The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, December 19, 2014


Exhibition of new work by Tobias Pils opens at Vienna's Secession
Tobias Pils, Secession, Installation view Secession 2013, Photo: Jorit Aust.
VIENNA.- Tobias Pils is showing a new cycle of work created especially for the Secession, which comprises large-format paintings and a site-related installation. In the run up to the exhibition and before the actual painting process, Pils made an intense study of his proposed exhibition concept. The result is an exhibition of painting that conceives production and presentation in an integral way, merging them into a unit. Pils works primarily in the media of painting and drawing but he has also frequently realised or conceived projects in or for public space – often in cooperation with friends who are artists, musicians or writers.

Pils’s working method is characterised by the fact that when beginning a new piece of work he attempts to forget all past works1, and engages with a motif. This motif can be “anything from a traditional allegory to an abstract rhythm or harmony.”2 In analogy to this and transferring the principle to the larger unit of the exhibition, Pils chose the Secession itself as a leitmotif and source of inspiration for his exhibition in the gallery. Intertwining elements and characteristic forms like the motif of the laurel-leaf dome – the Secession’s ultimate hallmark – flowed as if naturally into his pictorial language. The simple exhibition title Secession points to the exhibition venue as a reference but its restraint also allows sufficient space for distance, irony and – artistic freedom. And so in some visual or conceptual quotations, Pils takes up historical references relating to the Secession and the zeitgeist in Vienna at the start of the 20th century as a whole without compromising his consistent work on painterly issues in any way by doing so. Intuition, inspiration and individuality are criteria relevant to Pils’s painterly oeuvre, and form the basis of his understanding of painting as a language and means of expression.

Pils works with the large format, which – due to the specific demands it makes on the artist’s physical constitution – also allows the physicality of painting to become an image-constituting factor alongside his characteristic pictorial language. Pils’s pictorial language as developed in recent years combines expressive elements with geometric structures such as grids, but never quite cuts the link with representation despite its dominant tendency towards abstraction – whether this link results from fragments of “reality” or through references to the topos of landscape, for example.

“Every element of a graphic image must point in at least two directions: on the one hand, toward a referential meaning found in likeness to nature or in the conceptualizations of theory; on the other hand, toward the artist’s expressive psychological or emotional state.” (Richard Shiff, exhibition catalogue, p. 7)

Pils’s exhibition in the Secession seems to explode the spatial limits of the gallery and to swell far beyond them. Visitors already encounter an artistic setting shortly after entering the building, in the stairwell, which is faced with hand-made ceramic tiles, painted by the artist with wavering blue lines and so transformed into a “tunnel”. This awakens memories of New York subway stations or also of the nearby urban railway stations designed by Otto Wagner, which in turn served as a role model for Joseph Maria Olbrich, the architect of the Secession. The blue-painted tiles with their wave motif evoke a naïve, childlike representation of water; equally, they could be alphabet characters of a foreign, unknown language. Pils’s sensuous and simultaneously ironic staging is continued at the end of the “tunnel”, where a circular painting directs the visitors’ gaze and so leads them into the actual exhibition rooms. The overture in the stairwell is followed by the first act with a crescendo: the entire wall surface of this space set out in the shape of a Greek cross is covered with pictures. The canvases are fitted onto the wall areas and into niches but they cannot fill them completely, being more like a “tailored suit that has turned out too small” (Pils). Lavish facing of walls in art nouveau interiors like those in Palais Stoclet by Josef Hoffmann or Adolf Loos’s wall cladding made from precious stone – a form of organic abstraction – was the model here. In the last room of the gallery the tension is finally released: individual “motifs” emerge from the visual furore and the images regain their autonomy and individuality.

Tobias Pils, born in Linz in 1971, lives and works in Vienna.


1 “I don’t believe in solutions (….) so I try to forget every painting before I start a new one.”, Richard Shiff, “Tobias Pils. Motive”, in: Tobias Pils. Secession, exhibition catalogue, Vienna/Berlin 2013, p. 6.

2 Ibid, p. 9.





Today's News

December 1, 2013

Hotel Des Ventes in Geneva to offer over 230 unpublished letters from Russian Tsars

San Francisco's Legion of Honor exhibits "Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter"

Indonesian archaeologists find a sunken German submarine from the World War II era

Property from the Collection of Rashna Imhasly-Gandhy and Behroze Gandhy leads Christie's first auction in India

Ancient animals lead Christie's New York Fall Sale of Antiquities on 13 December

°CLair Gallery announces landmark exhibition: Erich Hartmann at the Französischer Dom / Berlin

Axel Kasseböhmer exhibits one hundred small-format oil paintings at Sprüth Magers, Berlin

Glasstress: White Light / White Heat - Contemporary artists and glass at the Wallace Collection

Whitechapel Gallery unveils a new commission by leading international artist Kader Attia

Lalique, Picasso, Asawa, Tiffany & Co. headline Michaan's Fine Art Auction on 6 December

Bloomberg New Contemporaries opens at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

The Keith Haring Foundation makes $500,000 grant to New Museum to support programs

Sculpture: An exhibition by Yutaka Sone opens at David Zwirner in London

Guns with links to leading figures of First & Seconf World Wars for sale at Bonhams

Exhibition of new work by Tobias Pils opens at Vienna's Secession

"Akram Zaatari: On Photography People and Modern Times" opens at Thomas Dane Gallery

Building is underway at The new Wessex Gallery of Archaeology, The Salisbury Museum

Garis & Hahn presents: "Suddenly, There: Discovery of the Find"

Three paintings by Julian Onderdonk bring record $1.1 million at Heritage Auctions

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site