There have always been a handful of people in the world whose existence seems to be one of enormous creative output. Tomi Ungerer is an excellent example. His insatiable curiosity, playful mastery, and unorthodox way of thinking are essential to his extensive work. Now in his mid-eighties, he is more active than ever.
Ungerer is internationally renowned as a draughtsman, provocative graphic designer, and author of countless illustrations, posters, and books. Meanwhile, his lesser-known work in collage and sculpture has increasingly attracted the attention of the art world in recent years. This comprehensive body of œuvre libre stretches back to the 1950s and consists mainly of colorful cutouts recombined on paper and assemblages of everyday objects. Using these techniques, Ungerer demonstrates his unique ability to couple great humor with moral dilemma. By inserting one hidden cut within the commercial motif, and by re-combining materials destined for trivial usage, Ungerer is able to subvert our accustomed expectations in the most compelling way.
*The Kunsthaus Zürich and the Folkwang Museum Essen are currently honoring the outstanding artistic quality of that body of work with the solo exhibition “Tomi Ungerer: Incognito.”