Römer + Römer

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Nina and Torsten Römer (2010, taken with a self-timer)

Römer + Römer (Torsten and Nina Römer) are a German-Russian artist couple living and working in Berlin, Germany.[1]


Born in Aachen in 1968, Torsten Römer studied painting at the Kunstakademie Münster under Prof. Udo Scheel, and at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Professors Rissa, Siegfried Anzinger, Helmut Federle and A. R. Penck. In 1996, Torsten Römer was awarded a travel grant by the Kunstverein Düsseldorf.

Nina Römer was born Nina Tangian in Moscow, in 1978. She is the granddaughter of the Soviet-era writer Yury Valentinovich Trifonov, and the great-granddaughter of the Ukranian-Russian-Soviet painter Amshey Nurenberg. She studied painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Professors Helmut Federle and A. R. Penck.

Nina and Torsten Römer met while studying painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where they both became Master Students under A. R. Penck. Since 1998, they have been collaborating on artistic projects as the artist duo Römer + Römer. They have lived and worked in Berlin since 2000.

In 2011, Römer + Römer were bestowed with the special award of the Lucas Cranach Prize by the city of Kronach.[2]


Römer + Römer, Party Sträflinge [Party Prisoners], 2014
Römer + Römer, Generalstreik [General Strike], 2015 (detail)

The work of Römer + Römer encompasses painting, photography, digital art, printmaking and performance. They have also curated a number of exhibitions. Their reflections on the nature of digital images in photography and on the Internet inspired them to develop the painterly technique that characterizes their works. Their transference of photos they take into large-format panel painting occurs over numerous working steps involving various degrees of abstraction. The couple disassembles their motifs into planes of colour and thousands of painted dots upon the canvas, which coalesce within the eye of the beholder into a focused image from a certain distance. The closer one moves toward the paintings, the more the figures and objects become lost amongst the abstract play of colours. What would appear to be photo-realistic representations consciously reveal themselves as illusions. In contrast to Impressionist Pointillism, their ‘dots’ can be interpreted as colour-pixels, thus providing an allusion to the digital flood of images integral to the era of ‘selfieism’.

In 1998, Römer + Römer began to work on their long-term project M°A°I°S, which ran until 2006 and took place primarily in bunkers. Historical and political occurrences have often provided points of departure for their themes and projects. The Berlin exhibition Der freie Wille [Free Will] (2005), for example, was opened on the 20th anniversary of Glasnost with a speech by Mikhail Gorbachev. HA KYPOPT! – Russische Kunst heute [To the Spa! – Russian Art Today] (2004) held at the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden [the State Art Museum of the renowned health-spa city Baden-Baden] referenced Russian spa guests from the Czar era.[3] Yet, Römer + Römer refrain from analysing history but rather reconstruct it employing aesthetic means. Accompanied by the spirit of optimism and change integral to contemporary Berlin, the artists’ view toward urban life and the younger generations is of particular interest in their series Café Bistro Hauptstadt [Café Bistro Capital City], Barfuss kommt ihr hier nicht rein [Barefoot Entrance Not Permitted][4] and Sense of Life. Precipitated by the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, Römer + Römer experimented in their project Infinite Justice with the NATO logo, Arabic script from the Koran, the Bundeswehr emblem and their self-portraits, employing painting, computer graphics, silk-screen and etching. In specially tailored ‘Phantasy Burkas’, thematically correspondent performances were held in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Turin, Miami und Vladivostok. Wider public acclaim was gained by Römer + Römer in 2003/2004 for their Deutsch-russische Knutschperformance [German-Russian Kissing Performance]. The subject of love has also been addressed in other projects, including their erection of an interactive cube entitled Blind Date Adam & Eve Lottery.

