Fabian Marti was born in 1979 in Fribourg, Switzerland. From 2002 to 2006, he attended the Zürich University of the Arts (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste) and in 2008 the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles. He lives and works between Los Angeles and Zürich.
Marti works in sculpture, video, installation, and photography. His oeuvre oscillates between geometric formalism rooted in op-art and organic forms stemming from the subconscious. One such example is his ceramic series. Using traditional pottery techniques, Marti creates sculptures that evoke perpetual motion by utilizing repetitive circular forms. The optical effect, akin to the hypnosis spiral, is a reference to Marti’s interest in the sensations related to loss of control and consciousness.
In his photogram series, Marti explores the technique by placing various objects on photosensitive paper in a darkroom, then developing them through direct exposure to light. He sometimes uses transparent digital prints such as those of cephalopods or fingerprints – recurring motifs in Marti’s work – which he places on argentic paper for the printing process. On some photograms, Marti then integrates personal photos taken with his iPhone over the years. These testimonies of his daily life, selected from a corpus of over 60,000 images, are fixed with white tape to the inner surface of the plexiglass casing surrounding the work, thus becoming part of it.
Using his materials to create imposing structures, Marti sometimes fills exhibition spaces with his complicated constructions, subverting the traditional mode of hanging works on walls and inviting visitors to enter his singular artistic world. He strives to connect with nature, aiming to communicate with its essence via ephemeral constructions for the use of other artists. In the Two Hotel project, Marti built a wooden structure on Piracanga Beach in Bahia, Brazil, referencing the One Hotel created by Alighiero Boetti in Kabul in the 1960s. A simple, minimally structured space, it serves as a living and working space for artists.
Selected solo exhibitions include The Pitfalls of Reincarnation at Art Bärtschi & Cie, Geneva, Switzerland (2018), Folly of Being at Galleria Fonti, Naples, Italy (2018), Marti Collection at Kunsthaus Centre d’art Pasquart Biel, Switzerland (2013) and an upcoming show at Peter Kilchmann, Zürich, Switzerland (September 2019). Selected group shows include Boros Collection / Bunker #3, Berlin, Germany, (2017-present), Gastspiel – Contemporary Swiss Art at the Museum Rietberg, Zürich, Switzerland (2015), Against the Grain. La photographie à contre-courant at the Centre de la Photographie in Geneva, Switzerland (2014), and ILLUMInations at the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy (2011), In 2014, Marti designed the architecture for the major exhibition The Crime Was Almost Perfect at the Witte de With Contemporary Art Centre in Rotterdam.