Thomas Eggerer portrait

Thomas Eggerer

Germany 1963

Abstract Art, Figurative Art

Thomas Eggerer
Thomas Eggerer
July 11, 2015
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

The notable oeuvre of Thomas Eggerer has been and still is framed by the ongoing quest to maintain the blur between abstraction and materiality. For two decades the artist thoroughly passes through various stages of the process – from contemplation to execution of the idea. Such a principle is necessary in order to keep the abstract passages between the figures isolated, leaving them stranded in the flux of an anonymous, indeterminate world of flickering contacts. The way Eggerer depicts individual or collective body in different, yet everyday situations suggests his need to accentuate the irony or existence almost with philosophical vigor.

The news about exhibitions of oil paintings in Maureen Paley gallery can be found their web page
Thomas Eggerer – The Privilege of the Roof, 2004, detail – image via petzel

The Artistic Begging

Thomas Eggerer was born in Munich, Germany. In 1995 he graduated from the Art Academy Munich and at approximately the same time the artist collaborated with classmate Jochen Klein on a series of conceptually oriented projects, focusing on identity and gender issues in public space. In 1994, Eggerer was awarded DAAD scholarship for the USA at Vermont College. His academic career as a lecturer started in 2006 when he became a Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at the Harvard University, Cambridge.

Depersonalized urban crowds with architectural and sculptural images

The artist is using special acrylic on canvas in order to accentuate figures the best
Thomas Eggerer – Fridays Child, 2009 – image via maureenpaley

Group Material

The artistic collective Material was formed in the 80’s and basically was initiative governed by the idea of collaboration on projects dedicated to social communication and political change. Often they used artifacts such as magazine ads, and other found objects from popular culture with recognized art objects, in order to create an ambitious mix. Thomas Eggerer was a member of the group, while many of the others had studied with Joseph Kosuth at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Since their beginnings, they have done a lot to transform the notion of exhibition “curator” into a verb by treating the installation of art for viewing as an artistic medium itself.

Explicitly depictive figuration, based on found photographs but not photo-realistic

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Thomas Eggerer – ABM II, 2012 – image via maureenpaley

The Authentic Style of Thomas Eggerer

The exploration of the interaction of forms, colors, and gestures in paintings, drawings, and collages made Eggerer’s aesthetic recognizable. Most of his artworks depict groups of people in ambiguous architectural settings. The deliberate imprecision of their shapes and faces makes these characters more archetypal than individuals – like the geometrical motifs and abstract topicality of the world around them. Also, they are often artificially hued, which references Color Field painting, a style of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the 1940s and 1950s. Eggerer’s primary-colored washes can be compared to the flat red or orange grounds of many of Francis Bacon’s triptychs, while the artist’s latest works most vividly recall the 1960s party pictures of British painter Michael Andrews.

Specific approach to coloring and forms are forte of Thomas Eggerer

The oil acrylic canvas from 2015 were on view in Maureen Paley and other galleries
Thomas Eggerer – Gesture and Territory, 2013 – image via petzel

The Gestures and The Process

In general, direction, vector forces and the flow fascinate Thomas Eggerer since the altogether they provide the effect of inflation exploding and imploding. The shapes of overlapping tents as little arrows indicate the movement and are often followed with a literary accompaniment – like in the case of a poem was distributed as a handout to gallery visitors during the Run River exhibition. Thomas Eggerer is a constant researcher and is eager of having more space to explore, to layer and develop. Every inch of the canvas matters, as well as right distribution of color and drawing which should punctuate an interesting narrative.

Disorienting and inviting landscapes

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Thomas Eggerer – Waterworld, 2016 – image via petzel

The Painterly Domains of Thomas Eggerer

The artist’s decades-long interrogation of the visuals of collectivism, participation, and communal social dynamics enabled him to show his works in important galleries and museums. His use of groups of individuals lost in architecturally ambiguous settings led him to explore the interaction between form, color and gesture. The effect of deliberate imprecision makes the narratives archetypal and exactly that kind of subtle agenda transforms the works of Thomas Eggerer into something socially and politically charged.