Since 2008, they have focused on motifs discreetly captured and collected on their journeys through Asia, South America, North Africa, the Middle East, Russia and various European countries. They integrate themselves into the idiosyncrasies of the various social contexts, so as to discover core values of the globalised world, subsequently transposing these into painterly formulations. Larger pictorial series have thus emerged, such as Cosplay in Peking (2009) from China, 50 Ansichten des Berges Fuji vom Zug aus betrachtet [50 Views of Mount Fuji as seen from the Train] (2009) from Japan, as an homage to Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, Die Flut [The Flood] (2010) from the harbour city Busan in South Korea, and others reflecting the Banlieus of Paris (2010), Israel (2011) and Gay Pride in Brighton (2011). From their research trip to Brazil, the series Sambódromo (2013) emerged, depicting Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, portraying the concentraçao of costumed dancers and other protagonists waiting backstage at the stadium before their performances.

From 2013 to 2016, Römer + Römer dealt in their works with the Fusion music festival, held each year at a former Soviet military airport in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Their pictures reflect the temporary sense of community in the collective state of exception that the promoters themselves have called holiday communism. In 2017, the artist duo travelled for research to the legendary Burning Man Festival held annually in the Black Rock Desert Nevada. Fire, light and LED installations, art cars, freak installations, burns and parties in the ephemeral Black Rock City were brought into focus by their paintings.

Exhibitions (selection)[edit]

(GE = group exhibition)

  • 2019 Burning Man – Electric Sky, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin, Germany
  • 2018 Face to Face – Gesichter der Sammlung Hense [Faces of the Hense Collection], Kunsthalle Hense, Gescher, Germany (GE)[5]
  • 2018 Sturmhöhen [Wuthering Heights], Schafhof – Europäischen Künstlerhaus Oberbayern, Freising, Germany (GE)
  • 2017 Generalstreik [General Strike], Kunstverein Münsterland, Coesfeld, Germany[6]
  • 2017 ¿Qué dices? [What did You Say?], Espronceda, Barcelona, Spain[7]
  • 2017 Kiss – From Rodin to Bob Dylan, Bröhan-Museum, Berlin Germany (GE)
  • 2017 Wilhelm-Morgner-Preis Ausstellung [Wilhelm Morgner Prize Exhibition], Museum Wilhelm Morgner, Soest, Germany (GE)
  • 2017 Under Construction, Schau Fenster, Berlin, Germany (GE)[8]
  • 2017 Painting is Dead. Long Live Painting, CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain (GE)
  • 2016 Party Sträflinge [Party Prisoners], Kunstverein Kunstkreis Hameln, Hameln, Germany
  • 2015 56. Biennale in Venedig, National Pavillon of Mauritius (GE)[9]
  • 2015 Hamster – Hipster – Handy. Im Bann des Mobiltelefons [Hamsters, Hipsters and ‘Handys’ – Under the Spell of the Mobile Phone], Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt a. M., Germany (GE)
  • 2014 Party Löwe [Party Lion], Freight+Volume Galerie, New York, USA[10]
  • 2014 Alles für Alle [Everything for Everyone], Richard-Haizmann-Museum, Niebüll, Germany[11]
