press release

Sean Kelly Gallery is delighted to announce Void Territory, a major exhibition of new photographs by German artist Frank Thiel. The opening of the exhibition will take place on Friday, March 10th from 6pm until 9pm. The artist will be present.

In his latest large-scale color photographs, Thiel focuses on walls and ceilings, mostly photographed in abandoned industrial buildings of East Berlin. The monumental photographs record the ruinous conditions of weathered paint surfaces and destroyed buildings, translating them into abstracted architectural spaces that are alluring and emotionally charged. Subjective and organic, the works in Void Territory reflect upon the difficult economic situation that has beset Berlin’s former industrial areas. In their abstract painterly quality the latest series explore the intimate and evolving relationship between painting and photography.

Thiel refers to Berlin as “the city that suffers from an overdose of history…Yet it does not suffer from its sediments like other European cities, but from the consequences of its eruptions.” He describes the void spaces “as the kind of beauty that a normal eye is often too blind to see and is usually abandoned from our perception.” Thiel’s commitment to the constant transformation and development of Berlin for more than a decade has become an integral part of the unfolding history of the city and its most important photographic record.

Thiel has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries worldwide; his works are included in the collections of many major international museums. Thiel’s works have been exhibited in: Beyond Delirious, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, FL; Embracing the Present: The UBS Art Collection, Portland Art Museum, OR, which traveled to The Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL, Austin Museum of Art, TX and Phoenix Art Museum, AZ; Gegenwelten. Das 20. Jahrhundert in der Neuen Nationalgalerie, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany; Building the Collection, New and Future Acquisitions, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Arquivo e Simulacao, Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon, Portugal; Cold Play, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; O delirio de Chimborazo, 4th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; La ciudad radiante, 2nd Bienal de Valencia, Fundación Bancaixa, Spain; Iconografias Metropolitanas, Cidades, XXV Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil; Brasília–Ruina e Utopia”, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília, Brazil; After The Wall, Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Thiel’s work was selected for On Reason and Emotion, the 14th Biennale of Sydney, Australia.

Forthcoming exhibitions in 2006 include Constructing New Berlin, Phoenix Art Museum, AZ (will travel to: Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL); Metropolitanscape, Palazzo Cavour, Turin, Italy; Contemporary trends in documentary photography, Museum for Photography, Tessaloniki, Greece; Glasskultur What became of transparence?, Koldo Mitxelena, San Sebastian, Spain (will travel to: Centre d’Art La Panera, Lleida, Spain) A major monograph on Thiel’s work is in preparation and will be presented at Art37 Basel.

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Frank Thiel