Tobias Rehberger

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Tobias Rehberger in the movie The Future of Art (2010)

Tobias Rehberger (born June 2, 1966) is a German sculptor, born in Esslingen am Neckar[1]


Rehberger works in the wider sphere of design and architecture, and his art is difficult to categorize. He has created an idyllic Japanese garden in the middle of Manhattan; Pop-inspired wallpaper consisting of photographs of his organs; a series of Modernist-looking treehouses in a park in northern Germany; and an enormous tanker based on a crude boat that the father of a friend built to escape from Vietnam.[2]

For his art-car series, a project that he began in 1999, Rehberger sent simple sketches, composed essentially from memory, of a Porsche 911 and a McLaren F1 to a manufacturer in Thailand. There were no measurements or schematics included. The only parameters were that the cars had to be driveable and built to human scale.[3]

Rehberger also spent some time in Cameroon, where he provided native crafts workers with his crude drawings of well-known modernist chairs and asked them to recreate the designs. The results were filled with cultural misreadings: Alvar Aalto's classic three-legged stool, for instance, was given an extra leg for stability.[4]

On the east side of Madison Square Park in New York, Rehberger in 2001 created Tsutsumu, an elegant Japanese garden made up of a large bonsai tree, a bench and a rock. Early in the morning, even on sweltering August days, the Public Art Fund sprayed the garden with four inches of man-made snow.[5]

Rehberger received the Golden Lion award for best artist at the 2009 Venice Biennale.[6] In December 2011, he unveiled his public sculpture Obstinate Lighthouse, commissioned by the City of Miami Beach. In 2012, he was commissioned to design a 700 square feet (65 square metres) project space in the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, Korea.[7] Rehberger designed an exclusive collection of purses and bags for the German fashion label MCM in 2016.[6]

Tobias Rehberger is represented by neugerriemschneider in Berlin.

Exhibitions (selection)[edit]

  • Kunsthalle Basel 1998
  • Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1998
  • Sprengel Museum, Hannover 1998
  • Geläut – bis ich's hör '...' ', Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe, 2002
  • Bitte ... danke ', Galerie der Stadt Stuttgart, 2003/2004
  • Private matters Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2004
  • Cancelled projects , Museum Fridericianum, Cassel, 1995
  • Home and away and outside installation , Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 2014[8]
  • New York Bar Oppenheimer, Hotel Americano, New York, 2013[9]
  • Dazzle Ship London, HMS President, London, 2014[10][11]


  • Förderpreis des Internationalen Kunstpreises of Baden-Württemberg Landes, 1999
  • Ten-Preis 2001
  • Karl-Ströher-Preis 2003
  • Golden Lion for Best Artist that responded to the 2009 theme "Fare Mondi // Making Worlds" Venice Biennale

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Tobias Rehberger Bio, artnet Database.
  2. ^ Maura Egan (October 8, 2006), The Provocateur T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
  3. ^ Maura Egan (October 8, 2006), The Provocateur T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
  4. ^ Andrea Codrington (January 15, 1998), Public Eye New York Times.
  5. ^ Carol Vogel (May 25, 2001), Art in the Park New York Times.
  6. ^ a b Williams, Maxwell (June–July 2016). "Razzle Dazzle: Sculptor Tobias Rehberger teams with MCM on a striking bag collection". W. Condé Nast. 45 (5): 64.
  7. ^ Tobias Rehberger: ‘ sex and friends’, January 13 – February 16, 2012 Pilar Corrias, London.
  8. ^ Frankfurt show review, The Guardian
  9. ^ Tobias Rehberger's NY Bar Oppenheimer, Dezeen Magazine.
  10. ^ "DAZZLE SHIP – LONDON". 14-18 NOW. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "Artist Tobias Rehberger docks his 'dazzle' warship on London's River Thames". Retrieved June 25, 2015.

External links[edit]