Beat Streuli

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Beat Streuli (born in 1957 in Altdorf UR)[1] is a Swiss visual artist who works with photo and video based media. His photographs, videos and window installations have been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. Permanent installations of his work include those at the Lufthansa Aviation Center, Frankfurt Airport, Germany, the ETH University, Zurich, Switzerland, the Style Company Building, Osaka, Japan, and the immigration hall of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, USA.


'Guangzhou, Cairo, São Paulo 08', 2008 wallpaper installation at Mac's Musée d'Art Contemporain, Grand-Hornu, Belgium 2008

From 1977 to 1983, Beat Streuli attended the Schools of Design in Basel and Zurich and the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin where he lived until 1987. Studio grants followed at Cité des Arts and Fondation Cartier in Paris (1985/86, 89 and 92), at Istituto Svizzero in Rome (1988/89), in London (1997), and at P.S. 1 in New York City (1993).
Since then Streuli has spent time and worked in cities such as New York City, Sydney, Düsseldorf, Zürich, and Brussels.


'Porte de Flandre / Bruxelles 05', 2006 video screens installations at 'Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków, 2006

Beat Streuli is known for his street portraiture, which has documented the anonymous urban citizen in various cities all over the world, from Sydney and Tokyo to Athens and New York. Streuli’s photographs focus systematically on ordinary street dwellers, and the contemporary ‘flaneurs’ going about their daily business. The heterogeneity of the crowd, as the central component of the cultural dynamism of modernity, and the position of the individual in the crowd, lie at the core of Streuli’s practice. He works with a variety of presentation media, from large-format colour photographs, and installations of slide and video projections, to billboards and large-scale window installations on the facades of public buildings.

His camera freezes or distills the flow of everyday life, the movement of people in the city, reflecting on daily reality from an entirely anthropocentric perspective. Photographing with the use of a telephoto lens, Streuli captures his subjects in an unguarded state, bringing them in close proximity to the viewer, lending them an iconic aura which transcends the ordinariness of the scene portrayed. Although they remain anonymous, equal under the lens of the camera, a sense of individual lives and diversity emerges. The viewers are implicated through the shared experience of negotiating public space, the natural state of watching and being scrutinized, of moving and paying attention.

Selected exhibitions[edit]

'Strangers' window installation at International Center of Photography, New York, 2003


  • 2010 Galerie Erna Hécey, Brussels, Murray Guy, New York
  • 2008 Mac's, Musée des Arts Contemporains, Grand-Hornu, Jordan Festival, billboard installation, Petra, Baltic, Sage, Gateshead
  • 2007 Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Galerie Conrads, Düsseldorf, Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
  • 2006 Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków, University of Massachusetts, University Gallery, Amherst, Dogenhaus Galerie, Leipzig, Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Berlin
  • 2004 Jablonka Galerie, Cologne, LACE, Los Angeles, Roberts & Tilton Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 2002 Palais de Tokyo, Paris
  • 2000 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Torino
  • 1999 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, Zurich, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Spiral Art Center, Tokyo
  • 1998 Rencontres d'Arles festival, France
  • 1998 Museu d'Art Contemporani, Barcelona, Yamaguchi Prefecture Museum, Yamaguchi
  • 1997 Tate Gallery, London
  • 1996 museum in progress, Vienna, Tinglado Dos, Tarragona, ARC, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, The New York Kunsthalle, with Adrian Schiess, New York
  • 1995 Centre d'Art Contemporain / attitudes, Geneva, Galerie Walcheturm, Zurich, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Le Consortium, Dijon


  • 2009 Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (de), 'Ich, zweifellos.', Wolfsburg, Kunsthalle Wien, 'Das Porträt. Photographie als Bühne', Vienna, Museum of Contemporary Art, 'Chicago July 99', Chicago
  • 2008 Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, 'Sichtbarwerden. Fotografische Werke aus der Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof', Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, 'Fluid Street', Helsinki, Tate Modern, 'An Urban History of Photography', London, Shanghai Art Museum, 'Memories for Tomorrow', Shanghai, ARC, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 'Objectivités', Paris, Museum Folkwang, 'An Urban History of Photography', Essen
  • 2007 Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 'Swiss Made', Wolfsburg, Stedelijk Museum, 'Mapping the City', Amsterdam, National Gallery of Victoria, 'Guggenheim Collection: 1940s to Now – New York-Venice-Bilbao-Berlin', Melbourne
  • 2006 Tate Modern, 'Opening up art', London, AR/GE Kunst / Galerie Museum, 'consens', Bolzano
  • 2005 Sharjah Biennale, Sharjah / United Arab Emirates, Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama
  • 2003 International Center of Photography, 'Triennial of Photography and Video', New York
  • 2002 Hirshhorn Museum, 'Open City', Washington D.C., Kunstmuseum Ehrenhof, 'Heute bis jetzt. Im Labor der Bilder', Düsseldorf, Kunsthaus Zürich, 'Wallflowers', Zurich
  • 2001 Museum of Modern Art, 'Restaging the Everyday', San Francisco, Ikon Gallery, 'Birmingham', Birmingham, Contemporary Arts Museum, 'Subject Plural', Houston, Museum of Modern Art, 'Open City', Oxford
  • 2000 Fondation Cartier, 'Le Désert', Paris, Museum für Moderne Kunst, 'Szenenwechsel', Frankfurt a.M., Museum of Contemporary Art, 'The Gift of Hope', Tokyo, Castello di Rivoli, 'Quotidiana', Turin
  • 1998 Sydney Biennale, 'Everyday', Sydney

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Fried, Michael (2008). Why photography matters as art as never before. New Haven / London: Yale University Press. 
  • Street & Studio. London: Tate Modern / Tate Publishing. 2008. 
  • Objectivités. Paris: Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris / Paris Musées. 2008. 
  • Guggenheim Collection: 1940s to Now. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria. 2007. 
  • Yokohama 2005. Yokohama: International Triennale of Contemporary Art. 2005. 
  • Belonging, Sharjah Biennial 7. Sharjah / U.A.E: Sharjah Biennial. 2005. 
  • Streuli, Beat (2008). BXL. Zurich: jrp ringier, Mac's, Grand-Hornu. 
  • Streuli, Beat (2003). New York 2000-02. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz. 
  • Streuli, Beat (1999). CITY. Ostfildern: Edition Cantz / Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and Kunsthalle Zürich. 


External links[edit]