Gilbert Bretterbauer

May 2008, Zurich

Gilbert Bretterbauer is an artist and designs rooms – from floor to ceiling. The carpet corresponds with the ceiling lamp. Starting point for these objects in rooms – carpet, curtain, chair – is the drawing. Let’s take the chair as an example. It all starts with the draft. Lines branch out on the page, resembling a spiderweb. Then the drawing. A model is built. The model is positioned in reality and examined. The cycle between making and drawing, back and forth, is the creation process.

The chair seems like a drawing and yet it was made for sitting. Even for comfortable sitting. Gilbert Bretterbauer analyzed a chair in which he most liked to sit or still does. He wanted to create a “comfortable chair” that does not dominate the room, that is transparent yet solid. He felt at ease in a “no-name chair”. He took this chair’s shape as a starting point for his drawings. He recreated its structure and developed a metal seat construction. But the cold metal did not feel good on the skin. He started to wrap the metal structure with colored yarn. The work became a meditative process. The chair was given a haptic, warm skin. A fragile object, surprising in its construction, stands in the room. It looks fragile and yet it is a comfortable chair. The chair stands on a carpet –in a dialogue between art and design - sometimes in the 5th dimension.