Francisco Sierra at Kunsthalle Appenzell

Artist: Francisco Sierra

Exhibition title: Corniche

Curated by: Stefanie Gschwend

Venue: Kunsthalle Appenzell, Appenzell, Switzerland

Date: March 19 – June 11, 2023

Photography: Sebastian Verdon / All images copyright and courtesy of the artist and von Bartha

Note: Exhibition’s floor plan is available here

Francisco Sierra’s (*1977, Santiago de Chile, CHL, lives and works in Cotterd, CH) artistic medium is painting, but he also creates drawings, objects and sculptures. His work is characterised by great independence and virtuosity of craftsmanship, but also by poetry, wit and subtlety. He puts figurative painting to the test by subverting the reality of the representational, whether with humour, surreal or grotesque investigations, or the transformative potential of painting itself.

The exhibition brings together new and existing works, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and a group of sculptural works created especially for this presentation. With his works, the artist repeatedly embarks on a tightrope walk between hyper-realistic and fantastic pictorial worlds, dissolving the boundary between art and decoration. His motifs range from still lifes consisting of crockery, food or musical instruments to animal portraits or erotic absurdities. He often paints from models partly made by himself or by his children and lends banal subjects an auratic presence through the technically masterly execution and the choice of large-format canvases. In his latest largeformat paintings, Sierra creates a tricking deception manoeuvre between image and reality with a multi-stage reproduction process. He playfully echoes the image flood of the present, confuses with perplexing pictorial solutions, deceives the eye and plays with reflections, colour and form. While the exhibition begins with large-format canvases and sculptures, the works become smaller and smaller in the sequence of rooms.