  • 2013 Face to Face, Zhan Zhou International Center of Contemporary Art in Beijing, China
  • 2013 Russisches Berlin [Russian Berlin], at the White Nights Festival, Central Exhibition Hall, Perm, Russia (GE) [12]
  • 2013 Sambódromo, Michael Schultz Gallery, Berlin, Germany[13]
  • 2012 Punkt-Systeme – Vom Pointillismus zum Pixel [Dot Systems – From Pointillism to Pixels], Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany (GE)
  • 2012 Menschenbilder – Der internationale Lucas-Cranach-Preis [Human Images – Lucas Cranach Prize], Cranach-Foundation, Wittenberg, Germany (GE) [14]
  • 2012 Megacool 4.0 – Jugend und Kunst [Youth and Art], Künstlerhaus Vienna, Austria (GE)
  • 2011 salondergegenwart, Hamburg, Germany (GE)[15]
  • 2011 Biennale of Contemporary Art, D-O ARK Underground (im ehemaligen Tito-Bunker), Konjic, Bosnien-Herzegowina (GA)[16]
  • 2011 Monte Verita, Kunstverein Montez, Frankfurt, Germany (GE)[17]
  • 2010 O tu mir das nicht an, Kunsthalle Rostock, Germany[18]
  • 2010 Fighting for freedom, Gwangju Art Museum, Gwangju, South Korea[19]
  • 2010 Inter-cool 3.0 – Jugend Bild Medien, Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund, Germany (GE)
  • 2009 Terrorist No 1, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Germany[20]
  • 2009 Based on a true story, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China[21]
  • 2009 Second life in Peking, Mathias Kampl Gallery, Munich, Germany[22]
  • 2009 Gemeinsam in Bewegung – Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Deutschland und China [On the Move Together – Contemporary Art from Germany and China], Wuhan Art Museum, Wuhan, China (GE)
  • 2007 Sense of Life, Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, South Korea[23]
  • 2006 Café–Bistro–Hauptstadt', Michael Schultz Gallery, Berlin, Germany
  • 2005 Emergency Biennale in Chechenya – a suitcase from Paris to Grosny, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (GE)
  • 2005–2008 Ten further stations of the Emergency Biennale[24]: Matrix Art Projects, Brussels/ Belgium; Eurac-European Academy of Bolzano/ Italy[25]; Isola Art center, Milan/ Italy; Neatliekama Biennale, Riga/ Latvia; Tallin Art Hall, Tallin/ Estland; Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Vancouver/ Canada[26]; Plataforma, San Pedro Museo de Arte, Puebla/ Mexico; Istanbul Biennale/ Turkey; World Social Forum & CCA Playspace Gallery, San Francisco/ U.S.A.; Galeria Arsenal, Bialystok/ Polen (GE)[27]
  • 2005 M°A°I°S VI – Der freie Wille [Free Will], Bunker unter der arena, Berlin, Germany (GE)[28]
  • 2004 HA KYPOPT! Russische Kunst heute, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany (GE)
  • 2004 Paradise – International Forum of Art Initiatives, Neue Manege, Moscow, Russia (GE)[29]
  • 2003 M°A°I°S V. Paradies, Bunker under Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany (GE)[30]
  • 2003 International Festival of new technologies in contemporary art, St. Petersburg’s Center of Visual Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia (GE)
  • 2002 Liverpool Biennale, Liverpool, UK (GE)[31]
  • 2002 Big Torino, Torino Biennale, Turin, Italy (GE)[32]
  • 2000 Eight Days A Week 2000 : Eurocard: Torsten and Nina in Liverpool, Graphic House, Liverpool, UK


