Luca Frei (Lugano) lives and works in Malmö. His work includes a wide range of media such as drawing, collage, painting, installation, performance, video and photography, and his projects are often developed in response to a specific context in the form of architectural interventions, narrative environments or exhibition display structures that invite public participation and dialogue. Consistent thematic preoccupations encompasses the measurement of time, the relationship between the body and architecture, as well as the juxtaposition of private and public space. Luca Frei is Associate Professor of Basic Studies at the Schools of Visual Arts, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark.


2000-2002 Malmö Art Academy (MFA), Malmö
1999-2000 Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut
1997-2000 Edinburgh College of Art (BA Hons), Edinburgh
1992-1997 Centro Scolastico Industrie Artistiche, Lugano

Solo and two-persons exhibitions

Hermann Scherchen: alles hörbar machen II, Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin
Hermann Scherchen: alles hörbar machen I, Studio Dabbeni, Lugano

L’Economia della Forma, Studio Dabbeni, Lugano

Thursday followed Wednesday and Tuesday followed Monday and there was Sunday and
there was Saturday and there was Friday (curated by Sabine Rusterholz Petko), Kunsthaus Glarus
Lygia Clark Pavilion in collaboration with Falke Pisano, Capacete, Rio de Janeiro

Two Lives, A Bridge, Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin
Fifth Business (curated by Fanny Gonella), Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn
Februari, Elastic Gallery, Malmö

9 settembre - 29 ottobre, Studio Dabbeni, Lugano

The end of summer, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano
They stared back at him with an expression of vicious, acrid boredom that trembled on the edge
of violence, Balice Hertling, Paris
1012 KD, If I Can’t Dance Tonight, Frascati Theatre, Amsterdam

Swiss Institute, Milano

Watch Out, Studio Dabbeni, Lugano
Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh
Luca Frei: Studies/Play, Lunds Konsthall, Lund

Elastic gallery, Malmö
Come in, Friends, The House is Yours!, NABA, Milano

Words & Works & Worlds, Marabouparken Annex, Stockholm

To Imagine Action, Studio Dabbeni, Lugano

Selected group exhibitions and projects

Groundhog Day (curated by Andreas Nilsson), SIC, Helsinki
Goya Curtain (with Olof Nimar), Tokyo
Fotonoviembre 2017, TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes
Show and Tell (curated by Matts Leiderstam and Cecilia Wiedenheim), Malmö Konstmuseum
When my eyes saw and when my ears heard, Hollybush Gardens, London
Swiss Art Awards, Basel
Rabbit is The New Beef (curated by May Lie Basyn, Ralph Collier, Phyllis Dierick, Marta Janakakisz, Maud Oonk, Olivier Van D’huynslager), KASK, Ghent
Murmur (curated by Pieternel Vermoortel), Netwerk, Aalst
In(de)finiti luoghi (curated by Carole Haensler Huguet), Museo Civico Villa dei Cedri, Bellinzona

Solo project at Present Future, Artissima, Turin (Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin)
Falke Pisano. The value in mathematics – How do we learn? (curated by Anja Casser) Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe
Zeit verstreichen. Moment und Dauer in der Gegenwartskunst (curated by Patricia Bieder), Kunstmuseum Solothurn

Solo project at abc, Berlin (Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin)
Over You/You, The 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts (vurated by Nicola Lees ), MGLC, Ljubljana
Kilometre of Sculpture, (curated by Andreas Nilsson), Võru, Estonia
Unlearning to Speak, (curated by Thomas Cuckle), Kunstraum, London
Exhibition display for Carla Zaccagnini / Runo Lagomarsino, (curated by Diana Baldon and Nicola Lees), Malmö Konsthall
Intérieurs aus der Sammlung des Glarner Kunstvereins, Kunsthaus Glarus
Lokale, (curated by Pia Rönicke and Johanne Løgstrup), Flensborggade 57 ,Copenhagen

