Uwe Wittwer (born 1954) is a Swiss artist. He lives and works in Zürich, Switzerland. The media he uses include watercolor, oil painting, inkjet prints and video. Uwe Wittwer is an autodidact. Born 1954 in Zurich where he went to school, he originally trained as a social worker (Bern, 1974–1977). In 1979 he rented his first studio. His early works were colourful abstract expressive oil paintings. The change towards figurative painting took place during the mid 80s. His first solo exhibition was at Galerie Walcheturm, Zurich in 1983. In 1989 he spent time in London on a studio grant (Binz 39 Foundation, Zurich). In 1994 studied in Paris for a year, financed by a grant by the Canton Zurich. In the same year, he received the Swiss federal scholarship for the arts. 1998 solo exhibition at Helmhaus Zurich, the first time his digitally edited photographs were shown. Since then, digitally manipulated images are part of his work. He works with images downloaded from the internet.
'Uwe Wittwer is a painter with a restricted, a ritualised vocabulary'; his motifs consist of four main subjects: landscapes, cities, still lifes and portraits, - later condensed into three main themes: idyll, referential work and the theme of violence. The works of reference encompass interiors and still lifes of Dutch Masters, such as Pieter de Hooch or Willem Kalf and works by French and British masters like Jean Siméon Chardin, Nicolas Poussin, Thomas Gainsborough. Another recurring image is that of Charon in his boat, based on Arnold Böcklin's Isle of the Dead. The theme of violence covers subjects like 'free time' of American soldiers in the Vietnam war, ruins of bombed out cities or scorched family homes. Uwe Wittwer's work is underlined by 'the question of what a picture is' and the question how memory affects images. Uwe Wittwer was guest tutor at the Witten/Herdecke University, Germany (1998–2000) and at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany (2010) In 2008 he was voted into The 50 most important artists of Switzerland List by Bilanz Magazine. In 2013 two of his works were added to the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
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