Peter Wirz: Continent Wirziana

30. March 2023 - 20. August 2023
Peter Wirz: Continent Wirziana

Works from the Islamic cultural sphere will be juxtaposed in a dialogue with works by the Swiss Art Brut artist Peter Wirz (1915-2000, Basel).

Between the 1940s and 1970s, while working in obscurity alongside his job as an assistant gardener, the son of the well-known ethnologist Paul Wirz created an enormous oeuvre of drawings, many of which may have been lost or destroyed. The approximately 700 surviving drawings in A4 format, along with countless sketches and handwritten notes, constitute Wirz’s own continent of “Wirziana”.

While his father, despising his bourgeois origins, left Switzerland and Europe to seek the supposedly “original” in foreign cultures Peter Wirz took the opposite path. Wirz clung to his family, who rejected him because of his disability, as his personal cultural heritage, and in his drawings he pursued a “Wirzianization of the world”, from the “Wirz cross” and “Wirz heraldry” to the “Wirzian” architectural style and the “Wirziana plant”. It is a world pf values and punishments which draws from Western Christian heraldry, ranging from pictures of saints to coats of arms, military insignia, and national emblems.

Opening Wednesday, March 29th 2023, 18.30 Uhr


The exhibition on the internet

in video format

Immerse yourself in the parallel world of “Wirziana” by Art Brut artist Peter Wirz thanks to arttv.ch