Franz Gertsch

(b. 1930)

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(1930– )

Swiss painter and printmaker, best known for large-scale photorealist paintings of young people, such as the transvestite performance artist Luciano Castelli, living ‘alternative’ lifestyles. He used unposed slides as source material. In the late 1970s he made a series of paintings about the poet and singer Patti Smith (1946– ), a character who was something of an idol among the disaffected young. Recent work by the painter tends to a conservative Renaissance-style manner. There is a museum devoted to his work in Burgdorf, Switzerland, near his home. The critic M.-T. Perret was surprised by its mausoleum-like ambience, which seemed so much at odds with the ethos of the work that made the artist famous (Frieze Magazine January–February 2004).

Subjects: Art.

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