The world put on paper
Artist Christoph Fischer, born in 1976 in Lucerne, attended the Lucerne University of Teacher Education and subsequently the Lucerne School of Art and Design. Since 2002, he has worked as a freelance artist and illustrator, e.g. for the publications “NZZ”, “WOZ” and “Reportagen”.
In his work, an interest in the downtrodden and the underprivileged serves as a leitmotif. With works of reportage, such as “Chicago Westside” (2011) about an impoverished district and “On the Long Bench” (2012) about Bahnhofsplatz Lucerne, he deliberately draws our attention to the faces of people on the fringes of society. His sensitive no-frills portraits are loaded with stories, arousing interest and empathy. At a busy Lucerne roundabout, there stands further evidence of Christoph Fischer’s focus on such subject matter. Here, he spent years observing the street sweeper Heinz Gilli from his studio and, in 2016, created a monumental concrete sculpture for him and the residents of this neighbourhood plagued by noise.
Besides working, Fischer often goes on long cycling trips. In 2010, a several-month tour took him from Chicago to San Francisco. Slow prolonged muscle-powered travel and precise observation are to be found all throughout his biography and inspire his work, for instance when he photographed animals that had been run over in the USA and laid them down as a sad sequence in “Roadkill Road”.
The oeuvre of this artist, who was awarded the 2019 German-Speaking Swiss Cities’ Comics Scholarship, is presented at Cartoonmuseum Basel in its full breadth, including the first ever presentation of drawings selected from hundreds of sketched dreams. These visions also appear in While I Was Sleeping, a Christoph Merian Verlag publication, released to coincide with the exhibition.