Franz Bucher

Drawing Today

Drawing, for me, is a separate medium that has its own rules. I pay careful attention to the material - linoleum - for my "provisional drawing“; and I allow myself to be led and inspired by the material‘s own nature. I make it visible in paper, and layer the paper with my memories, which I add to the nature of the material I previously found.

From today‘s perspective, my drawings from the 1970s are more of a "track record“ which have led me to the final painted image. Later, my drawing approaches to reality became more of an object in themselves. I now pay more attention to the materials I use for my drawings - to the more selective use, depending on the situation, of hard and soft pencils, felt pens, Indian ink, and charcoal, too. All of these respond to the "canvas“ in their own particular way.

My newer graphic works  - especially the "Water“ series I have been producing since 1998 - are, in their variations of light and their varying colour moods, the precursors of my painting on the same subject, and have developed steadily and in parallel as a separate body of work. My large-format paper works have been transformed onto canvas, blurring the traditional boundaries between painting and the graphic arts.

Franz Bucher (from "The Northern Lights“, Niklaus Oberholzer, Johannes Stückelberger, Beat Stutzer, Robert Th. Stoll, Verlag Martin Wallimann)

Detailed Biography

Franz Bucher

Painting, Drawing, Woodcuts, Etching, Sculptural Objects, Reliefs, Murals, Stained Glass

1940
Born in Sarnen (Obwalden, Switzerland). Schools in Sarnen and St. Michael’s College, Zug.

1957-1962
Apprenticeship as painter and decorator; first jobs in Lucerne, Basel and Zürich.

1963-1967
Study at the Arts-&-Crafts School and at the High School for Applied Arts in Basel and Lucerne. 1965 and 1966: Scholarship of the Canton Obwalden. Beginning of his own artistic activity and first entries at exhibitions.

1967-1971
1967 Art Teaching Certificate. Marriage to Pia Heer, Moved house to Zug. Part-time Art teaching at St. Michael’s College, Zug, and Dr. Pfister’s School in Oberägeri (until 1986); extended journeys in Europe, the Near East and North Africa. Birth of children: Peter (1968), Christian (1969) and Claudia (1971). 1971-1991 Member of the Funerary Art Committee of the City of Zug. 1971-1989 Member of the Association of Zug Artists.

1972-1983
Three scholarships: Swiss Federal Art Awards: 1972/1974/1975. Moved house to Horw (1972). Together with colleagues, renovation, and layout of the 280-year-old country house with barn-studio and surroundings of his wife Pia’s inheritance, where he has since lived and worked with his family, cat and dog (Chäppeliweg 3). 1973: Residentiary student at the Swiss Institute in Rome. 1973-1981 Member of the SWB (Swiss Handiwork League). 1974: Appointment as lecturer for Design and Art Didactics (until 2003) at St.Michael’s Teachers’ Training College, Zug. and weekly part-time lessons at the Lucerne High School Institute, (Zentralschweizerische Reallehrer Bildung). 1975 Exhibition Prize with Certificate of Honour: "Kanton Schwyz seen through the eyes of Swiss Artists", in Schwyz. Admitted to the "Sektion Zentralschweiz der Visarte" and in 1976 to the Xylon CH, International Association of Woodcutters. Birth of his son Simon (1977), 1978 Admitted to the Working Group of the St. Luke’s Society of Switzerland (SSL). 1979 "Premio Lario di pitture e grafica in Como". 1981: Foundation member’s contribution for the Obwaldner Kunsttreff 13, "Landschaftszeichen", 1981, Aquatint and Etching.
Since 1976: annual winter painting sojourns in Melchsee-Frutt (Switzerland) and since 1988: in autumnal France, (Croix Valmer on the Mediterranean).

1984-1993
Purchase of a studio-home on the lake of Sarnen, Hohstettstrasse 34 in CH-Wilen (1984). In the same year: „Premio Regione Sarda“ of the 2nd. International Graphics Biennial, Cagliari. 1985-1995: Activity as committee member of the SSL. 1986-1993: Temporary Artists’ Collective for the travelling exhibition with 8 artists of the St. Luke’s Society: "From Tower to Fountain". "Premio Milano Capitale dell’Arte – Artista dell’ Anno 1988", Istituto d’Arte Contemporanea Milano. 1990: Admitted to the Gesellschaft Schweizericher Bergmaler (GSB). After the Review Exhibition 1985 in the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur, large individual travelling exhibition as retrospective in Hungary (1989/90) in the Art Museums of Esztergom, Tata,-Budapest, under the auspices of Pro Helvetia. 1991: Prize, Musée Suisse du Vitrail, Romont. In the same year: "Premio Agazzi", Concorso Internationale di Grafica Mapello in Bergamo.
1986-1992: Member of the Arts and Prize Committee of the City of Lucerne.
1969-1993: regular annual exhibitions of the Inner Swiss Artists Group. Since then, no further submitted entries. Frequent activity as Jury member for exhibitions and competitions.

1993-1995
Horwer Art and Culture Prize, January 1st 1993.
1993: 1st GSB prize: "Alpine Art in Switzerland", in Bad Ragaz.
Book presentation on 3rd December 1993 in the Art Museum, Zug: "Monograph, Franz Bucher, My Theme is Painting“ with texts by Dr. Fabrizio Brentini und Karl Iten, Verlag Gisler AG, Altdorf. 1993: Grant of the Cultural Foundation of Landis und Gyr, Zug. 1994: Curator of the Travelling Exhibition "Brückenschlag", SSL, Pro Helvetia; Kunstverein und Galerie an der Finkenstrasse, München; Diocesan Museum Brünn; National Museum Danzig. Since 1995, member of the Arts Committee of the Clinic St. Anna, Hirslanden, Luzern.

1996-2007
Obwalden Arts and Culture Prize 1996. Study-semester in New York, 1996. Monograph: "Das graphische Werk 1970-2000", with texts by Dr. Niklaus Oberholzer und Markus Britschgi, Diopter Verlag, Luzern, 2001. Video, "Franz Bucher – Kunst und Bau in Profan- und Sakralbauten seit 1971", edited by Damian Heini und Franz Bucher, Horw. 2001: guest lecturer in the series "Christologie“ by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Müller. (Workshop discussion with Franz Bucher (paintings and video films) : "The Image of Christ in modern Art", Lucerne University, 19.06.2001.
Book publication: Franz Bucher/Romano Cuonz, "Veränderungen", Explanatory text by Urs Beat Frei, Brättig Verlag, Alpnach-Dorf, 2002.
Guest lecturer in the series "Passion“ by Professor Henk Geuke, Hochschule für Kirchen- und Schulmusik Luzern, 10.04.2003.
2005 Admitted to the "verarte.ch".
Two journeys to North Norway – in Summer 1998 and in Winter 2004, and a journey to Finland in Spring 2007 led to experiences with light, such as cannot be lived in Switzerland.

Further on please see UPCOMING or EXHIBITIONS