artnet News Interviews 105-Year-Old Hans Erni
The centenarian is "inspired by everything."
Born in Lucerne in 1909, Swiss artist Hans Erni’s multi-dimensional art career spans seven decades! Between 1927 and 1928, Erni attended the School of Arts and Crafts before traveling to Europe meeting the likes of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. You can notice influence of Picasso and Braque’s Cubist experiments throughout Erni’s oeuvre. Returning to Switzerland in 1937, Erni co-founded a group of Switzerland-based abstract artists that advocated Max Bill’s concrete art theories. Erni is most known for his postage stamp illustrations, participation on the Olympic Committee, and his lithographs for the Swiss Red Cross. The Hans Erni Foundation was established in 1977. In 1979 the Hans Erni Foundation opened on the grounds of the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne. The museum houses more than 300 Erni paintings, drawings, graphics, sculptures, and ceramics. Erni celebrated his 105th birthday this year.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I started drawing when I was very young. Since our parents had no money to buy toys for their children, my father drew with us children.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by everything.
If you could own any work of modern or contemporary art, what would it be?
I admire Picasso especially.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have many ideas.
When not making art, what do you like to do?
I work continually, this is my hobby.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.