  • Römer + Römer: Burning Man – Electric Sky, Dortmund: Verlag Kettler, 2019.
  • Guest, Anthony-Haden, Peter Frank, Samir Nedzemar and Nick Lawrence. Summer of love. New York: Freight+Volume Gallery, 2018.
  • Volm, Saralisa and Britta Helbig, eds. bitchMATERial. Studio 1, exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Kunstquartier Bethanien, 2018.
  • Grosskopf, Anna, and Tobias Hoffmann, eds. Kuss, Von Rodin bis Bob Dylan. Bröhan Museum Berlin, exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Wienand Verlag, 2017. ISBN 978-3-868323-75-7
  • Römer, Torsten and Nina Römer, eds. Under Construction. Berlin: Hauptstadtkulturfonds, 2017.
  • Wilhelm Morgner Preis Ausstellung. Soest: Förderverein Wilhelm Morgner e.V., 2017.
  • 56. Venedig Biennale. National Pavilion of the Republic of Mauritius, exhibition catalougue. Mauritius: Ministry of Arts and Culture of the Republic of Mauritius, 2016.
  • Enwezor, Okwui. All the World's Futures: 56 International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia. Venice: Marsilio, 2015. ISBN 978-8-831721-28-8
  • Römer + Römer: Wo ist eigentlich gestern. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Galerie Michael Schultz, 2015. ISBN 978-3-939983-64-4
  • Black Bandits. Haus am Lützowplatz, exhibition catalogue. Tübingen/Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth Verlag, 2015. ISBN 978-3-803033-72-7
  • Römer + Römer: Sambódromo. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Galerie Michael Schultz, 2013. ISBN 978-3-939983-84-2
  • Brodauf, Julia, ed. OFF SPACES & SITES. Außergewöhnliche Ausstellungsorte abseits des etablierten Kunstmarkts. Bad Honnef: GKS – Gesellschaft für Kunstförderung und Sponsoring GmbH, 2013. ISBN 978-3-980829-80-9
  • Infinity: Neo-expressionism / Contemporary Art. Exhibition catalogue. Beijing: Zhan Zhou Center of Contemporary Art, 2013.
  • B Linien. Exhibition catalogue. Skopje: Galerie NLB, 2013.
  • Spieler, Reinhard, and Barbara J. Scheuermann, eds. Wilhelm-Hack-Museum. Punkt-Systeme. Vom Pointillismus zum Pixel. Berlin: Kehrer Verlag, 2012. ISBN 978-3-868283-50-1
  • Richard, Birgit, Heinz-Hermann Krüger, Peter Bogner, and Künstlerhaus Wien, eds. Megacool 4.0 – Jugend und Kunst. Berlin: Kerber Verlag, 2012. ISBN 978-3-866787-44-5
  • Römer + Römer: Pride in Brighton. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Galerie Michael Schultz, 2011. ISBN 978-3-939983-51-4
  • Römer + Römer: Reisende. Exhibition catalogue. Munich, Galerie von Braunbehrens, 2011. ISBN 978-3-922268-67-3
  • Holle, Christian, ed. Salondergegenwart. Berlin: Kerber Verlag, 2011. ISBN 978-3-866786-37-0
  • Transformationen. Exhibition catalogue. Munich: Galerie Kampl, 2011.
  • Funken, Peter. Römer + Römer: Meer der Freundschaft. Munich/London/New York: Prestel Verlag, 2011. ISBN 978-3-791345-08-6
  • Römer + Römer: Fighting for freedom. Exhibition catalogue. Gwangju: Gwangju Museum of Art, 2010. OCLC 781461234
  • Römer + Römer: Die Flut. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Galerie Michael Schultz, 2010. ISBN 978-3-939983-37-8
  • Römer + Römer: Second life in Peking. Exhibition catalogue. Munich: Galerie Kampl, 2009.
  • Römer + Römer: Based on a true story. Exhibition catalogue. Beijing: Today Art Museum, 2009.
  • Römer + Römer: Barfuss kommt Ihr hier nicht rein. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Galerie Michael Schultz, 2008.
  • Close-up. Exhibition catalogue. Porto: Por Amor A Arte Galeria, 2008.
  • De Knecht, Arie. Auf dem Weg ins Licht. Berlin: Galerie Michael Schultz, 2007. ISBN 3-939983-14-9 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN.
  • Eroticism 21c. Exhibition catalogue. Seoul: Artsonje Center, 2007.
  • Römer + Römer: Sense of life. Exhibition catalogue. Seoul: Gallery Hyundai, 2007. ISBN 978-8-995899-87-8
