past CHG show July 28 - September 1, 2018 ZOE BYLAND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST Zoe Byland INFO & PRESSSEE SHOW
July 28 - September 1, 2018


Artist Biography

I attended the F +F school for art and media design in Zurich (Switzerland) and studied contextual painting at the Academy of fine arts in Vienna (class Muntean/Rosenblum, Prof. Elke Krystufek and Prof. Ashley Hans Scheirl) and art history at the University of Vienna (Austria). I live and work in Bern.


Show Statement "Presence of the past"

In terms of style and content my paintings are based on elements of vintage photography, film noir, graphic novels, super heroes, tattoos and classical genres of art history. I combine the traditional and the contemporary, the classical and the subcultural.  I like to use subjects from turn-of-the-century portrait photography because they are a timeless style of representation.  We are always in the presence of the past but the past only exists in a selective, staged form, altered by memory. I want to create moments in my paintings that elude time and space, in which history and the present day are blended together.


Disguises are another central aspect of my work. My characters never fully reveal their identity; they retain a degree of secrecy, they protect themselves and are simultaneously visible and vulnerable. The viewer’s imagination has enough room to think up their own narrative ideas. An image can be read in a variety of ways and I don't want to limit this spectrum of interpretation by applying specific meaning. Just like a good story for me a good painting needs an atmosphere that draws you in and defines the genre in which the narrative is taking place.