Born in1965 in Geneva, Switzerland
Lives and works in Geneva.
Fabrice Gygi is one of the most important Swiss artists of his generation. Coming from the ultra-radical movement of Geneva squats, both his life and work are pervaded by a general rejection of the social order. He became known through performances in which he explores his body’s limits. Trained in engraving by the Geneva center for contemporary engraving and then at the école des Beaux-Arts, he began a major production of engravings and linocuts. From the 90s, gradually evolving from a discourse linked to the intimate sphere to a discourse involving society as a whole, he developed an ensemble of installations and sculptures carrying in them a potential of constraint and control over individuals. Within a minimalist formal vocabulary borrowed to urban infrastructure, as well as common and nomadic objects, he distorts from their primary functions, thus manifesting an ambiguity as a source of tension. He leads us to the thought of civil obedience and raises questions about our Western ideal of freedom. “My attitude is more of a political commitment than my work itself. My work is kind of like the tip of the iceberg, which you can see. It speaks of politics because politics is part of life. We are in this world, so we are political. But it is not a committed or militant work, because for me it would mean having a moral on things, which I refuse categorically. » Fabrice Gygi (in Interview with Fabrice Gygi, NOMAD Magazine, vimeo, 2011)
His work was then shown in major European museums and in 2009, he was invited to represent Switzerland at the 53rd International Art Biennial in Venice.
From the early 2010s, Fabrice Gygi initiates a rupture in his work by abandoning the creation of installations in favor of a production of jewelry, then of sculptural works and bas-reliefs, using the elementary geometric forms already developed in his jewelry. At the same time, he began to work on large format watercolors. With a perfectly geometric composition, these watercolors on paper offer a limited chromatic range.
Fabrice Gygi is now teaching at the Haute École d’art et de design (HEAD) in Geneva, after being professor at the ECAL in Lausanne, one of the ten best art and design schools in the world.
Major institutional exhibitions by Fabrice Gygi (born in 1965 in Geneva, Switzerland) include the Instituto Svizzero di Roma (2010), Orange County Museum of Art (2005), Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (2005) and MAMCO Geneva (2004). His work was placed in the center of group shows in several international institutions such as the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2017), Migros Museum (2016), Kunsthaus Zurich (2015), Swiss Institute New York (2015), Palais de Tokyo (2011), Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (2007), Museum Ludwig (2005), Museo Nacional Reina Sofia (2003), 25th Biennial of Ljubljana (2003), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2000), Kunsthalle Bern (1996).
His work was acquired by numerous collections including the MAMCO in Geneva, the Mudac in Lausanne and the Migros Museum in Zurich (Switzerland); the M KHA in Antwerp (Belgium); the Magasin 3 in Stockholm (Sweden); the Centre Pompidou and the FRAC Ile de France in Paris, the FRAC Haute-Normandie in Rouen and the Centre national des arts plastiques (France).