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Kimber Smith and Galerie Ziegler

Renée and Maurice met Kimber Smith in Paris. Just like the two gallery owners, the artist had a special relationship with this city. Not only Maurice and Renée came to Paris independently in 1954, but also Kimber Smith. While Renée was doing her internship at Galerie Louise Leiris and Maurice was working as an architect at the CNIT, Kimber Smith had a fruitful time in the new city. His wife, Gabrielle Staub, had just started a new job at Life magazine and he was able to concentrate fully on painting. He loved his large, light-flooded studio on “Rue de la Tombe-Issoire” and was in lively exchange with other artists who had found their way from the USA to Paris. At that time, the GI Bill, a grant to compensate for military service, made it possible for a number of young artists to stay in the City of Lights. Artists came and stayed in town too, including Kimber Smith's best friends Shirley Jaffe and Joan Mitchell. Sam Francis, who settled in Paris for a few years, was also among Smith's close circle of friends. In 1963 he asked him to contribute lithographs to the volume "One Cent Life" written by Walasse Ting.

Although Renée, Maurice and Kimber Smith lived together in Paris for a few years, it was not until 1962 that a meeting took place. In his first year in Paris, Smith had already made the acquaintance of Arnold Rüdlinger, who later became the curator of the Kunsthalle Basel, and through his mediation he discovered that there was great interest in his work in Switzerland.

Renée and Maurice were also impressed by his expressive and lyrical works and so in 1963 they organized the first solo exhibition in their premises in Zurich. A good friendship developed between the gallery owner and the artist. Renée and Maurice organized four solo exhibitions, published two catalogs on his work, published four editions and supported Kimber Smith and his family until his untimely death.


Kimber Smith at the opening of his exhibition in the Galerie Ziegler, 1977. Photo: Jean-Pierre Kuhn

More about the artist

Three Americans - Al Held, Nicolas Krushenik, Kimber Smith, 2018

Galerie Mueller + Galerie Ziegler

Dieter Schwarz, Zurich Office

ISBN 978-3-9524996-0-3

1979-01-27 Kimber Smith KAT.jpg

Kimber Smith - pictures from 1973/74, 1975

Kimber Smith - Pictures from 1977-1978, 1979

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