Draft:Gfeller + Hellsgård

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Gfeller + Hellsgård is an artist duo, screen print makers, graphic designers and publishers based in Berlin. They work in a large variety of media including monumental installations, paintings, monotypes, artists books and zines. Gfeller + Hellsgård started collaborating in 2001. Christian « Meeloo » Gfeller (born 1973, Alsace) studied graphic design at École Supérieur des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg. Anna Hellsgård (born 1980, Stockholm) is the sister of film director Carolina Hellsgård.[1].

Bongout / Re:Surgo![edit]

Christian Gfeller started publishing screen-printed zines under the name Bongoût (French for "good taste") in April 1995[2] —- he commented on this: "I started pretty punk. My first silkscreen atelier was in a huge alternative warehouse project across the Rhine, in Kehl (Germany), that was hosting rehearsal spaces, recording studios and event spaces. I was publishing silkscreen hand-printed artist books in a very DIY matter. Some of my friends started a small garage punk & noise music label, so I would design and print the record covers. Meanwhile we organised concerts, exhibitions, raves and parties, so I was in charge of doing the design and prints to advertise the events."[3].

From 2001 to 2017, Gfeller + Hellsgård have published about 300 screen-printed zines and artists' books, half of them in collaboration with international artists like Brent Wadden, Manuel Ocampo, Stéphane Blanquet, Antoine Bernhart, David Sandlin, Gregory Jacobsen, Stu Mead, Bazooka Group, Jean-Louis Costes... [4].

As graphic designers, the duo designed record covers [5], posters for bands like Sonic Youth, Billy Childish, Psychic TV, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Boredoms, Beastie Boys, Animal Collective, Lightning Bolt, Slayer[6] and created visuals for major brands like Converse, Camel, Sony Music, Playstation, Mazda or Vice Magazine.

Regarding this period, Gfeller + Hellsgård stated in Yuckprint: "We try to live by the rule of discrepancy, never trotting out or repeating the same ideas. We want to stay in constant becoming, experimenting across disciplines of arts in order to publish material that pushes the boundaries. We are always looking further for the next visual kick! The aesthetics and attitude of noise music, independent cinema, minimal, trash and raw vintage punk graphics inspire us as much as printed material. Edgy things done by hand, work that plays by the traditions of art and graphics but also sets out to destroy their conventions, that is very inspiring to us."[7].

Bongoût studio was located in Berlin-Mitte had a showroom open to the public. The front rooms featured a curated artist's book shop and an exhibition space. Bongoût was renamed Re:Surgo in 2012 and closed in 2017.

The Library of the University of Minnesota owns the complete Bongoût publishing archive (1995 - 2012)[8].

Celebrating the 20 year anniversary, the Médiathèque André Malraux in Strasbourg acquired the complete Bongoût / Re:Surgo! publishing archive and hosted a retrospective exhibition in 2015[9][10].


Around 2011, Gfeller + Hellsgård's artistic production moved away from figuration in favour of experiences resulting from the screen-printing process itself[11].

In People of Print (ISBN 978-0-500-51781-9, Thames & Hudson) Marcroy Smith writes: Thought the years, their desire to never repeat themselves and to pursue formal innovation and challenging visual content has animated every project and inspired further experiments. In their quest to constantly test and push the boundaries of the medium, they have begun to deconstruct its conventions, techniques and formal structures.

Playing with the conceptual idea of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Gfeller + Hellsgård produced a series of 12 unique monotype books, each one titled after a chapter and held in a different public collection: Stanford University, Library of Congress, Emory University, Cassady Lewis Carroll Collection, University of Southern California, Lafayette College, Connecticut University, the Achenbach Graphic Arts collection of the Legion of Honor of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Delaware University, National Library of Luxembourg, British Library, Louisiana State University, Melbourne University [12][13][14]

Gfeller + Hellsgârd served as University of Texas artists in residence in the print program in October 2016. Over the course of ten days, the artists created a large-scale print project titled: Die Wand / Die Mauer. They used freestanding, screenprinted billboards to slice up the space[15].

