Stefan Banz is an artist, author, curator, and publisher. He grew up in Menznau, Switzerland. From 1982 to 1991 he studied art history, German literature and literary criticism at the University of Zürich. In 1989 he initiated and co-founded the first Kunsthalle Luzern and served as its artistic director until 1993. He was then artistic consultant to Iwan Wirth, and curator of the gallery Hauser & Wirth during its beginnings from July 1994 to December 1997. In 2005 he was curator of the Swiss Pavilion at the 51st Biennale in Venice. In 2009 he initiated the Association Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp (www.akmd.ch), and in 2010 he organized the international event Marcel Duchamp and the Forestay Waterfall in Cully. Since then he has been the artistic director of the KMD – Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp | The Forestay Museum of Art, the world’s “smallest” museum. In 2016 his comprehensive publication Eilshemius: Peer of Poet-Painters won the Peter C. Rollins Book Award in New Mexico and the Eric Hoffer Book Award in New Jersey, and was nominated for the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature in Switzerland.
As an artist he had many solo exhibitions, including: Kunstmuseum Luzern (1995 and 2001); OK–Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich, Linz, Austria (1996); Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Germany (1998); MAMCO, Geneva (1999); Migros Museum, Zürich (2000); Museum Bellerive, Zürich (2001); Museum Bellpark, Kriens, Switzerland (2003); Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2004); Kunsthaus Pasquart, Biel, Switzerland (2006); University of Lausanne (2012); Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany (2013); Museum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-Hau, Germany (2014); CHUV, Lausanne (2017); (EAC) les Halles, Porrentruy, Switzerland (2019); Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing and Lucerne (1993, 1997, 2006, 2008); Ars Futura Gallery, Zürich (1993, 1996, 1999); Kubinski Gallery, New York (1993); Bloom Gallery, Amsterdam (1994), and Sic!, Lucerne (2014). First solo show: Petiolus, Galerie Apropos, Lucerne, 1989. In 2000 he received the Manor Art Prize, as well as the Recognition Award from the city of Lucerne. From 2004 to 2014 artistic collaborations with Caroline Bachmann. In 2019 he was also awarded with the Prix Visarte Historique for his art and architecture work « Alternative » on the roof of the Alternative Bank, Olten, Switzerland.
As an author he has written, among others, books and essays on Marcel Duchamp, Louis Michel Eilshemius, Jeff Wall, Aldo Walker, Hans Emmenegger, Jacques Derrida, Joseph Beuys, Jules Verne, Fischli|Weiss, Ai Weiwei, Max Bill, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Friedrich Glauser, Diego Velázquez, Edouard Manet, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Nauman, and Frank Zappa. Selected publications: Serendipity, Zürich, 1990; Kunsthalle Luzern, Lucerne, 1993; Give me a Leonard Cohen Afterworld, Ostfildern, 1995; Platz der Luftbrücke (with Friedrich Kittler, edited by Iwan Wirth), Cologne, 1996 and Nuremberg 2011; Picabia (co-edited with Iwan Wirth), Hauser & Wirth, Zürich, and Oktagon, Cologne; i built this garden for us, Zürich, 1999; a shot away some flowers, Zurich, 2000; Komplexes System Kunst, Texte und Interviews, Münster et al., 2001; Hell, (Novel, German and English editions), Cologne, 2001; The Muhammad Ali’s, Nuremberg, 2002; Un Cœur simple, Zürich, 2003; SMS, Beijing, 2005; Laugh. I Nearly Died, Nuremberg, 2006; What Duchamp Abandoned for the Waterfall, Zürich, 2009 (with Caroline Bachmann); Marcel Duchamp and The Forestay Waterfall (ed.), Zürich, 2010; Das Wespennest ist eine Kathedrale: Ein Gespräch mit Jean-Christophe Ammann, Nuremberg, 2011; Marcel Duchamp: 1° la chute d’eau, Nuremberg, 2012; Aldo Walker: Logotyp. Mit Marcel Duchamp und William Copley im Hinterkopf, Nuremberg, 2012 (German version), Nuremberg 2015 (French version); La Broyeuse de chocolat. Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp at Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt (co-edited with Caroline Bachmann and Ralf Beil), Nuremberg, 2013; Marcel Duchamp: Pharmacie, Nuremberg, 2013; Das Schweigen der Junggesellen, Nuremberg, 2014 (with Caroline Bachmann); Jeff Wall: Mit dem Auge des Geistes / With the Eye of the Mind, Nuremberg, 2014 (German and English edition); Eilshemius: Peer of Poet-Painters, Zürich, 2015; Louis Michel Eilshemius und sein Einfluss auf Marcel Duchamp, Vienna, 2016; One Rock Upon Another, Essays on Marcel Duchamp, Jules Verne, Joseph Beuys, Max Bill, Fischli|Weiss, and Ai Weiwei, Vienna, 2018; Louis Michel Eilshemius: Six Musical Moods (ed.), Vienna, 2018; Marcel Duchamp: Richard Mutt’s Fountain, Vienna, 2019.
He was also the publisher of Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés by Jeff Wall, Nuremberg 2013; Duchamp: The Paradigm of the Cartoon by Didier Semin, Nuremberg, 2015; Duchamp: By Hand, Even by Helen Molesworth, Vienna, 2017; and Percy Rainford: Duchamp’s “Invisible” Photographer by Michael R. Taylor, Vienna, 2018, among many others.
As a curator he has mounted many exhibitions, including Heimo Zobernig, Larry Clark, Günther Förg, Haegue Yang, Ai Weiwei, Jacques Derrida, Harald Szeemann, Theo Kneubühler, Francis Picabia, Aldo Walker, Louis Michel Eilshemius, Ecke Bonk, Marcel Duchamp, Gianni Motti, and Ugo Rondinone.
Works in public collections: Philadelphia Museum of Art; Kunsthaus Zürich; Migros Museum, Zürich; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg; Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz; Musée d’art moderne et contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva; Kunstmuseum Luzern; Fotostiftung, Switzerland, Winterthur; Fotomuseum Winterthur; Kunsthaus Pasquart, Biel, Switzerland; Musée Jenisch, Vevey, Switzerland; Musée cantonal des Beaux-arts, Lausanne; Bundesamt für Kultur, Bern; Nidwaldner Museum, Stans, Switzerland; Flick Collection, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; FRAC Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin; Stadt Luzern; Kanton Luzern. Selected private collections: Hauser & Wirth Collection, Henau, Switzerland; Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Peter Nobel Collection, Zürich; Philippe Nordmann (MANOR), Geneva; Edition 5, Erstfeld, Switzerland; Marlis and Fritz Ammann, Frauenfeld, Switzerland; Cristina Bechtler, Richterswil, Switzerland; Patrick Frey, Zürich; ROCHE, Rotkreuz, Switzerland; Credit Suisse, Luzern; UBS, Zürich; Bank Julius Bär, Zürich.
Stefan Banz lives and works in Cully, Switzerland, and Berlin, Germany. Website: www.stefanbanz.com.
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