Photography on this page © Toni Dusek

CV Florin Granwehr

* 18. 2. 1942 St. Gallen
+ 23. 8. 2019 Zürich

EXHIBITIONS (selection)

2023 Kunsthaus Zug
2022 Galerie Privée, Lacoste, FR
2021 Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich
1998 Kunsthalle Winterthur
1988 Helmhaus Zürich
1984 Galerie zum Strauhof, Zürich
1976 Kunsthaus Zürich


2009 Sensorium, Schloss Turbenthal, Gehörlosendorf, CH
2005 Transeut, Schwesternhaus, Zürich, CH
1995 Dasda, Areal Tüfi, Adliswil, CH
1992, Septentrio, AO Center, Davos, CH
1989 Axiomat, Schiffsteg Zürich-Wollishofen, CH
1984 Raumwandler, Universität Zürich-Irchel, CH
1983 Alba, Kloster Kappel, CH
1981 Pipo, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH
1974 Zelle mit Anschluss, Universität Zürich, CH


Aargauer Kunsthaus
Kunstmuseum Chur
Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
Kunsthaus Grenchen
Kunsthaus Zug
Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich
Private collections in Switzerland, Czech Republic...

More info

Order is the hem of chaos.

Florin Granwehr graduates from high school in St. Gallen. After beginning studies in law (1962-63) and art history (1964-67) at the University of Zurich, a "Studium generale" follows in various professions; 1963-66 training as a painting and sculpture restorer at the Swiss Institute for Art Studies in Zurich. 1968-69 stays as restorer in Chardonne and Florence as well as several trips to Prague. From the second half of the sixties first sculptural works. 1969 Freelance artist, takes up residence in Zurich. 1967, 1969 and 1975 scholarship for fine arts from the city of Zurich; 1972, 1974 and 1980 study and work grants from the canton of Zurich; 1973 Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Prize; 1974, 1980 and 1981 Federal Art Scholarship. The first museum exhibition takes place in 1976 at the Kunsthaus Zürich (together with Marguerite Hersberger). In the 1980s, large sculptures and spatial sculptural structures in private and public spaces come to the fore. Between 1980 and 2007, 22 realizations in architectural contexts are created in Venice, German and French Switzerland; the largest large sculpture Transeunt stands since 2005 in front of the staff tower of the Cantonal Hospital Zurich. Solo exhibitions in 1988 at the Helmhaus Zurich, 1996 at the House for Constructive and Concrete Art in Zurich and 1998-99 at the Kunsthalle Winterthur.

From the early sculptures made of brass, which were already committed to the constructive tradition, Granwehr moves in the mid-1970s to prefabricated industrial elements: Aluminum profiles, plastic tubes, anticorrodal parts, and rubber, with which he constructs spatial sculptures. Subsequently, he created three-dimensional models - white-painted square timbers joined into prismatic structures - and stainless steel versions. Granwehr's constructions activate space and establish references between man and topographical situation. In many cases the titles refer to this fact: Raumfalt, Raumseiten, Raumwandler, Voluwandler, Kreiswandler. The artist's definitions are concrete-poetic: "Sculpture is spatial transformation / Space has no argument / By Euclidean means / Not Euclidean."

Very specific numerical ratios and series are the constants in Granwehr's artistic spatial thinking. The artist chooses cyclical numerical series or those that find their limits in themselves as the basis of measurement and angle for his arrangements, never those that grow into infinity. In the artist's view, the latter cannot be reconciled with the progression and regression of living organisms. Granwehr's axioms are the 360 degrees of the circle and its cross-sum 9, as well as the ratio 3:4:5:6. On this mathematical-geometric basis, an oeuvre of enormous variation unfolds: from the architectural cube towers Vertices (1985) to the expansive plastic sequences Axiomate (from 1989), Axis and Geome (1992), Angulon (from 1993) and Winkelweit (1995). The slender articulations of the models find their realization in the welded steel of the monumental large-scale sculptures. In the late 1980s, the filigree rods make way for denser volumes, for example in Ubiquanten (1989), Stand der Lage (1993), and Viergang (1994).

