Opera reale

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© Courtesy of the artist & Katz Contemporary
Opera reale

Talstrasse 83
8001 Zurich
January 18th, 2013 - March 9th, 2013
Opening: January 17th, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

+41 44 212 22 00
Wed-Fri 11-6; Sat 12-4 or by appointment


KATZ CONTEMPORARY is delighted to announce its second solo exhibition by Stéphane Zaech
(*1966, Vevey, lives and works in Montreux and Villeneuve, Switzerland). In addition to opulent,
colourful oil paintings the gallery space will feature more toned-down, subtly coloured drawings.
Parallel to the exhibition, art&fiction is publishing The Crossing ZAECH Peintures/Paintings with an
introduction by Giovanni Carmine.
The artist Stéphane Zaech, born and raised in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, masterfully
plays with citations from art history: The viewers find themselves reminded of Titian, Diego Velàzquez and Pablo Picasso as well as contemporary artists such as George Condo or John Currin. Zaech arranges his artistic borrowings into baroque images, stretches female bodies into multiple perspectives - citing Picassoʼs Les Demoiselles dʼAvignon (1907) - or deconstructs facial features.
The virtuoso painter thus opens up a world of whimsical imagery and guides the viewers into an Opera reale, into a perfectly composed contemporary oeuvre, within which they can immerse in the artistʼs visual world.
The fact that Zaechʼs works exclusively feature figural and scenic motifs, as well as composition and colouring of his oil paintings in particular, inevitably reveal 17th century Dutch painting as a source of his inspiration. The piece Steady State, however, evokes entirely different associations: The guitar depicted in a cubist manner - clearly citing the example of Picassoʼs silent sculptural guitars made of cardboard (1912-14) - is combined with the depiction of a male body, whose placement within the composition resembles portraits by Diego Velàzquez. Zaech succeeds to transfer the image into the present through the figureʼs modern attire. In the two pieces Soie and La Alba the reference to today becomes evident as well: Unlike in old painting tradition there are no male artists accessorized with a pallet, instead we see gracious female bodies dressed like dancers.
Zaech manages to translate and adapt the traditional composition of the masters of art history to the contemporary in his drawings as well as his oil paintings. The featured works of the exhibition thus take the viewer on a journey through the history of art. In a chain of associations Zaech forms
contradictory visions and bizarre imageries into a new entity. The artist questions well-known viewing patterns and creates his very own pictoral universe - terrifying and magnificent at once. Stéphane Zaech plays with this correlation and invites the viewer into his Opera reale of fascinating and perfectly composed pieces, entirely in the sense of classical painting.
Last year, Stéphane Zaechʼs (*1966, Vevey, lives and works in Montreux and Villeneuve, (Switzerland) work was featured in several group exhibitions, including Contemporain...ou bien? La collection dʼart BCV in the Fondation de lʼHermitage in Lausanne, Review in the CentrePasquArt, Biel, and ... itʼs only Malerei but i like it at Kunstverein Offenburg Mittelbaden (Germany). Zaechʼs works are part of several domestic and foreign private and public collections.