Perrotin Tokyo is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Japan by the German painter Thilo Heinzmann. On view are paintings that combine the compositional elements from various series from his past practices—pigment paintings, Tacmo, Aicmo, and polystyrene paintings with glass—in a new way for the first time.
The chromatic intensity of loose pigments, the reflections of broad brushstrokes, the traces of speedily inscribed hand movements, and the luminosity of sprinkled coloured glass vibrate in overlapping layers to form a polyfocal visual space.
A significant voice in a generation of German painters scrutinizing the medium and its history, Heinzmann is known for his inventive, precise work that is driven by an inquiry into what painting can be today. Using a diversity of materials—from chipboard, Styrofoam, porcelain, aluminium, to nail polish, resin, pigment, fur, cotton wool, and hessian—the artist has for the last twenty-five years worked on developing new paths and a unique visual language in his practice.
The works in the main room of the gallery are characterised by his consistent and subtle approach to light, tempo, composition and colour. Although each painting exists in its own right, the rhythmic sequence of their presentation facilitates the idea of a garden, a landscape, in which a figure appears and disappears. Its imagined presence activates the pictorial space, which thus becomes a stage.
Heinzmann's art typically plays with the viewer's desire in a game of allusion and the intensity of visual experience. The two series shown in Tokyo are exemplary: the refined beauty of expression and the exposition of delicate nuances in the exhibition's central group of work is contrasted by the direct physical vigour of the paintings in the adjoining space. The artist's work encompasses both the elemental and the highly cultivated, which self-evidently complement each other as urban and rural, cultural and natural.
Complex in their dynamics, engaging in their gestural precision, these paintings are one thing above all: seductively free. Nothing is concealed in vagueness, yet the clarity seems magical.
Thilo Heinzmann, born in Berlin in 1969, attended Städelschule in Frankfurt from the early 1990s in the class of Thomas Bayrle. During that time, he also assisted Martin Kippenberger. One of the central tenets of Heinzmann's work lies in revisiting Western traditions with both of its prime historical momentums in view: painting as the superior medium for showing the world; and, after it had achieved its momentous triumph in retreating to its own means, painting as the field for a powerful interaction of form, color, texture, and surface, after the rupture of abstraction.
In 2018 he was appointed professor of painting at Universität der Künste in Berlin.
His works are in major collections worldwide including Tate Modern, London; The Federal Collection of Contemporary Art (Bundeskunstsammlung), Germany; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma; IVAM Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia; and M+ Museum, Hong Kong
Press release courtesy Perrotin.