Norbert Thomas. Concrete art. From space to plane
June 24th, 2005- August 15th, 2005
Exhibition presents the most recent (from years 2000-2004) paintings and sculptures of Norbert Thomas, born in 1947. He is a known German abstractionist and professor of the University in Wuppertal, who lives in Essen. Author had earlier individual exhibitions, inter alia in Museum Folkwag in Essen and at Mondriam’s house in Amersfoort.
Norbert Thomas was born in 1947 in Frankfurt am Main. He took his artistic studies in the period of 1969-1974. During his numerous study stays, inter alia in Santa Cruz on Tenerife (1982-1985), in New York (1995) and in Madrid (2000), he was mastering and developing his concepts and artistic workshop. He lectured in Bielefeld (1987-1991) and in Wuppertal (since 1991). He had series of individual exhibitions, inter alia in outstanding German museums, such as Museum Folkwang in Essen, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen (1990) and Russian museums in Samara and Saratow (2000). He has his atelier in Essen.
An artist belongs already to the fourth generation of creators fascinated with secrets and simplicity of geometry. In this sense, his art signs in the tradition of national attitudes, which are strongly represented in the collection of Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz. Representatives of this almost one hundred years old artistic trend, beginning with works of Pieta Mandrian and Kazimierz Malewicz, digressed from observing and concluding from world sensuality and got through the way of intellectual learning up to the art, which is a study of structures and constructions of models. Norbert Thomas, as many other rationalists studies structures of picture and series and builds models in the space, -he clearly owes his spatial thinking to the plane. He paints for example, series of completely geometrical paintings with motives, repeating themselves (lines, strips), but in changed, reduced arrangements and he constructs from them “broken” structure in the wall, which is a subject to its own geometry rights, and which escapes geometry of the particular paintings. Spots between them are marked with emptiness – it bothers an eye and provokes imagination of the viewer. Destruction of potential harmonious joints of series of the elements, which was intended by the artist and disruption of sequences or geometry codes intensify emptiness. Artist also enters into the space, including public space. From angular or round metal elements (rails, pipes), he creates linear, openwork, less or more complicated or sharp forms, unexpectedly broken in the points of contact with surface of the wall or floor, as if they were penetrating thorough to the other side or also pulling out of it. Tensions and energies are forming between “body” of the sculpture and “matter” of environment – reciprocal connection. Described series of paintings and a few examples of spatial models, which are presented at our exhibition, come from 1990-2005.
Texts of Norbert Thomas and authors occupied for years with problematic of constructivist, concrete art, including text of professor ‘Eugen Gomringer – an artist, poet, theoretic of concrete and visual poetry - were placed in the catalog accompanying exhibition.
Exhibition opening, which is the main emphasis of the celebration of the Year of German Speaking Countries in Muzeum Sztuki, will be graced with presence of Norbert Thomas and his wife as well as lecture of Bozena Kowalski (24.06, at 1:00pm) – an author of many publications on art of the 20th century - dedicated to the problem of “Crossing the wall.”