In Art in Print, Jason Urban writes: "The front sides were screenprinted with gradients of fluorescent pinks and oranges, fading into neutral whites and blacks, while on the backsides the artists layered stencils haphazardly using crisscrossed masking tape to produce a noisy mishmash of pattern and color.... Wand and Mauer are both German words for “wall,” but they connote very different things. The former refers to an interior building wall—the wall of a room; the latter specifies something heavier and fortified—most famously, the Berliner Mauer that divided West Berlin from East Germany... In their abstraction, formalism and chromatic interest, the walls made a nod to the vacuum-sealed aesthetics of Color Field painting, but as rough-and-tumble freestanding barriers, in Texas, in the fall of 2016, they carried a wealth of other allusions."[16] [17][18]

As part of the 2019 SGC International Conference, the Art Galleries at Texas Christian University invited Gfeller + Hellsgård to produce a new large site-specific installation. The exhibition was titled after a Steve Reich quote: No no no no I want you to be wide awake and hear details you’ve never heard before[19]


  • Gfeller+ Hellsgård,, Die Wand / Die Mauer, Re:Surgo, 2017 (ISBN 9783940907219)
  • Gfeller+ Hellsgård,, Concrete Jet Set & Minimal Trash, Re:Surgo, 2016 (ISBN 9783945111109)
  • Gfeller+ Hellsgård,, $1+$1Tip, Re:Surgo, 2015
  • Gfeller+ Hellsgård,, Works 2013-14, Re:Surgo, 2014
  • Gfeller, Christian, Tiger, Pogobooks, 2014 (ISBN 9783942547369)
  • Gfeller, Christian, Naked in the Gallery, Bongoût, 2011 (ISBN 9783940907141)


  1. ^ http://www.flickfilm.eu/hellsgard_final.html
  2. ^ http://cindersgallery.com/artist/christian-gfeller-anna-hellsgard/
  3. ^ https://cheapandplastique.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/bongout-berlin/
  4. ^ http://magazine.art21.org/2011/08/23/bongout/#.XO-FDSN97fp
  5. ^ https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=yakisakana&type=all
  6. ^ http://posterkrauts.de/kuenstler/gfeller_hellsgard/
  7. ^ https://www.yuckprinthouse.com/collections/hellsgard-gfeller
  8. ^ https://primo.lib.umn.edu/primo-explore/search?institution=TWINCITIES&vid=TWINCITIES&dum=true&highlight=true&lang=en_US&search_scope=mncat_discovery&query=any,contains,bongout
  9. ^ https://centredelill.tumblr.com/post/140443790492/bongo%C3%BBt-resurgo-de-strasbourg-%C3%A0-berlin-une
  10. ^ http://www.mediatheques-cus.fr:83/userfiles/parcours_thematiques/centre_illustration/pdf/biblio/2016/2016_Bongout_DP.pdf
  11. ^ https://journal.collectionair.com/interviews/collectionair-conversations-gfellerhellsgard/
  12. ^ http://booklyn.com/archive/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/1065
  13. ^ University.http://library.stanford.edu/guides/artists-books
  14. ^ https://www.kcet.org/shows/artbound/the-works-of-lewis-carroll-live-on-at-uscs-special-collections
  15. ^ http://conflictofinteresttx.com/2016/10/qa-with-gfellerhellsgard%E2%80%8B/
  16. ^ https://art.utexas.edu/sites/files/aah/artinprint_7.1tearsheet_urban.pdf
  17. ^ https://art.utexas.edu/news/review-2016-vac-exhibition-die-wanddie-mauer-jason-urban-published-art-print
  18. ^ https://art.utexas.edu/sites/files/aah/artinprint_7.1tearsheet_urban.pdf
  19. ^ https://artthisweek.com/atw-gfeller-hellsgard-no-no-no-no-gfeller-hellsgard/