  • Römer + Römer: Café Bistro Hauptstadt. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Galerie Michael Schultz, 2006.
  • Römer, Torsten, Nina Römer and arena Berlin, eds. M°A°I°S 6 – Der freie Wille. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Hans Schiler Verlag, 2005. ISBN 978-3-899300-69-7
  • Winzen, Mathias, and Georgy Nikitsch, eds. HA KYPOPT! Russische Kunst Heute. Cologne: Wienand Verlag, 2004. ISBN 978-3-879098-35-4
  • Paradise. Moscow: Moscow committee for Culture & International Forum of Art Initiatives, 2004.
  • Römer, Torsten, and Nina Römer, eds. M°A°I°S 5 – Paradies. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: 2004. ISBN 3-00-013874-9
  • Piper, Edmund, ed. 1. Berliner Kunstsalon. Berlin: 2004.
  • Not in the sky & not on the earth. Exhibition catalogue. Skopje: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2004.
  • Reconnaissance Art. Moscow: Moscow committee for Culture & International Forum of Art initiatives, 2003.
  • Präsident des Abgeordnetenhauses Berlin, ed. Blumen aus Niemandsland, Berlin: 2003.
  • International festival of new technologies in contemporary art. St. Petersburg: Saint-Petersburg´s Center of Visual Arts, 2003.
  • Römer, Torsten and Nina Römer, eds. M°A°I°S 4 – The good and the bad. Liverpool Biennale, exhibition catalogue. Berlin: 2003. ISBN 3-00-011075-5
  • Motherland/Fatherland. Moscow: Moscow committee for Culture & International Forum of Art initiatives, 2002.
  • Luenig, Claudia Maria, and Maggie McCormick, eds. Global Fusion 2002. Vienna: 2002.
  • International Flag-Art-Festival. Seoul: Department of Worldcup Cultural Affairs, Seoul Metropolitan Government, 2002. OCLC-Number 690519642
  • Römer, Torsten, and Nina Römer. M°A°I°S 2 – Der Tod. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: 2001.
  • 5. Internationaler Kongress für Performance- und Visuelle Kunst. Berlin: Gallery SOTODO and Schloß Bröllin, 2000.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ In the rankings from artfacts.net, Römer+Römer are listed among the top percentage of all living artists.
  2. ^ Cf. Vera Block, Schnappschüsse fürs Gemälde, Nina und Torsten Römer im Porträt, in: Deutschlandradio Kultur, 15. September 2011; Peter Funken, Römer + Römer. Meer der Freundschaft, Munich et al.: Prestel, 2011. 142
  3. ^ Cf. Mathias Winzen, Georgy Nikitsch (eds.): HA KYPOPT! Russische Kunst Heute. Cologne: 2004.
  4. ^ Cf. Peter Funken: Römer + Römer "Barfuß kommt ihr hier nicht rein", Michael Schultz Gallery, 14.6.–26.7.2008, in: Kunstforum International, Band 192, 2008, Ausstellungen: Berlin. 261
  5. ^ Römer + Römer in the Hense Collection, private collection of contemporary art
  6. ^ Kunstverein Münsterland
  7. ^ Espronceda Center for ART & Culture
  8. ^ Schau Fenster, Raum für Kunst Berlin
  9. ^ National Pavilion of Mauritius 56. Venice Biennale 2015
  10. ^ Freight+Volume Gallery, New York
  11. ^ Richard-Haizmann-Museum, Niebüll
  12. ^ Central Exhibition Hall of Perm, Russ. Museum
  13. ^ Cf. Ingeborg Ruthe, Tanze Samba mit mir. In: Berliner Zeitung, 9. September 2013.
  14. ^ Cranach-Stiftung, Wittenberg
  15. ^ salondergegenwart, Hamburg
  16. ^ Biennale of Contemporary Art, D-O ARK Underground
  17. ^ Kunstverein Montez, Frankfurt
  18. ^ Cf. Römer + Römer „O tu mir das nicht an!“, Exhibition opening Kunsthalle Rostock. In: Rostock-Heute, 12. Dezember 2010.
  19. ^ Gwangju Art Museum, Korea
  20. ^ Eugenia Hu, Künstlerduo Römer+Römer in Peking und Heidelberg. In: Die Welt online, 23. May 2009.
  21. ^ Today Art Museum, Beijing
  22. ^ Mathias Kampl Gallery, Munich
  23. ^ Hyundai Gallery, Seoul
  24. ^ Emergency Biennale
  25. ^ Eurac-European Academy of Bolzano
  26. ^ Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
  27. ^ Galeria Arsenal, Polen
  28. ^ Arena Berlin
  29. ^ Neue Manege, Moscow
  30. ^ Bunker Alexanderplatz Berlin
  31. ^ Liverpool Biennale
  32. ^ Torino Biennale, Turin