.

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$20m Joan Mitchell Leads Sales at Art Basel in Hong Kong Ocula News $20m Joan Mitchell Leads Sales at Art Basel in Hong Kong Hong Kong, 21 May 2021

No other work came close, but sales in the six-figure range were strong.

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Pipilotti Rist Ocula Conversation Pipilotti Rist By Natalie King, Sydney

I want to create spaces for video art that rethink the very nature of the medium itself. I want to discover new ways of configuring the world, both the world outside and the world within.

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In Ocula Advisory

Art Basel OVR Highlights: Lucio Fontana Advisory Pick Art Basel OVR Highlights: Lucio Fontana 29 October 2020

Known as the father of Spatialism, Argentine-Italian artist Fontana worked with a variety of materials and techniques to experiment with and pioneer conceptual limits in art.

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Pipilotti Rist In Related Press

Apple’s AR Experience Puts Products Ahead of Art Related Press Apple’s AR Experience Puts Products Ahead of Art 11 September 2019, Art in America

The trouble with [AR]T—an augmented reality initiative produced by Apple in collaboration with the New Museum—began when I tried to get tickets. Because it was framed as a free public art experience, I thought that the [AR]T Walk would be easily accessible, like a drop-in guided tour at a museum. But Apple's home page offered no...

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The domestic dreamscapes of Pipilotti Rist Related Press The domestic dreamscapes of Pipilotti Rist 5 June 2019, Wallpaper*

Taking place at Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, which had been a nobleman's country house before its modernist additions and its transformation into a cultural hub, the exhibition feels eerily like home.

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Pipilotti Rist Brings Out the Weirdness of Being Human Related Press Pipilotti Rist Brings Out the Weirdness of Being Human 1 June 2019, Hyperallergic

HUMLEBÆK, Denmark — A blond woman is trapped inside a screen on the wall. Titled Open My Glade (Flatten) (2000), this is the first artwork viewers see when they walk into Pipilotti Rist's current exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art outside Copenhagen. The woman is Rist, the artist herself. As she smushes her lipstick-smeared...

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Strange Days review – fishy kisses, naked prancing and ribald revenge Related Press Strange Days review – fishy kisses, naked prancing and ribald revenge 3 October 2018, The Guardian

Strange Days: Memories of the Future is overwhelming: complex, at times annoying and confusing, repetitive, uplifting and baffling. Like life, really. Films and videos by 21 artists are spread over three floors of the Store X on London's Strand.

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