Rémy Zaugg (January 11, 1943 – August 23, 2005) was a Swiss painter, primarily known as a conceptual artist. He played an important role as both a critic and observer of contemporary culture, especially with regards to the perception of space and architecture.
Rémy Zaugg was born in 1943 in Courgenay, Jura, Switzerland. After attending high school in Porrentruy, he attended the Basel School of Art. In 1971 he received the "Eidgenössisches Kunststipendium" (now the Eidgenössische Preis für freie Kunst), a Swiss arts prize for young artists. Zaugg lived and worked in Basel, Switzerland, and Pfastatt, France.
Primarily using text and the meaning of the word as the subject of his paintings, Zaugg dealt with themes of perception, examining the various facets of vision. He believed sight and consciousness to be effectively linked, and that it was through their overlapping that our relationship with the world develops. He created paintings, works on paper, public sculpture, urban analysis and architectural designs. His theoretical discussions, in particular the book Das Kunstmuseum, das ich mir erträume. Oder Der Ort des Werkes und des Menschen (The Art Museum of My Dreams. Or the Place for Work and People) (1987), are important texts for art historians and artists. Throughout his life Zaugg questioned everything which the surrounding world took for granted, garnering talk of a "philosopher-artist." In 1990 he received the Kunstpreis der Stadt Basel (Art Prize of the City of Basel).
In recent years interesting collaborations with the architects Herzog & de Meuron, found international praise, with around 15 projects realised. These projects included an extension to the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, and Zaugg's own studio, "Studio Rémy Zaugg" in Mulhouse-Pfastatt, France, with the latter included at the awards ceremony of the Pritzker Prize, which Herzog & de Meuron received in 2001. The studio functioned both as Zaugg's workplace and exhibition hall. In designing a space suitable for exhibition, Herzog & de Meuron were given the opportunity to experiment with the concept of overhead lighting, the outcome of which went on to influence their design for the Tate Modern gallery in London.
In the last years of his life Zaugg was involved in the New Patrons program headed by Xavier Douroux. In collaboration with Douroux and the local inhabitants of Blessey, a small village near Dijon, he created an La Lavoir de Blessey - an open-space artwork near the village's restored washhouse.
Zaugg was a renowned curator, organising shows such as the comprehensive Alberto Giacometti retrospective held in Paris 1991. In 1995, he made a contribution to the Swiss art and literary periodical TROU Nr. IX.
Zaugg died in 2005 in Basel.