May 22, 2007 - Centre culturel suisse, Paris - Obituary to Michel Ritter
May 22, 2007

Obituary to Michel Ritter

Obituary to Michel Ritter
It is with great regret that the Centre culturel suisse de Paris is announcing the death of its director Michel Ritter. The CCSP team would like to join in the great sorrow of his parting with his family and close friends.

Director of the Centre culturel suisse de Paris since September 2002, Michel Ritter was born in Fribourg in 1949. He started out as a self-taught artist at the beginning of the 70s, more particularly in New York where he lived for a few years. Back in Switzerland, he decided to concentrate on the work of others and founded the RB gallery, an independent space in Fribourg. In 1981, he organised the important Fri-Art 81 exhibition which was also presented in New York as Fri-Art made in Switzerland and whose impact enabled him to found the Contemporary Art Centre in Fribourg, which was based on the Kunsthalle model. He was director there till 2002, and in 2004, he received the Prix Art Frankfurt for the ambitious international programme he created in this institution.

Michel Ritter was very attached to the cross-disciplinary concepts he followed at the Centre culturel suisse de Paris, and was also artistic director for the Belluard Bollwerk International festival in 1986 and a member of its artistic committee for a number of years.

In 1996, he was awarded the Prix de mérite pour médiatrices et médiateurs dart and in 2005 the Meret Oppenheim Prize awarded by the Federal Culture Office to leading personalities working in Swiss contemporary art, and true to his generous nature, he redistributed the cash prize that went with this award to three alternative exhibition places.

Commissioner of renowned international exhibitions, Michel Ritter was able to gain the confidence and friendship of all the artists he worked with and widen the influence of Swiss culture, that he was not content to be just national, but critical, demanding and part of a universal reflection. He will always remain a model of engagement, prospection and intuition and a man that believed an artistic act to be like a political act.

The Centre culturel suisse de Paris will continue to follow the programme put in place by Michel Ritter.

A good-bye ceremony will be held at the Cathedral in Fribourg (CH) on Thursday, 10 May at 2.30 pm.

A tribute is to be paid to him at the Centre culturel Suisse de Paris, 22 May at 6 pm.

Centre culturel suisse, Paris
Share - Obituary to Michel Ritter
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York