04 February – 08 May 2011

BILL BOLLINGER. The Retrospective

Bill Bollinger, mit Pipe Piece (from "Newsweek"), 1968
This exhibition of the radical plastic oeuvre of the American artist Bill Bollinger (1939-1988), who almost slipped into obscurity, is the first of its kind since the 1970s.

In the late 1960s, Bill Bollinger was one of the foremost sculptors of his time, routinely mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Bruce Nauman, Robert Smithson, Eva Hesse and Richard Serra. By the mid-1970s, he had withdrawn completely from the international art scene and his name was all but forgotten. The Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein now presents the first retrospective exhibition of his work. In his short life, Bollinger created an oeuvre that is complex, radical and intense – and well worth rediscovering. At the same time, the show aims to contribute to the current reappraisal of hitherto neglected art positions.

In this major retrospective exhibition, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein presents more than thirty of his sculptures and a hundred or so works on paper to a broader public, as well as showing many hitherto unknown documents that give an insight into this remarkable body of work. A typical hallmark of Bollinger‘s work is his subtle and sensitive treatment of even the simplest, industrially produced materials. His use of aluminium tubing, cables, hosepipes, wire mesh, lamps and wheelbarrows was as radical and direct as it was elegant.

Having studied aeronautical engineering at prestigious Brown University, Rhode Island, Bollinger later turned his attention to painting and embarked on a career as an artist. In the late 1960s, at the height of the space race, he was creating sculptures that explore the gravity, balance and specific properties of a wide variety of materials. The cosmos and water are key elements in the work of Bollinger, who was fascinated by curved space, the vertical and the horizontal, resulting in evanescent, purist, energy-laden works with a radical edge that still have the power to astound us, even today.

Inspired by a transatlantic crossing on a freighter from New York to Europe in 1968, during which he perceived the ocean as a slightly curved and seemingly planar expanse with a sharply defined horizon, Bollinger continued to consolidate and intensify this deep-rooted fascination, creating works in which water plays a crucial role: transparent tubing filled with water arranged in a line, a circle or interconnected configurations. In one work, in which seven painted drums are linked by plastic hosepipes that maintain equal water levels, the sculpture takes on an ornamental, floral quality.

The exhibition, curated by Christiane Meyer-Stoll in conceptual collaboration with Rolf Ricke, is a joint production by the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, the ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, where it will subsequently be shown, and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh.

Bill Bollinger, Cyclone Fence, exhibition view, Castelli Warehouse, New York, 1968
Bill Bollinger, Cologne Log Piece, Cologne, Dec 20, 1969
Exhbition view, Bill Bollinger OG1-1_510x340.jpg
Exhibition view, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, 2011
 Thursday, 3 February 2011, 18 h -- Opening postponed by one week 
 Thursday, 10 February 2011, 18 h -- New opening date 
Guided tour
 Thursday, 17 February 2011, 18 h with Denise Rigaud 
 Thursday, 10 March 2011, 18 h with Denise Rigaud 
 Thursday, 5 May 2011, 18 h with Christiane Meyer-Stoll 
Supporting events:
 Tuesday, 8 February 2011, 17 – 19 h   Schools and Museum

Introduction for Teachers: Bill Bollinger. The Retrospective

with Christina Jacoby

 Wednesday, 9 February 2011, 15 – 17 h   Schools and Museum

Introduction for Teachers: Bill Bollinger. The Retrospective

with Christina Jacoby

 Thursday, 17 February 2011, 20 h   Museum Filmclub

In the Shadow of the Moon

by David Sington, USA 2007, 100’

 Thursday, 24 February 2011, 12:30 – 13 h   Take Away

Bill Bollinger. The Retrospective

short guided tour during the lunch break

 Saturday, 26 February 2011, 09:30 – 12:30 h   Art on Suturday

"Der sehende Körper - Konzentrierte Werkbetrachtung und Qigong Yangsheng"

with Christiane Meyer-Stoll, curator, and Hanni Schierscher, teacher for Qigong Yangsheng

 Friday, 11 March 2011, 15 – 17 h   Dialogical Discussion

Bill Bollinger

with Christiane Meyer-Stoll, curator

 Thursday, 17 March 2011, 14 – 16 h   "Art 60+"

Discover the museum

with Barbara Redmann, museum education officer

 Thursday, 17 March 2011, 18 h   In cooperation with the Art Society

A witness to history

Talk with Rolf Ricke, collector and gallery owner

 Thursday, 17 March 2011, 20 h   Museum Filmclub

Conceptual Paradise

by Stefan Römer, D, 109’

 Thursday, 24 March 2011, 18 h   Speech

The human body at the absence of gravity

by Dr. Marcel Egli, head space-related biology research group at the ETH Zürich

 Thursday, 31 March 2011, 18 h   Reading

Reading for pleasure - Reading and imagination to Bill Bollinger

with Heiderose Hildebrand, art and education, Vienna and Klagenfurt

 Thursday, 7 April 2011, 16 – 20 h   Symposium

In and Out

The rediscovery of forgotten artists

 Thursday, 14 April 2011, 18 h   Workshop for adults

Straight line - curved surface

with Christina Jacoby

 Thursday, 28 April 2011, 12:30 – 13 h   Take Away

Bill Bollinger. The Retrospective

short guided tour during the lunch break