Thilo Heinzmann

Voyage Visage Passage

07 Sep - 05 Oct 2019

Installation view
Courtesy Perrotin
Voyage Visage Passage
7 September – 5 October 2019

Thilo Heinzmann’s fourth exhibition with the gallery, and his second in Paris is dedicated to the Pigment Paintings, a typology in the artist’s body of work which he invented 25 years ago.

“The paintings of Thilo Heinzmann are at once intuitive and absorbed in the tightness of aesthetic constraint: at once romantic and attuned to modern industrialism, engineering and manufacture. From such hybridization of intent derives their strange ecstasy and their moments of sensory epiphany – a point at which the eroticism of aesthetic science becomes stripped down and chemical: volatility stilled.” (Michael Bracewell, 2013)

His works with pigment, for example, display that powdery dust, they exhibit it in its material concreteness, as one of the many specimens of matter that make up our world; but they also transform it into chromatic fields, exploring its wide yet subtle palette, letting color perform as it should after it has been freed of the burdens of representation.

“In each series, a finely calibrated series of decisions assembles a language that is both experimental and contained. Interest lies precisely in the terrain between control and accident, pre-given parameters and chance. Their urgency, meanwhile, comes from an enquiry that is metaphysical at root. The works describe a translation of thought through materials that develops incrementally, stage by stage, from one body of work to the next.
Heinzmann’s works are analytical, but theirs is a hermetic questioning that concerns itself with intrinsic formal issues: this is not a “networked” painting. He approaches these issues with the eye and the heart of a connoisseur, working towards an understanding of the universal that is formulated in the studio-laboratory, detached from particulars of time and place, as well as extrinsic social, political or economic issues.” (Kirsty Bell, May 2019)

With his new group of paintings on display here, and specially conceived for Paris, Heinzmann brings into play the broad spectrum of possibilities that evolve from this field. Ranging from tender, subtle tones to deep, almost epic extravaganza, each new work suggests an approach to the present moment, as well as it constitutes the desire that conditions painting.

Born in Berlin in 1969, Thilo Heinzmann attended Städelschule in Frankfurt from the early 1990s in the class of Thomas Bayrle. During that time he also assisted Martin Kippenberger. A significant voice in a generation of German painters scrutinizing the medium and its history, his inventive, precise works are driven by an inquiry into what painting can be today. Using chipboard, styrofoam, nail polish, resin, pigment, fur, cotton wool, porcelain, aluminum and hessian, Heinzmann has for the last twenty-five years worked on developing new paths and an unique visual language in his practice. He is interested in the presence that each work creates, which is further enhanced by his paintings’ powerful tactile qualities. It invites the viewer to notions on some essentials: composition, surface, form, color, light, texture, and time. In 2018 he was appointed professor of painting at Universität der Künste in Berlin.