Exhibition display for El contrato (curated by Bulegoa z/b), AlhóndigaBilbao, Bilbao
The Influence of Furniture on Love (curated by Gyles Round & Lotte Juul Petersen), Wysing Arts Centre
Ti–Ch: Arte svizzera nelle acquisizioni del Museo Cantonale d’Arte 1999–2014, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano
HOUSE: Anna Fasshauer, Lubaina Himid, Karl Holmqvist, Falke Pisano & Luca Frei, Belén Uriel, Hollybush Gardens, London
Exhibition display for Keywords, Art, Culture and Society in 1980’s Britain, in collaboration with Will Holder, 
(curated by Grant Watson and Gavin Delahunty), Tate Liverpool
Don’t Embarrass the Bureau, (curated by Matteo Lucchetti) Lunds Konsthall
Family, IMO Projects, Copenhagen

Victor, A, Judge William, Johannes (de silentio), Constantin, Vigilius, Nicolaus, Hilarius, Johannes (Climacus), H.H.,
Anti-Climacus et. al, Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen
Neo Povera (curated by Harmony Murphy) L&M Gallery, Los Angeles
Drawing Biennial 2013 , Drawing Room, London
Exhibition display for Keywords, Art, Culture and Society in 1980’s Britain, in collaboration with Will Holder,
(curated by Grant Watson and Gavin Delahunty) Iniva, London
The Architectural Ellipsis (curated by Ruth Estevez and Javier Toscano), Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco, Mexico D.F.
A Parliament of Lines (curated by Euan Gray), The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney

Solo project at Liste, Basel (Elastic Gallery, Malmö)
Jahresgaben 2012 , Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn
Oil on Water Calming Effect (curated by Sandra Vaka Olsen), Skur2, Stavanger
LandscapesCitiesPeople (curated by Frank Maes), Netwerk, Aalst
Around Every Corner, Elastic Gallery, Malmö
A Parliament of Lines (curated by Euan Gray), Edinburgh City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Homus Economicus (curated by David Bussel), MD72, Berlin
Be Patient With People Who Stutter (with Niklas Lichti and Felix Meyer), Dingum, Berlin
Again, A Time Machine, Spike Island, Bristol
Terms of Belonging (curated by Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh), Overgaden, Copenhagen
Swiss Art Awards, Basel
Imagine Being Here Now, 6th Momentum Biennale, Moss
Performing the Curatorial, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg
Aufruf zur Alternative (curated by Lisa Schmidt), Schmela Haus, Düsseldorf

Exodus (curated by David Bussel), International Project Space, Birmingham
Exhibitions (curated by Tessa Giblin), Project arts centre, Dublin
Fun palace (curated by Tiphanie Blanc, Yann Chateigné Tytelman, Vincent Normand), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Modernautställningen (curated by Fredrik Liew, Lisa Rosendahl, Gertrud Sandqvist), Moderna Museet, Stockholm
The secret confession, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh
12th Cairo Biennial, Cairo
Kunst und Architektur – Zwei Wettbewerbe, Kunst-Raum des Deutschen Bundestages, Berlin
Edstrandska Stiftelsens Stipendium, Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö
Les Interlocuteurs (curated by Mathilde Villeneuve), La Vitrine, Paris
Learning Machines (curated by Marco Scotini), NABA, Milano
Display 2, Studio Dabbeni, Lugano
From dusk till dawn (If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution), Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven
The Incidental Person (curated by Antony Hudek), Apexart, New York
Berlin-Paris, un échange de galeries, Galerie Neu / Mehringdamm 72, Berlin
The sun is the tongue, the shadow is the language, Ancient & Modern, London

Solo project at Statements, Art Basel (Balice Hertling, Paris)
Exhibition display for Cornelius Cardew: Play for today (curated by Grant Watson), The Drawing Room, London
Exhibition display for Textiles (curated by Grant Watson), M HKA, Antwerp
Generosity is the new political (curated by Lotte Juul Petersen), Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge
Swiss Art Awards 2009, Basel
An Unexpected Thought, Function in Contemporary Art (curated by Lene Crone Jensen, Stina Edblom), Göteborg Konsthall, Göteborg
In May (After October) (curated by Tim Saltarelli), Gallery TPW, Toronto
It’s Not for Reading, It’s for Making, FormContent, London
Gennariello, Balice Hertling, Paris
Come in, friends, the house is yours! (curated by Anja Casser), Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe
Exhibition display for Search for the Spirit (curated by Grant Watson), MuHKA, Antwerp, in collaboration with Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, Mechelen, Belgium
Audio, Video, Disco (curated by David Bussel), Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich

