In keeping with the present extensive discourse on the image, the works of the Swiss artist Reto Boller can be said to defy a clear categorization as painting or sculpture, alternating as they do between image and object and mere surface and extended space. More than merely eluding evaluations that might otherwise be derived from traditional painting, the artist demonstrates the possibilities of an autonomous image structure. Even the use of unusual materials, such as parts of a used knob-top mat or discarded insulation pads, reflects the fundamental question that Boller poses concerning the forms of the materialization of each and every artistic image. The ultimate goal of Boller’s artistic production is not thereby to call into question the traditional boundaries between recognized categories of art. Doing so is merely a fundamental prerequisite for arriving at the central question in Boller’s work, namely, that concerning the possibilities of the image. What is an image and what is it capable of performing if it neither refers directly to the world of things nor depicts a world, which – in contrast to that of sensory perception – can only be experienced cognitively.
Born in 1966, Reto Boller lives and works in his hometown of Zurich, Switzerland.