Robert Estermann 2024

Robert Estermann 2024


There is no truth to myself, my species, my love, my closet, my house, my valley.



SELECTED ESSAYS download as pdf

Clemens Krümmel Artikel in SIKART Lexikon zur Kunst in der Schweiz, 2018 (deutsch)
Clemens Krümmel ESTA MAÑANA, 2015 (deutsch)
Ji Yoon Yang, Gregory Maass (interview) About the Kim Kim Gallery show with Robert Estermann, 2013 (english)
Niklaus Oberholzer im Gespräch mit Robert Estermann Meine politische Haltung ist genau das, was ich mit der Kunst mache – dieses Ausnützen der Freiheit. 2013 (deutsch)
Isabel Fluri Robert Estermann, Clay Collection and Speculative Plane, 2011 (deutsch)
Isabel Fluri Robert Estermann, Modern Beach Design, 2009 (deutsch)
Susanne Neubauer Robert Estermann zur Einführung, 2007 (deutsch)
Susanne Neubauer Robert Estermann, an Introduction, 2007 (english)
Adrian Lucas Drawing Desire, or How I Feel Much Better Today Than Tomorrow, 2007 (english)
Adrian Lucas Drawing Desire, oder wie ich mich heute viel besser fühle als morgen, 2007 (deutsch)
Daniel Kurjaković Uneigentliche Politik, 2007 (deutsch)
Daniel Kurjaković Improper Thinking, 2007 (english)
Elisabeth Lebovici Robert Estermann, Blue Rider, 2007 (français)
Elisabeth Lebovici Robert Estermann, Blue Rider, 2007 (english)
Sue Golding Four Horses, Four Boys and the Techne of Line Drawing, 2004 (english)
Hans-Ulrich Obrist interview with Robert Estermann Tout est Important, 2002 (français, mp3 40’) 2)


SELECTED REVIEWS download as pdf

Basler Zeitung, Judith Opferkuch Liebeserklärung an das Zeichnen, 2015 (deutsch)
Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, Christian Fluri Die lichte und dunkle Poesie des Strichs, 2015 (deutsch)
Artforum, Judith Hopf Best of 2013, 2013 (english)
Neue Luzerner Zeitung, Urs Bugmann Zeichnungen sind Ausbrüche des Denkens, 2009 (deutsch)
Neue Luzerner Zeitung, Urs Bugmann Die Kunst gibt dem Leben eine Projektionsfläche, 2009 (deutsch)
Radio Busan FM, Korea, Interview with Robert Estermann in Busan, 7.9.2009 (english, mp3 6’)
Radio DRS1, Vierzig Jugendliche als lebendige Skulptur, Mirjam Breu, 7.2.2009 (deutsch, mp3 3’)
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, In der Mausfalle, 2007 (deutsch)
Neue Luzerner Zeitung, Urs Bugmann Ich biete Reibungsflächen, 2007 (deutsch)
Kunst Bulletin, Niklaus Oberholzer Luzern: Robert Estermann im Kunstmuseum, 2007 (deutsch)
Schweizer Illustrierte, Kati Moser Der Pfahlbauer, 2007 (deutsch)
HTV de Ijsberg, Caroline de Bie Four Horses, 1996 (english)



Imagine a place where every act, every touch would have the impact of a non-ending question; or the impact of a kind of revolution, because there would be no meta-narrative between or amongst any act. The dynamic of such a place is, physically, a history of equations — a poetics, not of metaphors or symbols, but that of the un-measurable, obscene in the hole of life.
I am interested in speaking as if stereotypes within cultural identification would not exist, I crossover, and I find sequences that differ from each other in a certain way as far as I can see. I am not at all interested in moralizing these differences. The lines in my drawings do not properly describe something, they are rather weapons of endless translating power. I am interested in a material that is artist, freedom, time, fetish, translation. 7)

Robert Estermann


My works in this exhibition, my drawings in particular, are prophecies, little crystals, savant points. They read the clouds, almost classical alphabets and then the clouds again. They believe that matter is information and that it exceeds all prophecies. They change matter through information. They have bodies of all ages, colors and sexes. They believe that miracles are the ordinary of the possible, and that if art is punk it is because its happening is ordinary and miraculous, everywhere and specific at the exact same time. They like too to trick in order to survive, to fight exclusion, to play. They read the angles of the waves and surf their tunnels. They play in shapes, the ocean and the optimism of the modern. They say: The waters of the ocean got new tastes. 8)