After October (curated by Tim Saltarelli), Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York
Democracy in America: The National Campaign (curated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy), Creative Time, New York
Archaeology of Longing (curated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy), Kadist Art Foundation, Paris
A Town (Not a City) (curated by Giovanni Carmine, Thomas Boutoux), Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen, Sankt Gallen
Three interventions by Luca Frei, Marine Hugonnier and Sean Snyder (curated by Sören Grammel), Grazer Kunstverein, Graz
Museum as a Medium (curated by Pablo Fanego, Pedro de Llano), MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Vigo
Object, The Undeniable Success Of Operations (curated by Krist Gruijthuijsen), SMBA, Amsterdam
Exhibition display for Disobedience (curated by Marco Scotini), Nottingham Contemporay, Nottingham
Art Cannot be Untaught (curated by Caterlian Riva), La Rada, Locarno

Modelle für Morgen (curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen, Vanessa Joan Müller, Julia Höner), EU Kunsthalle, Köln
Imagine Action (curated by Emily Pethick), Lisson Gallery, London
Der Prozess (curated by Marco Scotini), 3rd Prague Biennial, Prague
Cities from Below (curated by Marco Scotini), Fondazione Teseco, Pisa

Open Studios, IASPIS, Stockholm
Protections (curated by Adam Budak), Kunsthaus Graz, Graz
Jump Into Cold Water (curated by Katarina Schlieben, Sønke Gau), Shedhalle, Zürich
Grazer Kunstverein, Graz

Publish and be damned, Casco, Utrecht
9th Istanbul Biennial (curated by Charles Esche, Vasif Kortun), Istanbul
Collective Creativity (curated by WHW), Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel
The Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds (curated by Chus Martinez, Lars Bang Larsen, Carles Guerra), Sala Rekalde, Bilbao

Normalizacija (curated by WHW), Galerija Nova, Zagreb
Balancing Acts, Centre Culturel Suédois, Paris

Total Motiviert (curated by Maria Lind, Sören Grammel, Katharina Schlieben), Kunstverein München, Munich
Everything was to be done. All the adventures are still there, Arbetsrum, Rooseum, Malmö


In(de)finiti luoghi, Utopie architettoniche e realtà artistiche, edited by Carole Haensler Huguet, Museo Civico Villa dei Cedri (Bellinzona)

Zeit Verstreichen, edited by Patricia Bieder, Verlag für Moderne Kunst (Kunstmuseum Solothurn)

Over you / You, edited by Nicola Lees and Stella Bottai, The International Centre of Graphic Art (Ljubliana)
El Contrato, edited by Bulegoa z/b, Azkuna Zentroa (Bilbao)

Luca Frei. Thursday followed Wednesday and Tuesday followed Monday and there was Sunday and there was Saturday and there was Friday, Spector Books, Leipzig, Kunsthaus Glarus
Gagarin, 28/2014 (Antwerp)

Hans Rudolf Reust, “Luca Frei — Linien in Zeitflächen,” Kunstbulletin (Zürich)
Slanted Magazine #22 – Art Type , Autumn/Winter, MAGMA (Karlsruhe)
The Architectural Ellipsis, edited by Ruth Estevez and Javier Toscano, Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco (Mexico D.F.)
Ahali: An Anthology for Setting a Setting, edited by Can Altay, Bedford Press (London)
Robert Nelson, “Drawing a line between symbol and meaning,” The Sydney Morning Herald

BRIGHT! Typography between Illustration and Art, MAGMA (Karlsruhe)
A Parliament of Lines, edited by Euan Gray & David Patterson, The City of Edinburgh Museums and Galleries (Edinburgh)
Cynthia Krell, “Luca Frei: The Fifth Business,” Kunstbulletin (Zürich)
The Fifth Business, with texts by Fanny Gonella and Larry Busbea, Bonner Kunstverein (Bonn)

25Pages, edited by Manuel Burgener (Zürich)
No Order. Art in a Post-Fordist Society, Archive Books (Berlin)
Aufruf zur alternative, exh. cat. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf)
Imagine Being Here Now, exh. cat. 6th Momentum Biennale (Moss, Norway)

