* 1930 Mörigen - lebt in Rüschegg-Heubach
On 8 March 1930 Franz Gertsch was born in Möringen, Switzerland, in the canton of Bern. Under Max Rudolf von Mühlenen and Hans Schwarzenbach Gertsch studied the art of painting from 1947 to 1952. After 1969 Gertsch attracted attention with his large-size photorealistic paintings, partly based on photographs or slide projections. His participation in the Documenta V in Kassel brought him international recognition. The concept of reality not only remained a pictorial challenge but above all a conceptual one. Despite the existence of photo masters his paintings for which he turned to the brush again - contrary to the photorealists from the USA - were in accordance with an individual pictorial logic aiming at an absolute coherence of all elements. Franz Gertsch's works incorporate much of traditional European painting - from Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci to Caspar David Friedrich. Franz Gertsch's woodcut works are completely separate from his paintings. Through his unprecedented accuracy in realising his works - which equally applies to engraving and printing - as well as monolithic formats beyond what is possible in the manufacturing of paper, Gertsch opened up new dimensions of this traditional medium. On account of a private initiative the "Museum Franz Gertsch" was opened in Burgdorf, Switzerland, in 2000 not far away from Rüschegg where he lives and works.