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Urs Lüthi

Luzern 1947


The self-portrait "Mauritius" was made in 1998 and is part of the series "Placebos & Surrogates", alongside the three works "Exercises". The underlying intention of this group of works is the comparability of the illusory character of a placebo with the guileful illusionism of contemporary advertising. The cool aesthetic of his object pictures evokes the visual strategies of the advertising world. The pictures are effectively presented behind Plexiglas. The reflection of the brightly coloured outer edges produces a halo-like effect, which is meant ironically by Urs Lüthi.
It is the artist's intention that his works lack all personal creative expression. Photography, for example, which Urs Lüthi has been promoting as an artistic medium ever since the 1970s, is digitally reworked and thus rendered anonymous.
All works are issued with a personal certificate: Lüthi's portrait in profile is like a logo and a brand name for each work of art. Like the promising mottoes of the "Exercises", "Art for a better Life" is another slogan created by the artist, which is a humorous characterisation of art as a service.
Urs Lüthi makes use of role-play and language in order to question the artist's identity and his position in society.


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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
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