b. 1974, Sursee, Switzerland
Pe Lang is a Swiss artist currently living and working in Berlin and Zurich. After completing his certificate in electrical skills in 1994, he began to experiment with mechanical sound objects presenting them in the form of live performances and installations at various European and North America art spaces and festivals around the world. His handcrafted minimal kinetic sculptures combine simple movements into a cacophony of sounds and patterns. From a background in experimental sound art, he developed a deep interest in the succession of complex movements. He carries on the tradition of constructivist and kinetic art using basic mechanics.
The artist repeats mundane actions such as crumpling paper or evaporating water droplets until an incidental harmony and elegance is achieved. Each action takes place in an abstract grid that still exists within a frame, maintaining a connection to traditional painting. The Colour series, exhibited in Puerta Roja’s 2018 joint exhibition with Galerie Denise René, Movement, uses vertical strips of coloured filters that undulate to create a hypnotic visual symphony. The work produces an optical effect as the eye instinctively follows geometric patterns from the arrangement of contrasting colours. Pe Lang’s work represents computational programing using analogue mechanics. Each action is similar to a binary code; a singular component is relatively simple, but when performed in multitude, he achieves a surprising complexity. Simultaneously, Pe Lang does not repeat every action to perfection, slight variations create motions and patterns similar to the underlying structures in nature. Although we often see the digital and natural world as opposing entities, the artist’s practice reveals a common ground between the two.
The artist’s first solo exhibition with Galerie Denise René was in 2015. He has exhibited in museums and institutions including the Lentos Art Museum, Austria; The Netherlands Media Art Institute; the Museum of Fine Arts, Switzerland; the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart in Germany; the Utah Museum for Science, Technology and Art, USA; the Centro de Arte Santa Museum Mónica, Barcelona; Kunsthalle, Bern; Växjö Art Hall, Sweden; and Inter Communication Center [ICC], Tokyo. In 2014 he participated in Thingworld: International Triennial of New Media Art at the National Art Museum of China. He has been involved in several projects with culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and technology. These included a collaboration with ISEA, a non-profit organization that encourages interdisciplinary academic discourses, participating in their 2016 exhibition in Hong Kong with Connecting Spaces. Pe Lang was awarded the coveted Swiss Art Award in 2009 and 2010 as well at artist residency programs at the Cornell University in New York and the Technorama in Winthertur, Switzerland. His work has been acquired by private and public collections including the Espoo Museum of Modern Art and the Saastamoinen Foundation Collection, Finland; the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels; the Artphilein Foundation, Liechtenstein; Borusan Contemporary Museum, Istanbul; Exploratorium, Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception, San Francisco and the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art, Michigan.
Puerta Roja presented works by Pe Lang in 2018 during a joint exhibition with Galerie Denise René, Movement.