Der Staatsanwalt. His new works offer us an impression of what the results would look like. Although the wooden boxes have little in common with the classic technique of applying paint to canvas, one discerns in them the principles of composition associated with abstract painting, as formulated and applied by Kandinsky or Schwitters.
Thomas Rentmeister is known for his oversized polyester sculptures and the use of prefabricated branded goods such as Tempo tissues, Penaten zinc cream, and Nutella in enormous amounts and unusual contexts. But what if Thomas Rentmeister took up painting?
His new works offer us an impression of what the results would look like. Although the wooden boxes have little in common with the classic technique of applying paint to canvas, one discerns in them the principles of composition associated with abstract painting, as formulated and applied by Kandinsky or Schwitters. Rentmeisterʼs works are similarly based on simplified geometric forms that expand and set accents along the surface. Lines cross the picture space in an implied diagonal or create tension among the individual elements.
In addition to these compositional aspects, there is another dimension to these works: They are composed of prefabricated forms, of commonplace consumer goods that have undergone a more or less accidental arrangement. Upon closer inspection, one recognizes Q-tips, cotton balls, tampons, and sugar cubes glued together with yellow Pattex-brand glue. They combine to form circuits reminiscent of experiments. The dominant color of white calls up connotations of medicinal spaces and thus physicality and excretions inherent in such hygienic products. The yellow color and consistency of the glue heighten these associations and evoke a feeling of disgust. The psychological components of the materials—in combination with associations of experimental procedure and their perception as paintings or collages—plays a perplexing and engaging game with conscious and subconscious cognition. Although the individual objects are clearly unable to fulfill their intended function, they seem to form an apparent system devoid of meaning in which order and happenstance go hand in hand.
The integration of conventional connotations and an ironical elimination of meaning are essential to the work of Thomas Rentmeister, and this holds true for his newest work “Der Staatsanwalt,” here exhibited for the first time. Referencing the form of an oversized umbrella stand, the steel umbrella sculpture is reduced to its minimalistic framework and, robbed of its functionality, frozen to pure form. Cone-like objects wrapped in white crocheted cotton hang from the ends of the structure, whose immense weight and size are undermined by the profanity and connoted lightness of the depicted objects.
Der Staatsanwalt [district attorney] is Thomas Rentmeisterʼs first solo show at a gallery in Berlin. A fantastic cross-section of his various approaches to sculpture is complemented by his most recent artistic developments and a series of sketches, thus offering a unique look at the experimental working methods behind the art of Thomas Rentmeister. Rentmeisterʼs works have exhibited in numerous solo shows (Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Haus am Waldsee and Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin) and are found in such prestigious public collections as Kunstmuseum Bonn, MARTa Herford Museum and Boijmans van Beuningen Museum. He is professor for sculpture at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig.
Private view: 5 Februar 2010, 6 – 9 p.m.
Galerie Aurel Scheibler
ScheiblerMitte - Charlottenstrasse 2 (in the alley) D-10969 Berlin
Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 am - 6 pm and by appointment