Thomas Eggerer lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Portrait of Thomas Eggerer – image courtesy of the artist
All images used are for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016WaterworldPetzel Gallery, New YorknSolo
2016Painting 2.0 Expression in the Information AgeMumok, ViennaGroup
2015Painting 2.0 Expression in the Information AgeMuseum Brandhorst, MunichGroup
2015Thomas EBiennale de Lyon, LyonGroup
2015Go and Play with the Giants, Childhood, Liberation and CritiqueMuseum Villa Stuck, MunichGroup
2015OzoneMaureen Paley, LondonSolo
2014Thomas ERichard Telles Fine Art, Los AngelesSolo
2014Macho Man Tell It To My Heart, Collected by Julie AultArtists Space, New YorkGroup
2014Abandon the ParentsStatens Museum for Kunst, CopenhagenGroup
20148 ArtistsJohn Berggruen Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
2013Tell It To My Heart, Collected by Julie AultMuseum fur Gegenwartskunst, BaselGroup
2013Gesture and TerritoryPetzel Gallery, New YorkSolo
2012The Sound and the ScentMaureen Paley, LondonSolo
2012Preludes, Thomas Eggerer and R.H. QuaytmanFriedrich Petzel East, New YorkGroup
2012Variationen uber ein ThemaHochschule fur Grafik und Buchkunst, LeipzigGroup
2011Looking Back, The 6th White Columns AnnualWhite Columns, New YorkGroup
2011New York to London and Back, The Medium of ContingencyThomas Dane Gallery,LondonGroup
2011Quodlibit III, Alphabets and InstrumentsGalerie Daniel Buchholz, BerlinGroup
2011In der PyramideGalerie Daniel Buchholz, CologneSolo
2010The Rules of the FenceFriedrich Petzel East, New YorkSolo
2010Fence RomanceGalerie Daniel Buchholz, BerlinSolo
2009Compass in Hand, Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawing CollectionThe Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2009Quodlibet IIGalerie Daniel Buchholz, CologneGroup
2008Idle YouthGladstone Gallery, New YorkGroup
2008The Painting of Modern LifeCastello di Rivoli, TurinGroup
2008Form und GrundGalerie Belvedere für zeitgenössische Kunst, ViennaGroup
2008Passageworks, Contemporary Art from the Permanent CollectionSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San FranciscoGroup
2008The Goodbye LookRichard Telles Fine Art, Los AngelesSolo
2008NavigatorFrans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The NetherlandsSolo
2007Run RiverFriedrich Petzel Gallery, New YorkSolo
2007Fit to PrintGagosian Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007DetourismOrchard Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007The Painting of Modern LifeHayward Gallery, LondonGroup
2006O PioneersGalerie Daniel Buchholz, CologneSolo
2005Galerie Daniel BuchholzKöln at Metro Pictures, Metro Pictures, New YorkGroup
2005No competitive offersArtis, AmsterdamGroup
2005Visiting Faculty ShowHarvard University, Cambridge, MassachusettsGroup
2004Thomas eFriedrich Petzel Gallery, New YorkSolo
2004The Undiscovered CountryUCLA Hammer Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2004Baja to VancouverThe West Coast and Contemporary Art, travelling exhibitionGroup
2004Dass die Korper sprechenGenerali Foundation,ViennaGroup
2004QuodlibetGalerie Buchholz, CologneGroup
2003DdeutschemalereizweitausenddreiFrankfurter Kunstverein, FrankfurtGroup
2003Baja to VancouverThe West Coast and Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum,SeattleGroup
2003Thomas eRichard Telles Fine Art, Los AngelesSolo
2003AtriumKunstverein Braunschweig, BraunschweigSolo
2002Matrix 148Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, ConnecticutSolo
2002Painting on the Move, Nach der Wirklichkeit, Realismus und aktuelle MalereiKunsthalle Basel, BaselGroup
2002Snapshot, New Art from Los AngelesUCLA Hammer Museum, Los AngelesGroup
2002Thomas Eggerer, Jochen Klein, Amelie von WulffenGalerie Ascan Crone, BerlinGroup
2001 Thomas ERichard Telles Fine Art, Los AngelesSolo
2000Group showGalerie Daniel Buchholz, CologneGroup
1999MalereiINIT Kunsthalle, BerlinGroup
1998Group ShowGalerie Daniel Buchholz, CologneGroup
1996Points of EntryThree Rivers Arts Festival, PittsburghGroup
1996IKEA, Eggerer,KleinPrinted Matter, New YorkGroup
1995MarketKunstverein Munchen, MunicGrouph
1994Oh Boy, It’s a Girl! Feminismen in der KunstKunstverein Munchen, MunichGroup
1994Die Utopie des DesignsKunstverein Munchen,MunichGroup