The concept of ‘shelter’ in Uwe Wittwer’s work evokes an ambiguous state of mind. Through different perspectives – historic or fictional – the selected paintings explore complex ideas evoking thoughts of protection and safety alongside feelings of displacement, forced asylum and imprisonment. The lonesome tent in a winter landscape could be the bivouac of a soldier or of a peaceful mountaineer. Other images depict makeshift shacks that recall those of refugees. These motifs are juxtaposed by more abstract paintings such as the plain view of a vinyl record. These works draw reference to albums or songs such as Rolling Stones’s Gimme Shelter (1969) which deals with the search for protection from an apocalyptic storm and has been linked to the end of the idealism of the 1960s. The original source material for the paintings is digital but is deconstructed into fragments by the artist. The structure of the paintings shows an unevenness that, despite its beauty effuses a latent threat. These are fragmented insights into ideas of authenticity and truth, multiple refractions of reality, and into the role of the artist as archivist and voyeur.
Uwe Wittwer's (born 1954 in Zurich) paintings and watercolors reflect on the meaning of images. He transforms portentous subjects from the historical theaters of war with aesthetically appealing imagery to arouse curiosity in the beholder. Wittwer often works with negatives or repetition, fragmentation or reversal. Through such strategies, the original images are transformed, creating alternative realities. He lives and works in Zurich.