The Glacier's Essence

The Glacier's Essence

Greenland—Glarus. Climate, Science, Art

Artists' and scientists' perspectives of global warming and receding glaciers and how both phenomena affect us



Title Information

Prints by Martin Stützle, photographs by Fridolin Walcher. With contributions by Nadine Olonetzky, Gabriela Schaepman-Strub, Konrad Steffen, and Thomas Stocker. Preface by Benedikt Wechsler

1st edition

, 2020

Text English, German and Kalaallisut (Greenlandic)


272 pages, 137 color illustrations

23 x 30.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-665-8


Glaciers in the Alps and on Greenland have been melting away slowly for decades. Global warming has increased the speed of their retreat drastically in recent years. Swiss geophysicist Alfred de Quervain (1879–1927) carried-out the first survey of the Clariden glacier in the Swiss canton of Glarus and initiated and lead important scientific expeditions on Greenland in 1909 and 1912.

Swiss artist Martin Stützle and photographer Fridolin Walcher also link Glarus with Greenland. Both have made the Swiss glaciers the subject of their work and, in May 2018, joined a Swiss research campaign investigating the current state of the glaciers on the world’s largest island. The photographs and prints they produce reflect an intense awareness of scientific facts, yet they strike the viewer emotionally and aesthetically.

This book blends the essence of glaciological and geophysical research with contemporary art and picks up on Alfred de Quervain’s legacy. Prints and photographs are featured alongside three easy-to-read essays offering a concise survey of the findings of the 2018 expedition. A fourth essay comments on Stützle’s and Walcher’s works and explores current trends in climate art.


Winner of the 11th ICMA Award of Excellence 2021 for Art Books.


Designed by Studio Hübner Braun.


Martin Stützle obtained his education in art at the School of Art and Design in Bern and also trained as a stonemason. He lives and works as a freelance artist in the Swiss Canton of Glarus.


Fridolin Walcher lives and works as a photographer in the Swiss Canton of Glarus, pursing freelance artistic and commissioned projects.

Authors & Editors

«Le lecteur découvrira ainsi en ces pages exceptionnelles reliées façon japonaise une approche à la fois esthétique d’une grande émotion, mais aussi une objective prise de conscience appuyée par des données scientifiques révélant une évolution devenue malheureusement aujourd’hui une menaçante réalité.» Philippe-Emmanuel Krautter,