• The exhibition marks the Swiss artist’s first institutional exhibition in Spain, offering a comprehensive look into her evolving drawing practices.


    • Featuring a series of new works including Farbfeld (colour fields), as well as a wall installation in collaboration with Eric Hattan and works from her emotive presentation in the Swiss Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale.


    • Curated by Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, the exhibition is accompanied by a new publication in both English and Spanish designed by Manuel Raeder (BOM DIA BOOKS) that includes newly commissioned texts by poet and critic Quinn Latimer, writer Chris Fite-Wassilak and a conversation between Bächli and Rodríguez Muñoz.


  • The exhibition is the most recent example of Centro Botín´s commitment to drawing practices, which started with scholarly and curatorial research on Francisco Goya and Manolo Millares and expanded to other regions and contemporary contexts with Julie Mehretu and Juan Muñoz.

Running from 11 May to 20 October 2024, Centro Botín (Santander, Spain) presents Partitura – an exhibition showcasing recent and new works by Swiss artist Silvia Bächli (born 1956, Baden) in dialogue with earlier drawings. Since the late 1970s, Bächli has committed to drawing as a practice that is deeply dependent and entangled with her body and its movements, both within the domestic sphere and the landscape. Her drawings can be read as traces of sensorial records– a walk on a field, a body that aches, a poem that triggers – and corporeal gestures – the extension of the arm, the strength of the hand or the rhythm of the brushstroke. Bächli says: “Drawings are actions. Lines tell stories. What do these lines do? Where is the beginning of a line, does it touch another line? How does it touch them? Words appear, which ones come to the tongue?”

For this exhibition, Bächli has created a score for the gallery space: a sequence of rhythmic clusters of drawings hung at various heights and intervals which, room after room, accrue meaning in their persistent accumulation. Bächli insistently works with modest and limiting means: white paper of different sizes, qualities and tones marked with Indian ink, charcoal, gouache or pastels. Her process is sequential as the artist draws on sheets from a pile, one after another, arranging constellations of works on her studio wall that are consecutively interrogated, rearranged, rejected, until she discovers something that feels right and surprising.

The exhibition sheds light on both the continuity and the progressive changes that occur in her work: from her black and white nervy body fragments and self-absorbed female figures, to her burnt orange interpretations of the grid structure or her recent expansive coloured surfaces. The exhibition includes Das, Bächli´s installation at the Swiss Pavilion for the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, as well as a wall installation in collaboration with Eric Hattan.

The exhibition is curated by Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, Director of Exhibitions and The Collection at Centro Botín. Muñoz says: “Silvia´s simple and sensual visual propositions depart from her consistent use of the line and the variability of the brushstroke as a basis for expression, resulting in wall compositions that seem to agency: to breathe, move, rest, or shout. They embody Silvia´s exquisite acts of care and attention when she engages with her surroundings, elevating every small and mundane gesture. It has been an honour and a joy to accompany Silvia in the process of crafting this expansive exhibition, to think with her about the show´s rhythm, textures, melody and how our visitors will immerse themselves in the “partitura” (score) she has created for Centro Botín”.

More information in the press kit.



Related press notes

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