The addition, edited by Krist Gruijtijsen, JRP Ringier Kunstverlag (Zurich)
Be nice, share everything, have fun, Walther König (Köln)
Histories of the present, Nottingham Contemporary (Nottingham)
Modernautställningen, exh. cat. Moderna Museet (Stockholm)
12 Cairo Biennale, Cairo Biennale Foundation (Cairo)
The secret confession, exh. cat. Edinburgh College of Art (Edinburgh)
Luca Frei: The end of summer, exh. cat. Museo Cantonale d’Arte (Lugano)
"Sin referentes", Santiago García Navarro, Exit express, May (Madrid)
"The sun is the tongue", Jonathan Griffin, Frieze, May (London)
"Isabelle Cornaro, Luca Frei, Falke Pisano", Mark Prince, Frieze, January (London)
"Isabelle Cornaro, Luca Frei, Falke Pisano", Anna Altman, Art in America (New York)

Museum as a medium, exh. cat. MARCo (Vigo) Koldo Mitxelena, (San Sebastian)
"Cornelius Cardew: Play for Today", Michael Hampton, Frieze, November (London)
"Generosity is the New Political", Laura mclean-ferris, Art monthly, september (london)
Dream Politics, issue n 1-2, UKS forum (Oslo)
Temporary urban structures, Urban Pedestals/Förlaget Asterisk (Århus)
Generosity is the New Political, Andrew Hunt, Frieze, September (London)
“Ouverture”, Vincenzo de Bellis, Flash Art, August-September (Milano)
Search for the Spirit, exh. cat. muhka, Antwerp
“Curated”, metropolis m, June (Utrecht)

Cross Section: Glasgow International Festival Of Contemporary Visual Art, exh. cat. (Glasgow)
Lucy Steeds, Art Monthly, July-August 2008 (London)
Chimurenga Vol. 12/13: Dr. Satan‘s Echo Chamber, March (Cape Town)
An interview between Luca Frei and Santiago García Navarro, Lunds Konsthall (Lund)

The so-called utopia of the centre beaubourg - An interpretation, Bookworks (London)

"Appearing under the pseudonym Gustave Affeulpin in 1976, and coinciding with the inauguration of the Centre Beaubourg in Paris, Albert Meister’s fictional text La soi-disant utopie du centre Beaubourg imagines a radical libertarian space submerged beneath the newly erected center-piece of French Culture. In a world turned upside down, the seventy-six storeys submerged beneath the official centre for culture provide a platform for alternative modes of work and creation. Reporting, in sometimes hysterical, sometimes more poetic language, and with tongue firmly in cheek, the narrator recounts the vacillations of free organisation, in a satire that never takes its eye of the main target: state sponsored culture.

This is the first translation and publication of La soi-disant utopie du centre Beaubourg in English, a project undertaken by the artist Luca Frei as an attempt to both revitalise a significant cultural treatise incorporating many elements of Meister’s sociological thinking, and to reflect upon the subjective role of the artist in transferring ideas from one cultural framework and era to another."

Elizabeth Schambelan, “The View from Below”, Artforum, October 2007 (New York)
Mark Crinson, “In the bowels of the fun palace”, Mute magazine, October (London)
Dan Fox, “Imagine Action”, Frieze, October (London)
Caroline Menezes, "Artists imagine action to stimulate change", Studio International, October 2007 (London)

Lars Bang Larsen, “Making room for learning and un-learning; jugglers and public space”, Frieze, September (London)

Istanbul, 9th Istanbul Biennial, exh. cat. (Istanbul)
Alex Farquharson, “Invisible Insurrection”, Frieze, September (London)
Collective Creativity, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Kassel)

Maria Lind, “Soft and strict strands”, 00tal, #17/18 (Stockholm)
Charles Esche, “Luca Frei”, CREAM 3, Phaidon, (London)

Drucksache, Kunstverein München, Spring 03 (Munich)

Grants and Scholarships

2015 Ellen Trotzig Stipendiet
2012 Konstnärsnämnden Arbetstipendium 2010 Edstrandska Stiftelsens Stipendium 2010 Swiss Art Awards
2009 Swiss Art Awards
2006 Konstnärsnämnden Arbetstipendium
2005 IASPIS Ateljestipendium
2003 Konstnärsnämnden Arbetstipendium
2002 Hänels Donationsfond, Malmö Art Academy
1999 Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship, Yale University