|Signer’s "action sculptures" involve setting up, carrying out, and recording "experiments" or events that bear aesthetic results. Following carefully planned and strictly executed and documented procedures, the artist enacts and records such acts as explosions, collisions, and the projection of objects through space. Video works like Stiefel mit Rakete (Boot with Rocket) are integral to Signer’s performances, capturing the original setup of materials that self-destruct in the process of creating an emotionally and visually compelling event. Signer gives a humorous twist to the concept of cause and effect and to the traditional scientific method of experimentation and discovery, taking on the self-evidence of scientific logic as an artistic challenge.||
Roman Signer’s exhibition history includes over twenty-five years of gallery and museum shows throughout Europe and the United States. His work was featured in 37th Venice Biennale (1976) and documenta 8, Kassel (1987) and in group exhibitions such as A Swiss Dialectic, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (1991); Voorwerk 3, Witte de With, Rotterdam (1992); Heart of Darkness, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (1994); Self-Construction, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, and Shift, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (1995); Wunschmaschine Welterfindung, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, and Model Home, Clocktower Gallery, New York (1996); Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997, Westfälisches Landesmuseum (1997); Unfinished History, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1998); and The Sultan’s Pool, Art Focus, Jerusalem, Panorama 2000, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, and Provisorium I, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (1999). Solo exhibitions of Signer’s work have been presented at Kunstmuseum Winterthur (1983); Kunsthalle, St. Gallen, Switzerland (1988); Creux de l’Enfer, Centre d’art contemporain, Thiers, and FRI-ART, Centre d’art contemporain, Fribourg (1992); St. Gallen Kunstmuseum, Switzerland (1993); Künstlerhaus, Bremen (1995); Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich (1997, 1999); and Secession, Vienna, and Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (1999).
1969-71 Schule für Gestaltung, Lucerne
1971-72 Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw
Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster , Germany. Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997 (1997). Exhibition catalogue, text by Susanne Jacob.
Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia. Roman Signer: Works (1997). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Elsa Longhauser, Bice Curiger, Max Wechsler, Kristine Stiles, and William Horrigan.
Parkett, no. 45 (1995). Collaboration Roman Signer: Konrad Bitterli, Colin de Land, Christoph Doswald, Jean-Yves Jouannais, Pia Viewing, and Max Wechsler.
Kunstverein St. Gallen im Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Roman Signer: Sculpture (1991). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Konrad Bitterli, Roland Wäspe, and Lutz Tittel.