Photo: Jasmin Morgan, Windisch

Arnold Odermatt

Arnold Odermatt was born in Oberdorf in the Swiss canton of Nidwalden in 1925. He attended primary and secondary school in Stans before training as a baker and pâtissier.  In 1948, he joined the Nidwalden police force, where he stayed until his retirement in 1990. As a young policeman, he began documenting accidents with his Rolleiflex camera. In the early 1990s, his son, the director Urs Odermatt, discovered his father’s extensive archive of images when preparing the film "Wachtmeister Zumbühl". Impressed by the high quality of the images, he grouped them in different categories and published them in several books with Steidl in Göttingen. In 2001, Harald Szeemann presented a selection of 32 of Odermatt’s works at the 41st Venice Biennale. This was followed by numerous solo and group exhibitions at a range of international institutions.  Arnold Odermatt lived and worked in Stans until his death in 2021.