© Hans Witschi / Untitled (Laughing Boy with an Image 3), 2018, (1399), Oil on primed cotton, 16 x 20''



„Look what I painted!“ is the gesture of the laughing boy, who mischievously holds a blank white sheet of paper in his hands. In addition to this latest series of pictures of the laughing boy, a second one has been created, of a girl. In contrast to the boy, the girl deepens completely in her drawings. For the first time, she seems to discover her shadow cast, which – depending on the distance to the paper – is sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker, and to her astonishment is connected with her. Her posture tells us that she is hurt. For both series, Hans Witschi choses the title „HURT“ to indicate internal injuries and external wounds.

These series are developments of his works from 1997 – 1998, „Little Boy drawing and dreaming at the Table“ and „Painters with brushes in hand create themselves or the act of painting itself“. In a wild painterly gesture, the portrayed dissolves again. The works also address the connection between artistic expression and art-historical reflection.

Now, twenty years later, the painter has given way to a little boy who presents an empty picture, which in figurative senses represents a form of helplessness or even a pictorial wound. On the other hand, the expression and posture of the girl show sorrow, pain, but also defiance and perseverance.

In a kind of childlike play, Hans Witschi makes fractures visible that are descriptive for his process as a painter and his examination of the limits of representation in art. In addition, Witschi makes refers via the title to Joseph Beuys' installation from 1974 „Zeige deine Wunde“.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019, from 6 p.m.

Exhibition dates
29th August – 5th October 2019

Opening hours
Wednesday through Friday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.



Edited by Aleksandra Signer and  Peter Zimmermann 

Texts on selected works
Paula van den Bosch, Barbara Casavecchia, Christoph Doswald, Esther Flury, Lorenzo Giusti, Paul Good, Matthias Haldemann, Stephan Kunz, Roman Kurzmeyer, Li Zhenhua, Gerhard Mack, Simon Maurer, David Moinard, Kristin Schmidt, Dorothea Strauss, Sunny Sun, Ulrich Suter,  Reto Thüring, Roland Wäspe, Max Wechsler, Sara Weyns, Beat Wismer, Rachel Withers

With descriptions of the works by Roman Signer

30,5 × 24,5 cm, 608 pages / 670 illustrations
Hardcover (linen) in a slipcase
German / English

ISBN 978-3-906191-10-2 (Switzerland)

Edition AlbersZimmermann & Edition Stephan Witschi, Zurich
Subscription: CHF 110.00 / from 1.2.2019: CHF 150.00


The materials – water, fire, air and earth – are elements that intervene in the design of Roman Signer’s works and complete them. It is ordinarily part of the works to reveal how they are made. The artist himself comments on some 350 sculptures and actions without interpreting them. By detailing such facts as the technical framework, climate and sequence of events, he gives readers such a precise impression of each work that they could almost be observing the action themselves. The resulting catalogue raisonné is essentially a work in itself and, as such, an indispensable part of this unique oeuvre. The fourth volume in the series represents a self-contained monograph of years that are vital to Signer’s practice.