Robert Estermann


Ron Palmer: Tell me about your new drawing. Concrete, representational, abstraction all in one?
Robert Estermann: I have this notion of acceleration… like all thoughts, they become accelerated… it’s possible to accelerate them so fast that they fall… yet in this state of acuteness… precarity… they are still vertical, it seems that they are not touched by this acceleration… at the same time they are falling very quickly… like the paper where I draw… the paper where I draw is so beautiful, because it’s so fine and it’s so cheap, theoretically, everything a being could say could be on this piece of paper, it’s an invitation to all this freedom we have, yet at the same time it’s so tiny, it’s so nothing, somebody could ignore it and put it into the trash, so long as it remains on this table, it resists this aging, it’s still something, it’s almost nothing, it has never been a lot. 5)


“weit entfernt von kanonischeren Konzeptionen politischer Kunst”
“far removed from more canonical conceptions of political art” 1)

Daniel Kurjaković


“Ein subtiles, überaus vielschichtiges und faszinierendes Werk”
“A subtle, exceedingly complex and fascinating work” 1)

Susanne Neubauer


“Le galop de Robert Estermann, en effet, résiste à la définition, au style, à l’emprise de tous ces mots qui font avancer une société d’enfants vieillis ou régressifs.”
“Robert Estermann’s gallop actually resists definition, style, the hold of all those words that propel a society of ageing or regressive children.” 1)

Elisabeth Lebovici


“[…] il y a manifestement un aspect moins de représentation qu’un aspect performatif. Et, en ayant vu, par exemple, ta performance à De Appel -qui n’est peut-être pas une performance, mais une installation performative-, j’ai concu à quel point on peut lire tes dessins comme des dessins de projet ou comme des dessins liés à des événements performatifs. […] Plutôt qu’une exposition sur le medium du dessin, il semble que le fil rouge de cette exposition est donc cette notion de ligne.” 2)

Hans-Ulrich Obrist


“Ihm geht es ums Unsichere, das Offenhalten – welches das Denken in Gang setzt und den Veränderungswillen.” 3)

Urs Bugmann


“Robert Estermann’s precise way of formulating questions – that are, as fare as I see – of urgency to any cross disciplinary research in the technological society of our time, shows a very particular way of taking intellectual risks. His intellectual honesty makes his work incomparable with any known art practice and enables him tracing a completely new brand of social research.” 6)

Eran Schaerf


“Robert Estermann bestows us with some exorbitant eyes that we look again at how we eye, and collectivize, social and political issues.”
“Robert Estermann verleiht uns exorbitante Augen, damit wir erneut in Augenschein nehmen, wie wir soziale und politische Angelegenheiten sehen und kollektivieren” 1)

Adrian Lucas


“We might wish to call this a kind of synthetic surface poetic; that libidinal economy of the beat-beat beating, replete with ‘acoustic’ vibration and teetering on, with, amongst and around what Estermann alone is able to condense in his line drawings: ie, a rhizomatic tension; powerful, whimsical and quite beyond (because quite within and amongst) the banalities of good and evil.” 4)

Sue Golding


“Often crossing different media (photography, video, drawing, and poetics), Robert is able to tease out the subtle nuances inherent in his subject matter, to produce work of extraordinary beauty, simplicity, and sensuality. Moreover, he is able to do this in a rather unique way, combining a certain kind of modesty with forceful insight, to produce work about the common, the young and the ‚everyday’.” 6)

Sue Golding


“…” 6)

James Lee Byars


1) Catalogue texts by the respective authors in: Pleasure, Habeas Corpus, Motoricity. The Great Western Possible, exh. cat. Robert Estermann (monographic), edition fink, Zürich, 2007

2) «Tout est important – Hans-Ulrich Obrist parle avec Robert Estermann very yellow plane – mercredi 4 septembre 2002», Paris: Édition Galerie du Jour agnès b., CD audio, 40’, 2002

3) Urs Bugmann, «Ich biete Reibungsflächen», in: Neue Luzerner Zeitung, Luzern, 21. März 2007

4) Johnny Golding, «Four Horses, Four Boys and the Techne of Line Drawing», in: D ( Is For Drawing ), International Magazine On Contemporary Drawing, N° 1, June 2004

5) interview in 2000

6) from letters

7) written in 2000

8) written on the occasion of the exhibition “New Sundays”, Galerie du Jour agnès b., 2008