BernhardLuginbühl

Biography

Bernhard Luginbühl (1929 Bern, Switzerland – 2011 Langnau im Emmental, Switzerland) was a Swiss artist mainly engaged in large-scale sculptures, as well as in drawings and engravings. Luginbühl worked primarily on abstract sculptures, preferring forged iron as his main material. In the 1950s, he began building zoomorphic and organic objects from scrap metal collected from abandoned industrial facilities. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Luginbühl created his legendary incendiary installations. Massive wooden sculptures were set on fire, accompanied by fireworks and music, creating an astonishing spectacle. The first of these installations was ZORN I (1976), a protest demonstration directed against Swiss urban development, with the burning of Europe’s hitherto largest wooden figure. Luginbühl participated in Expo ’67 in Montreal, the Japan World Exposition in Osaka in 1970, documenta 3 in Kassel in 1964, and documenta 6 in 1977. He has also been honored for his graphic drawings and engravings, exhibited in Berlin as part of the DAAD program (1980–81) and in Zurich at the ETH’s Collection of Prints and Drawings. Many of his sculptures have been installed in public locations in Zurich, Muttenz, Hamburg, and Luzern, among others. The town of Mötschwil, Switzerland, where the artist lived most of his life, is now the site of the Luginbühl Foundation Sculpture Park.