When Pierre-Alain Münger was a child, he loved smashing his toy cars with a hammer. Many years later, he still does that. Impressed and fascinated by car crashes, impact, destruction and deformation, the artist crashes real cars and uses them for his work. He meticulously studies and documents the effects, and creates imagery concerned with car crashes in various media. In his works, deformed cars and broken trees are silent victims and witnesses of the invisible kinetic forces.


The Swiss artist performs crash tests, smashing old cars into a metal sheet at 110 km/h. The frontal collision deforms metal, providing the artist with the effect and footprints he sought for. These tests require numerous hours of planning and preparation, but Münger’s works of various sizes and artistic expression would be impossible without it.


Münger is a true researcher and an expert on car crashes. After graduation from a design school and spending time as an assistant to Swiss sculptor Carlo Borer, the artist spent more than 15 years studying collisions and the deformation of shapes. His work does not only depict a ruined vehicle, but also a damaged lamp post, sign, tree or any other object. Sometimes, his work features imagery related to the act of rescuing. Whether it’s painting, sculpture or brilliant pen study on paper, the artist’s deep fascination with crashes is obvious.


PAM - Pierre-Alain Münger - Artistic Vision: Car Crash Series


Driving Force. An evocative phrase that in its ambiguous meaning captures the essence of Pierre- Alain Münger‘s artistic practice in both physical as well as conceptual terms. Working under the acronym PAM, the fitting epithet points to the very philosophy that sits at the heart of a creative vision where the sheer impact of force acts as the motor for the genesis of alluring works charged with latent potential. The pictures and objects he conceives straddle categories from painting to sculpture, while questioning traditional modes of working in favour of a modus operandi that seems counterintuitive at first glance: Creation through destruction.

For his FACE series, PAM embraces a new form of image-making, harnessing the consequences of collision to render cinematic imprints of a controlled accident. Frontal car crashes translate into portraits of vehicles in a performance that is both shocking and mesmerising. The artist‘s hand is thereby eliminated, as PAM executes his ‘paintings‘ by steering discarded cars against a wall. By virtue of unrestrained impact, images are driven into metal plates, as the force of confrontation is harnessed to create something of visual ‘impact‘. The resulting ‘car faces‘ appear aquatic in nature, as if photographs taken underwater in an attempt at seizing the submerged object, distorted by the force of nature. An alleged paradox, the beauty of collosion is thus lent new shape and form, speaking the language of anti-creation as images emerge from the flat support of an inanimate canvas.

The pictures PAM orchestrates are snapshots severed from an eternal stream of images and etched onto the unrelenting support of his metal canvases. In a nod to a photographic practice, positive and negative are conjoined, incised into the flat screen of a ductile surface which in his case has become a more durable screen. Playing with the incessant flow of being and becoming, PAM thereby captures the very last moment - a single instant of inconceivable force - before the standstill. Time is frozen into the image, the collision eternalised - immobilised against the continuing course of history. Yet, in an imaginary twist, the picture picks up speed again, as motion is translated into a visual imprint of a simulacrum that seems to hover on the support. Trapped for a second, only to then resume its intractable itinerary again.

In its strange allure, the image comes to stand diametrically opposed to the smashing process of creation. The fatal collision - the last ride - turns into the point of departure for a transformation of physical force to allow for something new to assume shape. Fluid images whose malleability bears the imprint and echo of their genesis. Visual in their effect, the pictures from the FACE series thereby vibrate with the repercussions of their making, a translation of sonic fields into imaginary sound installations that only gradually fade out.

Of hypnotic appeal, PAM‘s works engage the eyes that move restlessly across the picture plane, tracing the indentations on the surface of the metal. Rather than flat images, PAM‘s creations unfold as reliefs, strung between the light and dark areas on the sturdy canvas.
Born from the violence of a car crash, they spark a range of associations acting as a latent reminder of the fragility of life, mirrored against the fascination of its perfect antithesis, death. On these grounds, PAM‘s
FACEs inadvertently emerge as complex and many-layered compositions that straddle the physical and the metaphysical. An invitation to look and see beyond the surface in contemplation of the forces of life.



   DUO-SHOW - LASTING MOMENTS / laurent marthaler contemporary montreux
       with simon berger /
   PAMCRASH face 12 / AUDI A8 - 120kmh / juni 2024  
   PAMCRASH face 11 / jaguar xj6 1975 - 65kmh / mai 2024  
   SOLO SHOW - FULL METAL CRASH / castanier gallery / laurent marthaler contemporary / miami (USA)
   attisholz23 - retrospektive
        museum MUVA (museum of urban and vandalism art)
        mai - september 2023
   art miami / laurent marthaler contemporary (USA)
   PAMCR 13/ BMW 520 1992 , vauffelin
   PAMCR 12/ MERCEDES BENZ c300 1988  , vauffelin
   PAMCR 11/ cadillac seville 1996 , vauffelin
   artwalk bremgarten
   fränkisches museum / feuchtwangen (D)
   alte brennerei / primeart / unterramsern
   alte brennerei / weihnachtsausstellung / unterramsern
   kunsthaus rot / köniz
   alte brennerei / primeart / unterramsern
   artstübli  / DEFEKT / with simon berger / basel
   esp / exposition simon pam / with simon berger / alte kirche härkingen
   SCULPTURE GARTEN / with simon berger / alte kirche härkingen
   galerie radial art contemporain, strasbourg (F) / SOLO SHOW
   galerie SOON / group-show during ART-BASEL 2018
   ART KARLSRUHE / galerie radial art contemporain, strasbourg (D/F)   PAMCR10, Vauffelin / ford fiesta 1994
   Dingkult, Derendingen
    Kunstnacht Brienz / Brienz
    soon gallery bern / soloshow
    PAMCR10, Vauffelin / BENTLEY 1988
    PAMCR9, Vauffelin / alfa romeo 1998
    soon gallery , bern
    soon gallery , zürich / soloshow
    ours , bellelay / soloshow


    ST-ART, strasbourg, galerie radial art contemporain, strasbourg (F)

    galerie soon-art, bern
    galerie IVOKAMM,zürich
    PAMCR8, vauffelin /chevrolet blazer 1988

    PAMCR7, vauffelin /cadillac deville hearse 1973

    ST-ART, strasbourg, solo-show/installation galerie radial art cont.,strasbourg (F)
    LONDON 13 art fair (GB), galerie IVOKAMM, zürich

    ST-ART, strasbourg, galerie radial art contemporain, strasbourg (F)
    KUNST 12 zürich, galerie IVOKAMM, zürich
    summer group show - galerie radial, strasbourg (F)
    Stroke artfair, galerie SOON Bern / münchen (D)
    autopsie de l‘impact - soloshow / galerie radial, strasbourg (F)
    PAMCR5, PAMCR6, Vauffelin

    Burgergalerie, Brienz
    Kunstnacht Brienz, Brienz
    WAREHOUSE, manegg-areal, Zürich
    PAMCR4, Vauffelin

    Brienzer Kunstnacht, Brienz
    pamcrash und vitra, teo jakob solothurn
    pamcrash meets crash, Autoabbruch Safenwil

    Brienzer Kunstnacht, Brienz
    Museum Kesselhaus, Berlin (D)
    THIN AIR, Biel
    Galerie Katapult Basel

    Kant. Jahresausstellung Kunstmuseum Solothurn
    Gruppenausstellung Künstlerhaus S11, Solothurn
    Jugendart Olten


    Kunstsammlung der schweizereischen POST

    Sammlung kanton Solothurn

    Fränkisches Museum Feuchtwangen (D)


pierre-alain münger

emmenweg 25
4528 zuchwil