Joerg Auer – Biography
Joerg Auer was born in Chur, Switzerland. After a rewarding career as board certified equine surgeon that took him to faculty positions in Pennsylvania, Texas and finally Zurich, Switzerland, he retired in January 2011. Since then he and his wife Anita lived half the time in Lenzburg, Switzerland and the other half in northern Scottsdale, Arizona. In Summer 2020 they decided with a heavy heart to sell their beloved home in Terravita, Scottsdale because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was unclear when and if they could return and living their “desert dream” uninhabited for a year or more, was no option.
In his early professional career he illustrated some of his scientific publications and book chapters. In spring 2012 he asked his fellow Swiss friend André Schwab to help him create a bronze sculpture. Having spent his professional life as an equine orthopedic surgeon he decided to try to sculpt an Arizona bird because he knew, that his friends in Switzerland would guess that for sure he would sculpt a horse, when he told them that he started sculpting. After some initial tribulations he created his first clay sculpture “Gamble’s Quail”.
Being encouraged by the result and after he got the ok from André Schwab he took it to Stenko at Arizona Molds in Tempe who created the mold and wax copies of the original. The wax copies were handed over to Loren Phippen (the son of one of the founders of the Cowboy Artists of America, the late George Phippen) to have it cast up in Prescott Arizona. The sculpture was completed at Loren’s shop in Scottsdale, Arizona, with the expert help of André Schwab, who is a great sculpture artist himself. The rest is history. Joerg was caught up be the bug “sculpting” and the next sculpture, “MEEP MEEP” turned out to be his most successful one, having been sold up to now 11 times.
In spring 2013 he took Curt Mattson’s Workshop “Composition and the Horse” at Scottsdale Artists School. Despite the fact of knowing the equine anatomy pretty well, he started to look at horses in a different way to be able to capture the details of these beautiful animals in clay.
While he found great conditions for his new hobby in Arizona, he was looking for activities in art also during his time in Switzerland. He found a studio 15 minutes away from his home that is fully equipped for all the different printmaking techniques, including etching, aquatint, lithography, etc. So he started to be engaged in etching and aquatint. The owner of the studio is an expert himself and generously assists his pupils in every aspect of the trade. Again Joerg’s topics are mainly associated with Arizona’s wild life such as Owls, bob cats, roadrunners and Utah’s arches in the National Parks.
Works of Joerg Auer’s art were accepted in the juried exhibit “The Best and Brightest” at the Scottsdale Artists School 2014, 2015, and 2016, and the Mountain Oyster Club Art Show in Tucson 2016. He exhibited four times at the Sonoran Arts League El Pedregal Gallery in 2015 and 2016, and at “Art St.-Urban Rotary Art 9” show in Switzerland in 2017. In 2019 he and Jacques Guidon, a well-known Swiss artist had a joint exhibit in the Gallery La Suosta in Madulain, a small town in the Engadin Valley.
Thus far he was also asked to create seven consigned sculptures of different animals. These consignments represent special challenges, as the ideas of consignors have to be joint with his own ideas.
Since a few years Joerg creates also sculptures in Switzerland. In the southern part of Switzerland, in Mendrisio, he found a foundry to his likings: Perseo, where still today sculptures of Salvador DalÌ are cast.
Ever since I had the chance to get to know Harry Jackson at his studio and foundry in Camaiore, Italy in 1972, I was drawn to bronze sculptures depicting horses and Western art. Spending now half my time in Scottsdale allowed me to fulfill my dream of being able to sculpt in bronze.