About this artwork
Elisabeth Wild’s colorful and abstract collages emerge from her rich life experiences and the artistic practice she has developed over the past six decades. Born in Austria to Jewish parents, Wild escaped the Nazi regime and fled to Argentina in 1938. She worked in textile design, marrying textile industrialist August Wild. Due to the volatile political climate in Argentina, the family moved to Basel, Switzerland, in 1962. Wild returned to South America in 1966 and joined her daughter, artist Vivian Suter, in Panajachel on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. While their home at the edge of the rainforest may have appeared serene, violence caused by natural disasters and drug trafficking continually impacted their life.
Evoking the still-life paintings that were foundational to her early practice, Wild’s later collages balance figuration with abstraction. The rich colors and patterns recall her work in textile design and are often inspired by the visual traditions of Argentina and Guatemala. Making collages became a daily meditative ritual for Wild. She would leaf through fashion and lifestyle magazines and take fragments from their commodified context, combining them with cutouts from colored cartons and glossy paper and rearrange them into complex compositions that visualized the artist’s inner experience. Part of a series titled Fantasías, the collages are, indeed, fantastical spaces to encounter, our eyes moving from the light-blue wall (its color chosen by Wild herself) into the artist’s kaleidoscopic world.
- Currently Off View
- Contemporary Art
- Elisabeth Wild
- Guatemala (Object Probably made in)
- Collage of cut photomechanically printed papers
- 21 × 15.9 cm (8 1/4 × 6 1/4 in.)
- Gift of the artist