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SELECTION OF WORKS (2014 – 2023)
(not chronologically ordered)



“From Time To Time”


GROTTO – Städelschule Graduation Exhibition.

Danziger Platz, 12
Frankfurt am Main, DE

Text by the artist.

Full documentation and info.
(...) The work displayed for my graduation first shows a modification of the space. And as the viewer enters, they hear someone is whistling (...)  [Read more] 


“mezzo staccato
(romantic gestures)”


Solo exhibition at Galerie Rolando Anselmi.
Rome, Italy.

Text by the gallery.

Full documentation and info.
(...) The abstraction of gestures and the introduction of stains complicate the understanding of the scene, just as sometimes memories arrive barely blurred and the result of a troubled memory. The silver gelatin print 1993 - (Fly on hand) #02 depicts a plant received by Ian Waelder's parents on the day of his birth and whose growth the artist records each time he is back at their home in Spain. Like the imperceptible fly resting on the leaf, the visitor almost surreptitiously witnesses Ian Waelder's personal story and the symbolic telling of a story taking shape through artistic practice. Towards the end of the exhibition the visitor is forced to walk around Upright (The Pianist diminuendo) to discover a fictional clay nose, that could be the Ian’s, Federico’s or another family member’s, thus fixed at the height of the artist (...)  [Read more] 


“Is it like today?”


Solo exhibition at ethall gallery.
Barcelona, Spain.

Text by the gallery.

Full documentation and info.
Ian Waelder’s practice explores memory and trace by isolating material histories and language in relation to his biography, working through the poetics of the accident and the repurposing of the discarded. The exhibition Is it like today? brings together a series of recent works that focus on the search for the Opel Olympia, a 1930s car that belonged to the family of his paternal grandfather, the pianist Federico (Friedrich) Waelder, and which enabled him to flee Germany during Nazism.

Through the works that compose the exhibition, Waelder has carried out an investigation centred on family genealogy, recent history and the parallels between body and machine. This line of work emerged as the artist's response to moving to Frankfurt in 2017 and realising that he is the first member of his family to re-settle in the German country since his grandfather's exile, residing a mere 30 minutes from the original Opel factory.

The first part of this story began in 2020 after he found a tape containing a piano melody of (...) 
[Read more] 




Vinyl record and insert publication released and distributed by Heutigen Records.

With contributions by Federico Waelder, Wolfgang Kress, Sofia Lemos, Ben Livne Weitzman, Louisa Behr, Carolina Castro Jorquera, Pau Waelder, Camilo Araya Fuentes.

Online publication.

Full documentation and info.

 Purchase here. 

(FRIEDRICH) collects the only trace known today of the music of Federico Waelder (born Friedrich Wälder), a German Jewish pianist and grandfather of the artist, exiled in Chile during the Third Reich. It contains a jazz improvisation on the B-side in duet with his grandson Ian Waelder, which was played on a German radio station once a month during 2020. On side A a speech in Spanish by the pianist can be heard with his grandson's dubbing into German. The EP is accompanied by a publication that contextualises the work, with contributions by Louisa Behr, Sofia Lemos and Pau Waelder, among others. This work is extended with the creation of the fictitious record label Heutigen Records, from where one of the one hundred copies of the vinyl can be purchased.
[Read more]

Photo documentation by:
John Forest, Natasha Lebedeva, Lúa Oliver, Ivan Murzin, Iain Emaline,
Juan David Cortés, Paul Levack, Jiyoon Chung, Juande Jarillo, Eva Carasol, Sebastiano Luciano.
© Ian Waelder, 2023