Nicolas Vionnet

b 1976 Basel, Switzerland. Lives and works in Zurich metropolitan area.

A reference to changes in time and aesthetics


Nicolas Vionnet’s original medium is acrylic on canvas.

His chiefly large-scale works play with space and expanse.
Although almost always realistic, his paintings have more in common with abstract images than real landscapes. He paints disruptive grey strips across his clouds and allows colored surfaces to drip down the canvas in accordance with the laws of gravity. He is fascinated by such irritations: interventions that approach and create a non-­hierarchical dialogue with the environment.
This dialogue opens up a field of tension, which allows the viewer an intensive glimpse of both these phenomena.

Vionnet uses the same approach and the same strategy for his installations and objects. Irritation and integration.
A fundamental confrontation with the history of a place leads to a subtler and more precise intervention of the object. Take for example his man­made grass island at the Weimarhallen Park (Weimar, GER), which ironically intensified the park’s own artificiality.
In ‘Close the Gap’ (Leipzig, GER) he bridged the space between an old row of townhouses with a printed canvas image of the now much frowned upon pre­fabricated building. A reference to changes in time and aesthetics.


  • 2007 - 2009 Master of Fine Arts, Public Art and New Artistic Strategies, Bauhaus University, Weimar (GER)
  • 1999 - 2004 Cooperation Master of Arts in Art and Design Education: teaching qualification for Upper Secondary Education, Academy of Art and Design, Basel (SUI)
Selected Scholarships and Awards
  • 2016 Shortlisted, 4th International Emerging Artist Award, Dubai (EA)
  • 2015 Shortlisted, Celeste Prize 2015, 7th edition, curated by Koyo Kouoh (ITA)
  • 2015 Recommended by the Jury, Sculpture / Installation Section, Premio Combat Prize, Blob Art Cultural Association, Livorno (ITA)
  • 2014 Top 40 Winner, Juried Competition, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA), curated by Joanna Szupinska-Myers, California Museum of Photography und Ryan Linkoff, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Los Angeles (USA)
  • 2013 Top 25 Artists, Honorable Mention. Dave Bown Projects - 6th Semiannual Competition, curated by Marisa J. Pascucci, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Reto Thüring, Cleveland Museum of Art und Adelina Vlas, Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA)
  • 2011 Top 50 Winner, Summer Open Call, 3rd Ward Brooklyn, New York (USA)
  • Selected Solo Exhibitions (2007 – 2016)
    • 2016 Silence, Gallery widmertheodoridis, Zurich/Eschlikon (SUI)
    • 2014 FRISCH, Kabinett visarte (Visual Arts Association Switzerland), Zurich (SUI)
    • 2013 Warum Denken traurig macht, AKKU Kunstkiste, Uster/Zurich (SUI)
    • 2011 Silence, WIDMER+THEODORIDIS contemporary, Zurich (SUI)
    • 2008 Keep off the grass, BStU Erfurt (GER)
    • 2007 Unwetter, Nicolas Vionnet – Malerei, Hippopotamus contemporary, Basel (SUI)
    Selected Group Exhibitions (2008 – 2016)
    • 2016 Concept, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, Gimpo-si (KR)
    • 2016 Taboo, Galleria Poggiali & Forconi, Florence (ITA)
    • 2015 Sculpture by the sea, 4th Biennial Aarhus Exhibition, Aarhus (DK)
    • 2015 The open west 2015, The Wilson – Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum (UK)
    • 2015 POP LIVING, Schwartz Gallery, London (UK)
    • 2014 Small Works, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, New York (USA)
    • 2014 Top 40, LACDA Los Angeles Center For Digital Art, Los Angeles (USA)
    • 2014 Meet! Aus der Luft gegriffen, Städtische Galerie KUBUS Hannover (GER)
    • 2013 TRIAL & ERROR, Shedhalle, Forum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Tübingen (GER)
    • 2013 Shape the Scape - Landschaft in der zeitgenössischen Kunst. Eine Erkundung. WIDMER+THEODORIDIS contemporary, Zurich (SUI). International exhibition series in collaboration with Kit Schulte Contemporary Art (Berlin), Lehr Zeitgenössische Kunst (Cologne), Galerie Gilla Lörcher (Berlin) and Galerie Ulrich Mueller (Cologne).
    • 2013 TRIAL & ERROR, Shedhalle, Forum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Tübingen, GER
    • 2012 Under A Tinsel Sun, Main Project, III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Central House of Artists, National Center for Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, Moscow (RU)
    • 2012 Men at work, WIDMER+THEODORIDIS contemporary, Zurich (SUI)
    • 2012 Kollisonen. Galerie marke.6, Neues Museum Weimar (GER)
    • 2010 We Care A Lot, Medium Gallery, Sign+ Gallery, Groningen (NL)
    • 2008 Regionale 9, Kunsthalle Basel (SUI)

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