artist / participant
Tobias Pils's large-format, abstract painting—occasionally laced with representational fragments—develops from questions raised in close connection to the painting process itself. He has produced an extensive new work cycle for his major individual presentation in the gallery. The title of the exhibition is simply Secession. Among other things, the exhibition behind this minimalist announcement takes up historical references relating to the Secession and the zeitgeist in Vienna at the start of the 20th century.
Pils's reference to the Secession is entirely non-judgemental and not limited to formal aspects. In the exhibition this leads to a game with materials, techniques and unusual references, e.g. to underground tunnels and to Adolf Loos, well-known for his criticism of the secession movement.
Ornamental elements and characteristic forms like the motif of the laurel-leaf dome—the Secession's ultimate hallmark—flow as if naturally into the artist's pictorial language. The presentation of the works is conceived as an extension of the exhibition space and characterised by an experimental understanding of painterly mise-en-scène. Long before the actual painting process, Pils conceived a kind of artistic guidance system, which leads the visitors from the foyer of the Secession into the exhibition rooms of the gallery on the basement floor. One component of this staging is the stairwell to the basement floor, which is faced with handmade ceramic tiles, painted with wavering blue lines: here, there are also two round, large-format paintings that direct the visitors' gaze and so guide them into the actual exhibition rooms of the gallery.
A catalogue will be appearing for the exhibition, including numerous illustrations, a foreword by András Pálffy, and texts by Richard Shiff and Roberto Ohrt.
Tobias Pils, born in Linz, Austria, in 1971, lives and works in Vienna.
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