1925 Zofingen, Switzerland – 2015 Honfleur, France
The daughter of an anthroposophically orientated teacher, Aeppli grew up in a home that was literally isolated from the outside world. It was only at the end of the Second World War, when Aeppli was almost 20 years old, that she first became more involved with the cruelties of war. It became a subject that moved her for the rest of her life. From 1943 – 1945 she attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Basel. In the early 1950s, Aeppli met Jean Tinguely and Daniel Spoerri. Together, they travelled to Paris and Aeppli became Tinguely’s first wife until she was to give way to Niki de Saint Phalle in 1960, who was a close friend before then and even remained one afterwards.
Aeppli worked in the environment of the Nouveaux Réalistes around her husband Tinguely, Aman and Yves Klein, without herself belonging to this group. Her run-down studio in the Impasse Ronsin in Paris was close to Constantin Brâncuși’s workspace, whom she had a love-hate relationship with. Aeppli began her artistic career with charcoal drawings and knitted pictures. At the beginning of the 1960s, Aeppli produced large-format oil paintings with ominous dances of death, skeletons piled on top of each other and interwoven like in mass graves. In the 1970s, the artist intensively occupied herself with astrology. She created sewn head sculptures, which she cast in bronze in the 1990s, mainly to counteract the decay of the fabric sculptures.
Towards the end of her life, she once again lived withdrawn from the outside world – the circle to her childhood closed. She boycotted the daily news, newspapers, television and radio did not interest her. For Aeppli, all that counted was “her world”. She created a cosmos of muffled cries, silent suffering, lost hopes, and underworlds and made them visible in drawings, paintings and fabric sculptures.
Her works are presented in museums all over the world as well as in numerous private collections.