Markus Raetz

Born 1941
Hometown Bern, Switzerland
Lives and Works Bern, Switzerland

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Schaulager, Basel, Switzerland

Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany

Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland

Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Since the mid 1960s, Swiss artist Markus Raetz has made a body of art which, while seemingly modest, straightforward, unpretentious, and playful, actually reveals layer after layer of complexity. Raetz’s work does not adhere to any ‘school.’ It is neither abstract, representational, nor purely conceptual. He works readily in a variety of media (drawing, sculpture, photography, painting) and dimensions (from miniature to gigantic). With the exception of large outdoor sculpture projects, Raetz works alone. The work is intimate, the means simple. His pieces are made of found materials such as twigs or eucalyptus leaves, or glass, polaroids, unprepossessing black and white photographs, simple shapes cut from tin in various sizes, little pieces of carved wood or stone, clay, small mirrors and panes of glass, corrugated cardboard, or an assortment of odd linear bits of metal. Like a poem in which no word is extraneous or wasted, each element in a piece is critical. In an age of rapid global communication, Raetz’s works, like poetry, require intimacy and attention.


Since he began showing his work in 1966, Raetz has had exhibitions in many galleries and museums, including all the major Swiss museums and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Kolnischer Kunstverein in Germany, the Serpentine Gallery in London, the New Museum in New York City and, the Arts Club of Chicago. In 1988 he represented Switzerland in the Venice Biennale. He has been awarded, among other recognitions, the Prix Meret Oppenheim in 2006 and the Gerhard-Altenbourg-Preis in 2004.


Courtesy of the New Museum

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