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b. 1967, Germany

Tomma Abts Biography

Tomma Abts makes complex paintings and works on paper whose subject is ultimately the process of their creation. She begins each work with no preconceived composition and idea, and without preliminary sketches. Guided largely by intuition, she nevertheless works within precise parameters. The paintings' evolution is evidenced by ridges and uneven texture—the result of methodical overpainting and reworking of the image. While abstract, the works are still illusionistic, rendered with sharp attention to shadows, three-dimensional effects, and highlights that defy any single, realistic light source. The resulting canvases convey balance and movement, while maintaining a sense of uncertainty, which seems akin to memory.

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Born in 1967 in Kiel, Germany, Abts studied at Hochschule der Künste in Berlin from 1988 to 1995.

Tomma Abts Featured Artworks

Jelto by Tomma Abts contemporary artwork
Tomma AbtsJelto, 2017Bronze cast
48 x 37.5 cm
Galerie Buchholz Contact Gallery
Untitled by Tomma Abts contemporary artwork
Tomma AbtsUntitled, 20155 parts, graphite on paper
Galerie Buchholz Contact Gallery
Jelte by Tomma Abts contemporary artwork
Tomma AbtsJelte, 2017Acrylic and oil on canvas, aluminium cast
48 x 38 cm
Galerie Buchholz Contact Gallery
Unno by Tomma Abts contemporary artwork
Tomma AbtsUnno, 2016Acrylic and oil on canvas
48 x 38 cm
Galerie Buchholz Contact Gallery
Weie by Tomma Abts contemporary artwork
Tomma AbtsWeie, 2016Acrylic and oil on canvas
48 x 38 cm
Galerie Buchholz Contact Gallery
Lüer by Tomma Abts contemporary artwork
Tomma AbtsLüer, 2016Acrylic and oil on canvas
48 x 38 cm
Galerie Buchholz Contact Gallery
Untitled (Uto), 2008 (For Parkett 84) by Tomma Abts contemporary artwork
Tomma AbtsUntitled (Uto), 2008 (For Parkett 84), 2008Archival pigment print on Angelica paper, mounted on sintra, framed
50.5 x 40.5 cm
Parkett Contact Gallery
Untitled #1-7 by Tomma Abts contemporary artwork
Tomma AbtsUntitled #1-7, 20167 parts, pencil and coloured pencil on paper
Galerie Buchholz Contact Gallery

Tomma Abts Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Tomma Abts, Tomma Abts at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
6 November–14 December 2019 Tomma Abts David Zwirner19th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Collector's Focus: Jason Rubell Online Viewing Room at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
6–14 December 2018 Group Exhibition Collector's Focus: Jason Rubell Online Viewing Room David ZwirnerOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Tomma Abts, Tomma Abts at Galerie Buchholz, Berlin
Closed
10 November 2017–13 January 2018 Tomma Abts Galerie BuchholzBerlin

Tomma Abts Represented By

David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 19th Street, New York, USA David Zwirner New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong
Galerie Buchholz contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany Galerie Buchholz Berlin, Cologne, New York

Tomma Abts In Related Press

Tomma Abts CHICAGO Related Press Tomma Abts CHICAGO 1 January 2019, Art in America

The thirty-two small, abstract paintings in Tomma Abts's show, which the Art Institute co-organized with the Serpentine Galleries in London, recall what Ezra Pound said he was trying to do with his short imagist poems:...

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Tomma Abts’ intriguing paintings contain infinite worlds Related Press Tomma Abts’ intriguing paintings contain infinite worlds 11 July 2018, Hyperallergic

The stark white walls of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery are dotted with colourful eruptions, each contained within a 48 x 38 cm canvas, the trademark format of the painter Tomma Abts. Their small size pulls the viewer in closer until we become intimately engaged with each concentrated schema. In their clearly delineated, geometric formations the...

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Duncan Campbell Turner Prize Winner 2014 Related Press Duncan Campbell Turner Prize Winner 2014 2 December 2014, Anita Singh for The Telegraph UK / 1 December 2014

Duncan Campbell is the winner of this year’s Turner Prize with a 54-minute film that even the chairman of the jury described as “a bit baffling”. Campbell’s film, It for Others (2013), is a montage of Marxist economics, contemporary dance, comedy ketchup bottles, African tribal masks and images of the IRA member Joe McCann.

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Dear Painter … Related Press Dear Painter … 1 February 2012, Frieze

What does the term 'abstraction' mean to non-figurative painters working today? I spoke to five artists - Tomma Abts, Tauba Auerbach, Matt Connors, Charline von Heyerl and Bernd Ribbeck - all of whom make work grounded in process and materiality. There is a dissonance between the directness of their work and the fuzzier set of interests and...

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