'The Silent Art of Secrecy'

Nocturne: Monday 16 June

Exhibition: Tuesday 17 June - Tuesday 9 September 2008

Swiss-born Daniela Schönbächler lives in Venice and works on the Island of Murano, Italy. Her first solo exhibition in London 'The Silent Art of Secrecy' is comprised of paintings in ink on a glass “canvas”, free-standing works which explore an innovative use of glass as well as more traditional painting mediums.

The Cubi: Several sheets of layered glass are painted with ink, then bonded together to form one entity. The process explores an internal depth which, working in the same way as a shadow, owes its very existence to light.

Plates IV V VI: Ink paintings on a glass "canvas", placed on easels away from the gallery walls, appear as a continually changing image from any angle in a 3-dimensional perspective. As reflective, transparent surfaces, they also incorporate their surroundings, and are therefore constantly transforming and adapting. The work is static and yet in a state of flux; independent but at the same time dependent on the environment.

The Paintings: Schönbächler's multi-strata technique enables the viewer to discover a deeper, more dimensional visual and emotional universe, where she searches for the right moment – poised in between tension and tranquility. In her newer works, the approach is more minimalistic. Where there is no paint is suddenly equally as interesting as the painted surface. Her way of working includes constantly twisting and turning the canvas to defy gravity, and to find her own centre.

The overall theme uniting all of Schönbächler's work is one of contemplation. Through the experience of her art and its interaction with the ambience inside the gallery, the viewer is offered the opportunity to take silent refuge from the chaos, commotion and confusion of the world outside. Schönbächler's creative point of departure is contrast, out of which she strives to find an inner human equilibrium. In her view, everything in life is based on two opposing forces. Her work explores the tension created by this polarity, resulting in harmony - the culmination of these opposite energies.


Daniela Schönbächler was born in Zug, Switzerland. After studying architecture in Paris, Daniela collaborated with the architect Mario Botta in Lugano, Switzerland. Her keen interest in 3D media evolved into a more sculptural form of expression, where glass became the unifying element linking architecture to art. This new direction led to technical studies of glass and its material properties in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Schönbächler subsequently trained alongside the sculptor and mentor Luciano Vistosi in Venice, resulting in a collaboration spanning over a decade. During this period, she continued to create her own works from her studios in Venice and London - evolving her unique intermingling of both artistic mediums; glass and paint. Daniela Schönbächler currently lives and thrives in Venice.