Bruno Jakob (*1954) creates paintings that immediately engage the viewers. Based on the premise that pictures do not need to be visible in order to be real, Jakob has developed a body of work that radically questions our cultural faith in visual evidence. Bruno Jakob works on his paintings in a very traditional manner. He uses paintbrushes, different waters, and steam to draw on canvases, paper, and walls. He is interested in capturing thoughts and impressions. The artworks remain empty to our eyes only because Bruno Jakob uses energy, brainwaves or love instead of pigments. The on-going series is appropriately named Invisible Paintings. Bruno Jakob has also employed natural forces to paint his pictures. Thus, the series The Visitors (2008) was painted by snails that crawled over and ate their way through papers that had been laid out on the ground beforehand.
In 2011 Bruno Jakob was invited to participate in the 54. Venice Biennial, where he exhibited two installations at the Arsenale and in the Main Pavilion. The artwork Breath (2010-2011) was made up of seven parts, six of which were installed in the exterior of the Arsenale (while the artist kept the seventh part in his mind). Over the course of the exhibition period, more and more visible traces started to appear on the apparently blank canvases. When Bruno Jakob exhibited the Venice series subsequently at Galerie Peter Kilchmann, he aptly specified the following materials: “Invisible Painting / Rain Water / Light / Touch / Air / Brainwaves and different unknown technics on canvas”.
Bruno Jakob recently accepted the invitation to paint in front of an audience on several occasions. The performances by the artist take on a life of their own, marked by Bruno Jakob’s quiet and concentrated gestures and often accompanied by Hans Witschi on the piano. The painting performances are in the process of becoming and thus perfectly reflect the artist’s understanding of art as being transient.
Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz, Switzerland, 2016
Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland, 2015 (with Performance)
Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland, 2014
Kolumba, Cologne, 2014 (with Performance)
Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, 2013 (with Performance)
“100 Jahre Meret Oppenheim“, Basel, Switzerland (with Performance)
Grossmünster, Zurich, 2013 (with Performance)
Centré d’Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, 2013 (with Performance)
Kunstmuseum Luzern, Luzern, 2012 (with Performance)
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, 2011-2012 (with Performance)
Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, 2011
54. Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2011
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2010
Kunsthaus Langenthal, Langenthal, 2007
CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, 2005