Exposition Art Blog: Eva Aeppli

Eva Aeppli

"Eva Aeppli, born on May 2, 1925 in Zofingen (Switzerland), grew up in Basel with her parents and three siblings. She attended the Steiner School in Basel, which had been co-founded by her father. During the 2nd World War she enrolled in courses at the School of Applied Arts and created her first fabric figures, glove puppets which she sold in various stores. She only commenced her actual artistic oeuvre – she considered the glove puppets her bread-and-butter work – once she was in Paris.After a first marriage to architect Hans Leu, of which her son Felix-Vital was born in 1946, she was soon the partner of Jean Tinguely. She lived with him in the Burghof, a villa scheduled for demolition which was located at the spot where the extension of Basel’s Kunstmuseum is currently taking place. Their daughter Miriam was born in 1950; Aeppli and Tinguely married the year after. 1949 saw the start of Eva Aeppli’s years-long close friendship with Daniel Spoerri, whom Aeppli and Tinguely followed to Paris in 1952. After an initial period in modest hotels they soon moved into a studio in Impasse Ronsin, an artists’ colony in the Quartier Montparnasse, whose doyen was the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi. Here, Eva Aeppli’s oeuvre began with fabric pictures and charcoal drawings, mostly of people, often gaunt figures in gloomy mood.
The subsequent period saw the creation of further groups of heads in fine fabric, which were cast in bronze, Astrologische Aspekte (Astrological Aspects), Die zwölf Sternzeichen (The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac), Einige menschliche Schwächen (Some Human Weaknesses), and a number of others. These are heads whose physiognomies record deeply felt emotions. Despite her reclusiveness, exhibition makers recognized the intensity and quality of her oeuvre and organized major retrospectives: in 1993 the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Pontus Hultén in 1994 at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, André Kamber in the same year at Kunstmuseum Solothurn.
A final group of works was created in 1990 and 1991: these are sculptures that she created jointly with Jean Tinguely, morbid figures such as the Hommage à Käthe Kollwitz (Kunstmuseum Solothurn) or Erika (private collection). These sculptures were on show at Basel’s Galerie Littmann and were central components of the subsequent retrospectives. Eva Aeppli collaborated with other artists, too, such as Jean-Pierre Raynaud or Daniel Spoerri.."(.tinguely.ch/en/)

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