Lüscher began working on her series of Magician Photos in 1976, during a period in which she was concerned with autobiographical themes in her work, with aspects of chance, Eros, love, childhood, dreams, the migration of souls and reincarnation. She was asked to write an essay about her work for a magazine, but felt unable to find a starting point. Instead, she had her friend Gitty Darugar photograph her in the role of a magician, and discovered in the result much more than she had expected or intended. Now curious, she wanted to know what the outcome would look like with other people, and so she asked guests to perform as magicians for her. That marked the beginning of s series that is still in progress today, a project to which the following rules apply: friends, acquaintances, fellow artists and relatives are asked to perform magic in whatever way seems fitting to them at the given moment. The setting varies but is often in or near her house or studio. Eighteen photographs are taken, from which nine images are later selected and mounted in a passe-partout frame in an arrangement of three rows of three. By asking her subjects to perform an act of creative expression, without script or plan, Ingeborg Lüscher provokes results that are fascinatingly and touchingly unique and direct.


Volker Rattemeyer 2006



IL305.001 – IL305.520


Magician Photos, since 1976

Zaubererfotos, seit 1976


520 photo sequences, including 9 b/w photographs (each 14 x 18 cm), mounted in passepartouts with 3 x 3 windows, wooden frame (80 x 95 cm)


While Ingeborg Lüschers guests follow her invitation „Please do magic, whatever that may mean for you right now“, the artist takes 18 photographs, 9 of them later representing the performance.


Artist book

Ingeborg Lüscher. Zaubererfotos. Magician Photos, Luzern: Kunstmuseum and Zürich: JRP Kunstverlag 2009 (edited by Peter Fischer, texts by Hans-Joachim Müller)



Galeria Matasci, Tenero 1977

Rathaus, Luzern 1977

Forum Stadtpark, Graz 1977

Gallery for Contemporary Art, Warszawa 1977-1978

Steirischer Herbst, Graz 1979

Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen 1979

Gallery C. Space, New York 1979

Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen 1980

Galerie Maeght, Zürich 1980

Galerie Dany Keller, München 1980

Galerie Krinzinger, Innsbruck 1980

Galerie Herta Klang, Köln 1980

Palazzo Reale, Milano 1980

Modern Art Galerie, Wien 1981

Kunstmuseum Solothurn 1982

Centro Culturale Beato Berno, Ascona 1987

Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano 1987

Kunsthaus Zürich 1988 (followed by venues in Ludwigshafen, Freiburg, Kassel, Kiel, Köln, Nürnberg and Bielefeld)

Museum Wiesbaden 1993

Aargauer Kunsthaus Aarau 1996

Museum Wiesbaden 2006

Kunstmuseum Luzern 2009

Kunstmuseum Solothurn 2016

Lichtekooi Artspace and LLS Palais, Antwerp 2022



Zürich / München / Innsbruck / Köln 1980, unpaged. Lugano 1987. Zürich 1988, pp 168-169 (ill). Wiesbaden 1993, pp 30-33 (ill), p 96. Aarau 1996, pp 26-27 (ill), pp 92-93 (ill) . Wiesbaden 2006, pp 18-43 (ill). Luzern 2009. Solothurn 2016, pp 71-77 (ill)



Weibel 1978, pp 28ff. Weskott 1980. Jochimsen 1981. Jankowski 1980. Nessi 1988, p 21. Rattemeyer 1993, pp 36-38. Lüscher/Resseler 1996, pp 92-93. Herzog 1999, pp 38-41. Rattemeyer 2006, pp 18-19. Fischer 2009, unpaged. Müller 2009, unpaged. Lüscher 2016, p 70. Müller 2016, p 154, p 162. Vögele 2016, p 18, p 32



Ed Restle (Installation Museum Wiesbaden 2006)


Magician list