In the 1960s, the use of innovative materials revolutionised art. Annemie Fontana (1925-2002, Switzerland) originally trained as a couture tailor and ceramicist. She went on to work as a self-taught freelance artist and her polyester sculptures made her a trend-setter within a movement in which the combination of technical and creative innovation was particularly evident. Industrial materials and technologies made it possible to construct forms that were completely new at the time and to venture to conduct artistic experiments. Most of all, the emerging plastics and foams enabled new compounds and forms.
For almost 40 years, Fontana’s most famous piece stood as an urbanist landmark at Escher-Wyss-Platz, a traffic hub in a former industrial neighbourhood. In terms of form, the water sculpture Sirius serves as a reminder of the technical feats behind Zurich’s engineering industry, based at Escher-Wyss-Platz. During the structural renovation of Escher-Wyss-Platz, this polyester sculpture was removed and comprehensively restored between 2008 and 2012. Since 2013, Sirius has been on display at its new location within the tram turning loop in front of the stadium Hallenstadion Zurich in Oerlikon.