Notebooks 2005–2018 is a collection of ten facsimiled Moleskine notebooks filled with works by Swiss artist Aldo Schmid. Created from 2005 to 2018, these visual worlds take us through abandoned factories and obscure picture-postcard idylls to the hollowed-out codes of modernity and a space of memory evoked by press photos. En route we meet a bizarre cast of characters including grotesque officials, creatures wearing twisted grimaces and masks, and dopey robotic and cartoon-like characters.
The styles and techniques employed by the artist are as diverse as the alternating figurations and abstractions in his pictures. Each Moleskine finds its own internally consistent language and rhythm, which are repeatedly disrupted by varying forms of visual counterpoint. Surreal drawings of urban motifs obsessively densified using felt pens, colored pencils and silver markers give way to watercolors of elegiac landscapes: the retro-futuristic steampunk of Les Cités Obscures meets Heimatmalerei. Lakes are a recurring topos, their picturesqueness undermined by mushroom clouds reflected in the water. Over an unspecified cityscape hangs a cloud as light and yet gloomy as the menace and inscrutability that inhabits Schmid’s visual universe.
Notebooks 2005–2018, a limited-edition publication, comprises a boxed set of ten facsimiled Moleskine sketchbooks printed with additional colors.