press release

Tilo Baumgärtel’s charcoal drawins and oil paintings have an air of fairytale about them; a dreamlike quality. Suspended in space and time, his strange scenes unfold with uncertainty, suggesting fragmented dreamy narratives of his own invention. Baumgärtel composes his paintings with surreal rigidity. His static figures, like statues, are frozen in the estranged, timeless aura of the rooms, the cityscapes or in imaginary landscapes. In his paintings with figures, a recurring theme seems to be a fear of inertia, being stuck and remaining stranded in this compressed existence. In his oil paintings, Baumgärtel uses his muted palette to extend the a typical quality of space; the planar walls and furniture seem transfixed, yet weightless in peculiar light. Picturing quirky innocence, Baumgärtel’s painting is unsettling in both its inertia and expectant violence.

In recent years, the German city of Leipzig, which has a great tradition of literature and music, has developed into one of the hotspots of the international art world. The art scene in Leipzig is characterised by the thoughtful and imaginative interpretation of aspects of contemporary history but also of very personal aspects and a tendency towards figurative but expressive painting marked by clarity of detail and a dynamic gesture. Many of the Leipzig painters who studied at the city's Hochschule fur Grafik und Buchkunst and then remained in Leipzig after graduating, have become known as the painters of the New Leipzig School, and have received much success and critical attention. One of the first internationally well known painter from Leipzig is Neo Rauch(1960), a student of painter Arno Rink(1940). Rauch then became a teacher to many of the younger well known painters of the School, including artists Martin Kobe(1970) and Tilo Baumgärtel (1972), who both grew up in the former East Germany but came of age in a reunified Germany.

This exhibition is supported by the Goethe Institut Reykjavík and the German Embassy in Iceland.

only in german

Tilo Baumgärtel