Zoé Byland

1975 (Switserland)


In terms of style and content my paintings are based on elements of vintage photography, film noir, graphic novels, super heroes, tattoos and classical genres of art history. I combine the traditional and the contemporary, the classical and the subcultural.

I like to use subjects from turn-of-the-century portrait photography because they are a timeless style of representation

We are always in the presence of the past but the past only exists in a selective, staged form, altered by memory. I want to create moments in my paintings that elude time and space, in which history and the present day are blended together.

Disguises are another central aspect of my work. My characters never fully reveal their identity; they retain a degree of secrecy, they protect themselves and are simultaneously visible and vulnerable. The viewer’s imagination has enough room to think up their own narrative ideas. An image can be read in a variety of ways and I don’t want to limit this spectrum of interpretation by applying specific meaning. Just like a good story for me a good painting needs an atmosphere that draws you in and defines the genre in which the narrative is taking place.

About Zoé Byland

Zoé Byland is a painter, based in Switzerland.

She attended the F+F school for art and media design in Zurich and studied contextual painting at the academy of fine arts in Vienna (class of Muntean/Rosenblum, Prof. Elke Krystufek and Prof. Hans Scheirl). She studied art history and teached at an art school in Vienna.

She lives and works in Bern.

Zoe Byland v2

Artistic resume and press


American Art Award 2015 /Category Acrylic painting, human figure

Opernballplakat /design of the Viennese Opera Ball poster 2012, Vienna

Kunstankauf / BMUKK artist award 2012, Vienna

Kardinal König Kunstpreis Nomination 2011, Salzburg

Strabag art award Nomination / 2008, 2010

MFA now / Master of art award 2008, New York

Fügerpreis / for painting and graphic art of the academy of fine arts 2007, Vienna

Project grant / of the academy of fine arts 2005, 2006, 2007, Vienna

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