Anne-Marie Fischer X Fantini Mosaici Downtown Design
Defining an artistic trilogy of colour, shapes and dimensions
Swiss artist Anne-Marie Fischer’s debut collaboration with Fantini Mosaici – an exclusive collection of unique hand-made mosaic panels – will be unveiled during Downtown Design, which takes place from 9 to 12 November 2023.
Here, the artist and former architect – who has enjoyed a prolific year collaborating with luxury brand Bally and holding exhibitions in Switzerland, France and South Korea – shares her passion for harmoniously combining colour, shapes and dimensions to create equilibrium, a calculated balance of movement, proportion and rhythm, in her art.
1 - What is the theme of the ‘Mirage’ collection that you are creating exclusively for Fantini Mosaici, being presented during Downtown Design 2023?
The Fantini collection was created in my forest studio, in the middle of the night. In all my work, I seek simplification. Here, too, it was important for me to choose only a few components from this beautiful and varied mosaic collection, which together create high contrast and great tension. I created 12 panels with deep blue figures in enamel on a light background in marble, with minimal accents in gold. I developed the panels using the paper collage technique. As I worked, these blue figures appeared, and I had to somehow capture them before they disappeared again. It's only a few moments when the composition fits and if you go on, you destroy it again. It's a matter of finding the right moment. The term ‘Mirage’ came to my mind because I was mentally in the desert.
2 - Is this the first time that your artwork has been interpreted by master-mosaicists to create hand-crafted mosaic panels?
Yes, it is my first project with mosaic, and I am very much looking forward to the result. Working with Fantini is very exciting, and I love experimenting with this new technique.
3 - Much of your art is blue and the collaboration with Fantini Mosaici also has a lot of blue tones; what makes you so passionate about this colour?
A deep, dark blue has always held something magical for me. It radiates calm and harmony. Especially when I deal with elementary themes, like figures or ground, blue has an incredible power. Violet, on the other hand, irritates me. I can hardly stand the colour, neither in art nor in my surroundings.
4 - What is the importance of colours in your art?
My colour palette is rather restrained. I surround myself with neutral colours and like the intrinsic colour of each material – [for example] wood, raw linen, white cotton, earth-coloured ceramics – plus a few coloured accents. In my paintings, one encounters a certain colour palette that slowly expands. Sometimes, I paint monochrome. The simplest works are often the strongest for me.
5 - As a qualified architect who practiced for over two decades, how does your training and experience influence your approach to your art? Does this training influence your style?
In fact, as an architect I was already working on the theme of the figure in space. They are similar questions that I am exploring. I am interested in contrasts, proportions, tensions, and so on…
6 - In general, what inspires you to paint?
The inspiration can come directly out of the work, by occupying myself with something. But sometimes when I wake up early in the morning, things form in front of my inner eye. I have to capture these immediately by getting up and testing these visions right away.
7 - Can you describe the location and the look and feel of your studio?
I work in two studios. One is in a commercial building with large windows, in the vibrant centre of Zurich. The other studio is a remote wooden house in a Swiss forest. Here, I can withdraw wonderfully and concentrate fully on the creation.
8 - Mosaic is one of the most sustainable materials from which to create floors, walls and indeed any surface; how important is sensitivity to sustainability and the need to be protective towards our increasingly fragile planet?
Absolutely, this a subject that occupies me.
9 - You have had numerous exhibitions in Switzerland, Europe and, most recently, in the Far East; and soon you will make your debut in the UAE. To what do you attribute this increasing global awareness of your work?
I haven't really thought about that. I do my work with great commitment and a lot of joy. Maybe some of this energy jumps over to viewers [of my art].
10 - When are you at your most creative?
When I wake up, I set myself the three things with the highest priority. I try to start work early – because that's when I'm most productive and most free. Some of my paintings are formed during [my] awakening. As soon as I see a painting in front of me, I get up, drink a big cup of tea and go to the studio, even if it's only five in the morning. Here, I spend three to four hours painting. Of course, I don't always succeed. Then I deviate from the vision and let the process guide me on. I let myself be surprised.
11 - Do you have a preference for wall art or sculpture?
I like to do both. But, unfortunately, I can't do everything together. That's why I set myself a theme and work intensively on it until I have explored it. Only then do I make the switch to a new task or technique.
12 - You have embraced the world of digital art and are said to be inspired to create new art either on a digitalised platform or on traditional paper. Do you have a preference? What projects are you currently working on that combine both?
For me, personally, the haptic, the texture, the surface is very important. I like to touch the material when I work, and what is created by hand leaves traces. Nevertheless, I think digital art has its place. My father was one of the first programmers at IBM and I somehow experienced the process of digitalisation as a child. At home, we had boxes and boxes of punched cards – white ones, but also pastel ones. They had a slim format with rounded corners. I had my greatest pleasure in marking and painting them.
I am currently developing my first NFT collection, ‘ORIGINS’, which will be released at the end of this year. I am open to new art forms and techniques.
13 - Do you still practice architecture at all, or is your professional life now dedicated to your passion for art?
My last architectural client was myself – for the renovation of my forest studio. That was something very special. But today, I work exclusively as an artist.
14 - Which artists and architects do you admire most and why? Have they influenced your own distinct style?
Works by the artists Pierre Soulages, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell touch me very much. I myself don't look for reasons why certain paintings move me. It's the spark that jumps across and transports energy. When that happens, it's simply wonderful. In architecture, I like the aesthetics of ‘60s architecture: clear forms, raw materials. I have a special preference for expressively designed concrete buildings from that time.
15 - You were born in Paris and moved to Zurich as a young girl. How much does the geographic location of your studio influence your ideas and the final results?
The place where I work has a great influence on my work – not only the light, but also the atmosphere, the size of the room, the sounds…
16 - You are a versatile artist with a curiosity and a penchant for exploring new materials and art forms. Was that also why you were intrigued to collaborate with master mosaicists?
I love various type of media and experimenting with them. The choice of medium is often intuitive. For example, the wooden blocks I collect are inspirational in themselves. Perhaps the fascination for spatial objects comes from my past as an architect. What I find interesting in my woodwork is the interplay between natural growth and artificial intervention. I play with the material and try to discover and form something new. That is what drives me in my work. If I knew beforehand what the result would be, I would get bored. I currently paint mainly with acrylics.