Rudolf Urech-Seon, born in 1876 in Seon, established a painting business in his home village in the canton of Aargau in 1905 and married Marie Baumann in the same year. Despite a secured family and professional situation, Urech decided to close his business in order to attend the Munich Art Academy from 1913 to 1916 and to pursue an artistic career. In 1918 he returned to Seon and rarely left the village after that. From then on he called himself Urech-Seon to differentiate himself from the Basel based painter Rudolf Urech (1888–1951).
As a freelance painter he initially concentrated on late impressionistic landscape painting, which was still strongly influenced by his academy education. In 1920, these works enabled him to join the Aargau section of the Society of Swiss Painters and Sculptors (GSMBA), whose highest principle was based on the naturalistic reproduction of visible reality. But already in the following years, abstracting tendencies can be seen in Urech-Seon's work. This lead over the years, on a searching and experimental path to a purely abstract visual language.
Urech-Seon was the first and for a long time the only abstract painter in the canton of Aargau. However, his path to abstraction was heavily criticized in his native circle of artists. In the absence of like-minded people, Urech-Seon visited the avant-garde exhibitions in Zurich and Basel (1932 Picasso, 1933 Braque, 1938 Le Corbusier) where he found confirmation of his own artistic path. In 1947 he joined the artist group Allianz (Association of Modern Artists in Switzerland), which included members such as Max Bill, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Richard Paul Lohse. In the following years, he took part in three exhibitions of the Allianz at the Kunstverein St. Gallen (1947), the Kunsthaus Zürich (1947) and the Helmhaus Zürich (1954), and participated at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris in 1948 and 1950.
Our current exhibition Rudolf Urech-Seon - A Foreign Visitor displays the works from the 1930s to the 1950s. You can visit the exhibition until December 19th 2020 at Rämistrasse 3 in Zurich. More information can be found on our exhibition page.