Barbara Stauffacher Solomon unveils St. Moritz artwork
by Fabrizio D'Aloisio
Monday, December 19, 2022
Standing at almost four metres high and 29 metres wide, Welcome is located at the entry point to the alpine town, close to the train station and the lake, acting as a symbol for the town’s hospitality and forward-thinking attitude. Incorporating Solomon’s self-created alphabet and typeface – the ‘BSS alphabet’, which the artist has designed and developed over the years, the installation has been crafted in a way that encourages the viewer to engage with each individual letter. This ‘supergraphic’ is neither lettering nor architecture but a hybrid form that has an astonishing spatial effect. The original idea for the piece came from a project with the artist initiated by Benedikt Wechsler, at the time Consul General of Switzerland in San Francisco, and it has since found its ideal location in the town of St. Moritz.
Based in San Francisco, nonagenarian, Solomon belongs to a generation that popularized the aesthetics of Swiss design and typography in the USA. Solomon’s celebrated career was originally born out of necessity - after the artist became a widow and single parent early in life, she was invited to study graphic design in Switzerland as a means to be able to support her young family. In Basel in the 1950s, she was the first American at the Kunstgewerbeschule, studying under acclaimed designer Armin Hofmann. Moving back to the USA, the artist became involved with the Sea Ranch, an idealist coastal community famed for its stripped back architecture, which the artist’s logo and colourful design helped cement into the hearts and minds of designers everywhere. It was at Sea Ranch where she created her ‘supergraphics’ and went on to become a key figure in the modern design movement of the 1960s and 70s.
KEY PROJECT DATA ARTWORK WELCOME
- Location: Via Grevas, stone wall on the St. Moritz lakeshore below the railway station
- Construction and installation: October and November 2022
- Opening: beginning of December 2022
- Material and dimensions: 16 steel panels, 3.80 x 29.20 metres in total
- Collaborators, partners and sponsors: Municipality of St. Moritz, St. Moritz Culture Office and St. Moritz Tourism (project management, on-site implementation), Serpentine, von Bartha Basel and Copenhagen, and Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation, Zurich
The Diavolezza cable car is in operation, but all ski slopes are closed. Corviglia and Muottas Muragl will open their summer season on June 10, 2023, Corvatsch on June 17, 2023. •The TIME Magazine has listed St. Moritz among the 50 World's Greatest Places of 2023. •Souvenir St. Moritz Volume 4 is a unique collaboration between two British artists: David Sims and Jake Chapman. Order now in the shop. •