KOHLER friedrich

1875 . switzerland

1960 . waldau . bern . switzerland


Friedrich Kohler was first a farmhand. At twenty-eight, he bought a farm, which he later sold to buy another one. In 1918, he was forced to leave Switzerland because of financial difficulties and moved to Germany with his family. As he could not find work, he had to go back to Switzerland. Travelling from one farm to another, he took up all kinds of jobs, but each time he was chased away after trying to seduce the farmers’ daughters. In 1921, he was confined to the psychiatric hospital of the Waldau. Convinced that he was locked up so that someone could steal his fortune he nevertheless entertained a relationship with the mental institution that seemed to suit him, not asking for anything in particular except for the hospital to stop poisoning his soup. In 1923, two years after his hospitalization, he began drawing. Most of his works, in coloured pencil, were created between 1924 and 1926. In most cases, he represented himself with a woman in the middle of a farm, surrounded by cows and sheep. On some drawings he glued a coin or a stamp to recall his wealth.