Thilo Heinzmann

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Thilo Heinzmann (born 1969) is a German painter who lives and works in Berlin.

Education and early career[edit]

1992-1997 Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, with Thomas Bayrle.[1]

1993-1995 assistant to Martin Kippenberger, working in the artist‘s studio in Sankt Georgen im Schwarzwald.[2]

1997–2000 Co-founder of various independent exhibition spaces in Berlin, such as Andersen’s Wohnung, Montparnasse, Wandel and Pazifik.[3]


Thilo Heinzmann's primary media is painting, using a wide variety of materials, including styrofoam, aluminum, hessian, cotton wool, unbound pigment, minerals, fur, wood and porcelain. He also works with sculpture and drawing. Heinzmann’s genuine contribution to contemporary art is that he has used a great variety of media to achieve painterly qualities such as composition, color, and texture within the continuity of the history of the medium while at the same time opening new doors.


„Over nearly two decades, therefore, Heinzmann has examined in interrelating series of paintings those qualities seen as fundamental to the activity and art of painting: form, color, composition, light, surface, texture, scale. It seems as though his art makes a primary engagement with what might be termed the “primal” conditions of painting. As such, the art of Thilo Heinzmann can also be seen to engage with notions of aesthetic and conceptual fetishism—developing a visual language which makes eloquent the beguiling tension and resolution between sensory and visual phenomena.“ (Michael Bracewell)[4]

„Heinzmann’s work proposes links with a modernist tradition in painting, but extracts the tradition-fixed gestures from their settled place, allowing them to play out on a newly synthetic stage, one that has been wiped clean of post-modern counter-criticism and embraces the potential of craft and technique.“ (Kirsty Bell)[5]

„What matters here is, in other words, that what has been influentially described as painting’s ‘Task of Mourning’ (Yve-Alain Bois), or its various endgames, are, in Heinzmann’s work, combined and in that combination release a new productivity. Many ends of painting have been called: showing the world, displaying pure form or color among them. Heinzmann’s paintings make the case that neither end is finite, and that this artform can powerfully deliver its riches when holding both options in balance, and turning that balance into a play that makes for modulation of and meditation on painting’s capacities." (Press Release, Cloud Clear Horizon)[6]


Over the past 20 years Thilo Heinzmann's work has been exhibited internationally, with e.g. solo exhibitions in Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, New York, and Paris. His first solo exhibition in Berlin was held in 1997 at Galerie NEU. His first solo show in the U.S. was mounted by Bortolami Gallery, New York, in 2008.


His art is featured in collections such as Tate Modern,[7] London, and The Federal Collection of Contemporary Art (Bundeskunstsammlung).[8]


Thilo Heinzmann serves as a Guest Professor for painting at Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK Hamburg) the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (2016-2017).[9]


Islandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson wrote a string quartet based on "12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann", which were held over a period of four years.[10]


Thilo Heinzmann, Texts by Michael Bracewell and Philipp Ekardt (german/english), Hatje Cantz 2012.


External links[edit]

Thilo Heinzmann

Guido W. Baudach



Carl Freedman

Galeria Heinrich Ehrhardt

Galerie Perrotin

Richard Thomas Foundation