Thomas Scheibitz

Aug 19 – Sep 16, 2004

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present an exhibition by the German artist Thomas Scheibitz in Gallery 2. This is the first time that this artist, who participates in the XXVI São Paulo Biennial, is having a show in Brazil. Scheibitz is one of the most important contemporary artists at present. This exhibition brings together five paintings that demonstrate his mature sense of color and strong, elegant composition.

In this cohesive group of work, Scheibitz explores spontaneity in the process of creation and synthesis in the images' composition, questions that for him are closely linked to drawing. This relationship is also explored in his technique. Scheibitz uses pigment, spray paint, and acrylic on a canvas prepared with plaster, so that the surface becomes smooth like paper.

For more than a decade, Scheibitz has been compiling a visual dictionary that includes themes from the history of art, architecture, and design. Yet these images function as a pure point of reference from which one can look at his work. Scheibitz works and reworks, distills and reduces an image that was his starting point until only a minimal link with the original image remains.

In the exhibit's largest painting, untitled (no. 73), a central figure suggests an architectonic detail of superimposed black and blue rectangles. Over this center of horizontal lines, a series of oblique forms creates tension and gives the painting movement. This conflict between the two perspectives resolves in an almost perfect symmetry that gives equilibrium to the whole. Untitled (no. 80) is also a work that operates with oppositions. The painting is cut by a horizon made jagged by triangular forms. The multiple pinks, reds, and yellows of the painting's upper half invade the dense grey of the lower part. What at first sight is pure contrast shows itself upon a closer look to be a happy meeting of geometry and expressiveness. Another highlight is untitled (no. 82), a smaller-sized painting in which the artist shows a smiling face–an image from the pop universe recurring in his work–against a background of minimal forms and empty spaces.

Scheibitz works has been exhibited in various galleries and institutions in Europe and the U.S. such as the Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Institute of Contemporary Art; and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. The artist's work was also a part of the exhibition Pittura/ Painting: From Rauschenberg to Murakami, 1964-2003, in the last Venice Biennial.