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Ernesto Baltiswiler, Åland Islands 
Portrait by Arvid Baltiswiler


“What is one to do in a world so utterly confused and violent? I try to create new paintings and not repeat the same old pattern. I become often deeply serious when I’m confronted with the chaos in our world, the uncertainty, warfare and destruction. Every new painting is extremely difficult for me to create. I need a lot of passion, freedom and openness but most importantly peace to do so. The idea is that each painting should be a light that can never be put out, a symbol for love, beauty and compassion. Bringing change for a new world today and not waiting for tomorrow. To move forward without fear or violence whatsoever. ”

Ernesto Baltiswiler, Seglinge- June 15, 2017


Born: January 2, Glarus, Switzerland

Nationality: Swiss

School of Visual Arts, New York
Staatliche Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf

“At that time it was quite a unique mixture of teachers and students at the art academy in Düsseldorf: Gerhard Richter was teaching as a professor in painting. Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Schütte and Katharina Fritsch were students. You could meet Joseph Beuys in the corridor, including teaching professors like Nam June Paik, Tony Cragg, Jürgen Partenheimer, Michael Buthe, A.R. Penck and many more. Markus Lüpertz was the principal and Jörg Immendorff celebrated his 40th birthday in the “Ratinger Hof”, an artist pub near the art academy, his former teacher Beuys was there. Fischli & Weiss were guest teachers…all of this after being in New York City where Keith Haring just left the School of Visual Arts that I entered. The whole subway was full of his black and white graffiti. Jean-Michel Basquiat painted in his studio. I met Andy Warhol at P.S.1 where he took a picture of me wearing a sweater that I had designed and I visited Robert Frank and his wife June several times very privately in their downtown apartment.” 


Stockholm 1991
Portrait of the artist by Snezana Vucetic Bohm


Gallery Wilma Lock, Switzerland: First solo show in 1989

Gallery Wilma Lock, Switzerland: 4 solo and 6 group shows

Baltiswiler has exhibited with artists like Jürgen Partenheimer, Erwin Wurm, Imi Knoebel, Franz West, Franz Erhard Walther, Bernard Frize, Stephen Westfall, Beat Zoderer and Daniel Zimmermann

Exhibitions at Wilma Lock, Bob van Orsouw, Elisabeth Kaufmann, Kunsthaus Glarus and Schloss Wolfsberg in Switzerland

1998 Baltiswiler abruptly stopped painting and turned his back to the art market. He took a longer time-out as an artist in order to grow up and focus on learning more about life, art and nature, on raising his two sons, Arvid (*1997) and Anund (*2000) and also completing a four year long education as a biodynamic farmer but without ever later practising this profession.

He finally retreated from the world and settled on a small fishermen island in Finland where he started to paint again in 2009.

Born and raised in Switzerland Baltiswiler spent most time of his life abroad, living in the US, Germany, the West Indies, Sweden, the Åland Islands and Italy. Baltiswiler is fluent in English, German and Swedish.

The artist spent 17 years in Seglinge, a little fishermen island within the Åland Islands in the middle of the Baltic Sea and sometimes in Wilderswil near Interlaken, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, with a famous view of the mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Nature, silence, quiet, simplicity, aloneness, freedom and meditation became his challenges, the opposite to his New York City experience as a young artist.

2020: Baltiswiler moves to Wilderswil in the middle of the Swiss Alps where he continues his work as an artist.


 Stockholm 1996
Portrait of the artist by Romeo Polcan

© 2022 Baltiswiler