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Rochester Art Center presents exhibition by leading representative of the "New Leipzig School" of painting
Tim Eitel, Anhöhe, 2003. Oil on canvas, 94.5 x 71 inches.

ROCHESTER, MN.- Tim Eitel has gained a reputation as one of the best young painters working today. Recognized as a leading representative of the
“New Leipzig School” of painting—a moniker imparted on a small group of artists who together attended the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts—Eitel has risen to international prominence for his distinctive approach and contributions to the field of contemporary painting.

Tim Eitel: Elsewhere is organized by Rochester Art Center and represents the artist’s largest museum survey presentation in the United States to date. “We are delighted to present Tim Eitel at Rochester Art Center and to this part of the country for the first time. He is one of the most significant painters of his generation and it is a privilege to introduce such poignant and meaningful work that will resonate locally” says Shannon Fitzgerald, Rochester Art Center Executive Director.

After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, German students living in the West were afforded the possibility to travel east to attend universities previously unavailable to them. In 1994, Eitel enrolled at the Burg Giebichtenstein in Halle, then Leipzig in 1997, where he remained until 2003. Many of Eitel’s contemporaries in the West focused their attention on distinctly conceptual and theoretical practices, focusing on video, installation, photography, or new media— generally dismissing the work and methodologies that had come previously from the East. In Leipzig however, the study of painting essentially remained as it had been for decades—with careful study of nature, landscape, the figure— fundamental and technical skills associated with traditional techniques in painting. Simultaneously being exposed to these and particularly contemporary approaches to art making provided the opportunity for Eitel and his peers in Leipzig to consider these ostensibly dissimilar methods, and employ specific aspects of either to greater or lesser extents within their practice. In 2001, Eitel and a number of fellow students from Leipzig opened the cooperative
gallery Liga in Berlin. Here the artists began to exhibit their work, and within a short amount of time met with critical success from both inside and outside of Germany. As a consequence, their particular style of painting—and painting in general—was thrust back onto the world stage of contemporary art, due in no small part to the fall of communism and the reunification of Germany.

Rochester Art Center Chief Curator Kris Douglas explains that “Many of Eitel’s enigmatic works contain representational subjects inhabiting reductivist environments. From slate grey clouds in an ominous sky to a small fire burning in outward isolation, Eitel employs a palette of minimal, muted color to arresting effect. In borrowing, combining, or isolating subjects from the everyday, Eitel’s works hold unique symbolic and metaphoric considerations. These distinctive scenes, as if culled from one individual frame of a film, offer us a multitude of visual and emotional possibilities— all heightened and made more mysterious through the act of painting.”

For his exhibition at the Rochester Art Center—his first large-scale survey exhibition in the United States—approximately 32 works completed between 2002-2012 provide a broad insight into the artists’ practice over the last decade.

Tim Eitel was born in 1971 in the southern German city of Leonberg, near Stuttgart. He graduated with a degree in painting from the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig in 2001. Since 2000, Eitel has participated in more than fifty exhibitions worldwide. In 2008, the Kunsthalle Tübingen organized Tim Eitel: Die Bewohner, a traveling exhibition with subsequent installations at the Kunsthallen
Brandts, Denmark and Kunsthallezu Kiel, Germany. Other significant solo exhibitions include Currents 96: Tim Eitel, at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri (2006); Tim Eitel: Terrain, a traveling exhibition organized by the Museum zu Allerheiligen/Kunstverein Schaffhausen (2004-2005); and Tim Eitel, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2002). Eitel’s work has also been included in a traveling exhibition organized by Mass MOCA (2004-2008) and in group shows at the Kunsthalle
Wien, Vienna (2008-2009); MART Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy (2008); Cleveland Museum of Art (2005); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2004-8); Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig (2003); and Frankfurter Kunstverein (2003). His work is part of numerous museum collections and important private collections worldwide, such as the MuseumFrieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany; Ovitz Family Collection, Los Angeles; Sammlung Essl-Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Austria, and the Rubell
Family Collection, Miami.

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