Barbara Ellmerer. Sense of Science

Barbara Ellmerer. Sense of Science


A dialogue between natural science and painting



Title Information

With texts by Laura Corman and Nadine Olonetzky

1st edition

, 2021

Texts English and German


128 pages, 107 color and 2 b/w illustrations

23.5 x 33.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-03942-007-0


When an apple falls to the ground, we see the effect of gravity. Yet not all laws of nature are as apparent. Swiss artist Barbara Ellmerer uses invisible principles of physics, biology, and cosmology as her starting point and translates them into paintings. She sends us into the realm of colors and shapes in which forces, movements, and processes from nature are synonymously realized and palpable. Ellmerer thereby also captures something inexplicable, which reminds us of how steeped in wonder the world still is.

Barbara Ellmerer. Sense of Science features a selection of oil paintings and works on paper created by the artist between 2010 and 2020. Ellmerer’s sometimes large-format pictures are shown both in full as well as in enlarged details to show the intricacies of her brush stroke, color qualities, surfaces, depths, movements, and emphases. This combination also makes productive use of the migration of media—from painting to photography—and its reproduction in the book. In an accompanying essay, Laura Corman, a quantum physicist, explains how Ellmerer’s art relates to natural science. A contribution by Nadine Olonetzky, culture journalist and photo expert, describes art’s capabilities of rendering invisible processes comprehensible.  


Barbara Ellmerer, born 1956 in Meiringen, studied at the F+F School of Art and Design, Zurich, and at the Berlin University of the Arts. After longer stays in Spain, Italy, New York, and Delhi, she now lives in Zurich.


Authors & Editors