Again and again Granwehr interrupts his three-dimensional work in order to create larger sequences of drawings: The spectrum varies between sensograms (1980) - spheres drawn on the sheet with eyes closed - and non-perspectival, geometric structures. In 1997 and 1998 he created the drawing sequences Achtheit and Drei bei drei. In 2000 the artist develops the "Granwehr's Theorem", his own creative system on a newly invented numerical basis. Extent of the graphic work until 2007: over 10,000 final drawings.

Works: Adliswil, Areal Tüfi, Dasda, 1990-95; Bern, Property of the Swiss Confederation, Federal Office of Culture; Davos, AO Center, Septentrio, 1992; Kloster Kappel am Albis, Alba, 1982; Lausanne, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, Carrefour central, PIPO, 1981; Venice, San Samuele, Il Pezzo Veneziano, 1998; Wabern, Federal Office of Topography, 1 Ding 1: X, 1988; Winterthur Art Museum; Winterthur, at the reception building of Gebrüder Sulzer AG, Axiomat, 1989-1990; Kunsthaus Zürich; Sammlung der Stadt Zürich; Kunstsammlung Kanton Zürich; Zurich, University of Zurich-Irchel, Brückenlandschaft, Raumwandler, 1984; Zurich, Kantonsapotheke, Raumnaht - Nahtraum, 1985-1992; Zurich-Wollishofen, Seeufer, Axiomat, 1990; Helmhaus Zurich, Das grosse Frauenzimmer, 1998, wall relief; Zurich-Oerlikon, Alter Friedhof, Angulon, 1998; Zurich, Bezirksgebäude, Angulon, 1999; Zurich, Personalhochhaus des Kantonsspitals Zurich, Transeunt, 2005.

Juri Steiner, 2008, updated by the editors, 2017.

Citation method: Juri Steiner, "Florin Granwehr." In: SIKART Lexikon zur Kunst in der Schweiz, 2017 (first published in 2008). https://recherche.sik-isea.ch/sik:person-4002245/in/sikart

Selected bibliography

Art in public space in Winterthur. Editing and texts: Kathrin Bänziger. Winterthur: Foundation Edition Winterthur, 2004.

Rule and Deviation. Schweiz konstruktiv 1960 to 1997. Zurich, House for Constructive and Concrete Art, 1997-98; Neuchâtel, Musée d'art et d'histoire, 1998. [Texts:] Margit Weinberg Staber, Elisabeth Grossmann, and Annemarie Bucher. Zurich, 1997.

Florin Granwehr. State of the Situation. Zurich, House for Constructive and Concrete Art, 1996. [Texts:] Juri Steiner, Elisabeth Grossmann and Florin Granwehr. Zurich, 1996 (Foundation for Constructive and Concrete Art, Schriften 23).

Willi Rotzler: Constructive Concepts. A history of constructive art from cubism to the present. 3rd revised edition. Zurich: ABC, 1995.

Florin Granwehr. Viergang. Brno: Editio nova, 1995.

Florin Granwehr. Things 1:X. Helmhaus Zurich, 1988. [Text:] Marie-Louise Lienhard. Zurich, 1988.

Symmetry in art, nature and science. Darmstadt, Mathildenhöhe, 1986. editor: Bernd Krimmel; contributions: Gernot Böhme [et al.]. Darmstadt, 1986, 3 vols.

Florin Granwehr. Räumlinge. Zurich, Städtische Kunstkammer zum Strauhof, 1984. Zurich, 1984.

Florin Granwehr. Sculptures and drawings. Zurich, Galerie Scheidegger, 1982. Zurich, 1982.

Florin Granwehr. 74 of 120 India ink drawings 1981. [Zurich: Florin Granwehr, 1982].

Florin Granwehr. Sculptures and drawings. Zurich, Galerie Ernst Scheidegger, 1977. [Text:] Helmut Holzhey. Zurich, 1977.