First published: Winter 2002
Fantastical Daydreamer, Pregnant Duck or Motor-Car Guzzler – such titles are typical of Kurt Haas, the Swiss-German artist, who for three decades has been producing insistent drawings and eye-catching acrylics. Haas delights in leading his audience into territories steeped in vivid colour, into magical gardens and jubilant cities. One presses forward along pathways and patterns heavy with ornamentation, as if groping through a mysterious maze, to engage ever more deeply with the visual inventions of this master of fantasticality.
In the year 2000, a Kurt Haas show travelled from Basel, Switzerland, to the French town of Lapalisse and on to Hauterives, home town of Ferdinand Cheval and his architectural fantasy, Le Palais Idéal. The Haas show was the first curated overview of the creative work of the 67-year-old Swiss artist, and it made very clear the itinerary which Haas himself has followed as an autodidact turned artist who, nourished on a variety of sources, has established a vibrant and striking idiom of his own.