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Art Basel Miami Beach 2018

December 6 - 9, 2018

Elegantly dazzling with swirling colour application
Galerie Thomas presents „Les Peupliers“ by Max Ernst among other masterpieces

Max Ernst created his painting “Les Peupliers” in his love nest in Southern France. It was the last summer before the outbreak of the Second World War, his last and only summer in crazy, intimate togetherness with his lover Leonora Carrington. Galerie Thomas is pleased to be able to present this Surrealist work from one of the most important stages in Max Ernst’s creativity and life at this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach.

 The last weeks before his flight to the USA

Max Ernst, the German artist and leading proponent of Surrealism, had fled from Paris with Leonora Carrington to the small village of Saint-Martin d’Ardèche in order to escape his quarrelsome second wife and the disputes with André Breton, who was politically tending towards Stalinism. Here, they purchased a farmhouse, which they transformed into a “Gesamtkunstwerk” (all encompassing work of art) with sculptures and painting, and antagonized the villagers with their nudist escapades. In Saint-Martin, Max Ernst created “Les Peupliers,” a work that ranks among a whole group of paintings showing similar columnar structures and forms created by decalcomania.

 Only few weeks later in this dramatic summer of 1939 Max Ernst was interned in the notorious camp Les Milles. He escaped twice and finally fled with the help of no one else than Peggy Guggenheim to the USA. There was one more short meeting with his lover Leonora in Lisbon, but their plans to escape together were dashed. The name of Max Ernsts third wife is Peggy Guggenheim, although she wasn’t the last woman Max Ernst married.

 Just an impression of two poplars

The perception of merely only a landscape painting when looking at “Les Peupliers” is soon shattered and overturned by the bizarre, strange and confusing forms in which the paint winds, curls and forms signs and symbols. Nowhere does the eye succeed in focussing on a familiar shape: profiles and faces, zoomorphic figures and cloud-like formations materialise, only to disappear again. “Everybody knows Max Ernst for Grattage and Frottage”, says Silke Thomas, “but this elegantly dazzling surface effect he achieves through the technique of decalcomania, a transfer process, in which the paint is manipulated in such a way that the streaks, bubbles and curves that are typical of Ernst’s paintings of this period are formed on the surface in an unplanned manner.” And these works are paradigmatic for Surrealism, seducing the viewer at any moment to identify figures and forms that have never been deliberately represented.

 Other masterpieces by Emil Nolde, Alexander Calder or Oskar Schlemmer

Galerie Thomas is proud to announce in addition: masterpieces by German expressionist Emil Nolde, American artist of Classic Modernism Alexander Calder, German Bauhaus teacher Oskar Schlemmer and others.


Jim Dine - New Painting and Sculpture

September 15 to October 27, 2018

Right into the Heart
Jim Dine comes to the Opening of his Show to Galerie Thomas Modern

Munich. Jim Dine, one of the great representatives of American Painting since the sixties, is visiting Galerie Thomas Modern for the season’s opening. “Jim has created 15 paintings, some very large scale, and four sculptures for us", says Raimund Thomas, who visited the 83-year-old artist at his Paris studio. “They are thickly applied hearts, a subject that has preoccupied Dine for many years - and which everybody loves.”

Close ties to Germany

“I started to use paint in a way as though paint was an object itself”, says Jim Dine. In the 1960s, after his studies, Dine joined the group of artists around Rauschenberg, Oldenburg and Lichtenstein, and is now one of the most important representatives of Pop Art. “Jim himself always rejects this pigeonholing, though,” says Raimund Thomas. After his wild years in New York, he moved to London for some years, where he immersed himself in printmaking, typography and drawing. At the beginning of the 1970s, he added sculpture to his repertoire. in 1984, Jim Dine had a groundbreaking encounter with the classical sculpture at the Munich Glyptothek. His relationship with Germany goes even further: Three years ago, the artist gifted 230 prints – etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts – created in the past 50 years, to the Folkwang-Museum in Essen. He also works regularly in his print studio in Göttingen. In France the Centre Pompidou has dedicated a solo exhibition to Dine last year.

Fernando Botero

September 8 - November 4, 2017

Opening on September 8, at 7pm

Without a doubt, Fernando Botero is one of the best known living artists today, and thanks to the famous style he has been developing since the late 1960s, his works are highly recognizable.

The voluminous exaggeration of the human figure, but also of animals and objects, in his paintings, drawings, and sometimes monumental sculptures, not only have a high recognition value, but are also the result of Botero's intensive study of Western art history, the canon of art and the cultural legacy of his South American native country.

Fernando Botero has frequently exhibited at Galerie Thomas; the gallery has been attending his work for decades. A highlight of this cooperation was the presentation of several of the artist's monumental sculptures on the Museum Island in Berlin in 2007. Galerie Thomas last presented an exhibition with works by Fernando Botero and Pablo Picasso at Art Basel in Hong Kong.

On the occasion of his 85th birthday, which Fernando Botero celebrated in 2017, Galerie Thomas Modern is staging an exhibition with works by the Columbian master at "OPEN art". Paintings, works on paper, and sculptures from three decades will be on view, giving an impressive overview of Botero's inimitable artistic oeuvre.


May 19 - July 29, 2017

“The entire paradox of light is that it includes everything that is visible, but is invisible itself.” (Adolf Luther)

Using light as a material and overcoming the conventional forms of artistic representation are the characteristics of the work of Adolf Luther, one of the most important exponents of Op Art, Light Art and Conceptual Art in Germany. In the wake of the ZERO movement, his distinctive mirror objects, sculptures and light installations not only widened the conception of art in the late sixties and early seventies, but completely reinvented it. Adolf Luther’s works, as severe as they are poetical, still exert a special fascination, not least because, through his preoccupation with light, the artist wanted to formulate a new concept of reality and open our eyes to a view beyond the world that can be perceived with the senses.

In its exhibition, Galerie Thomas Modern is presenting not only a number of light and mirror steles, but also one of Adolf Luther’s earliest Laser Rooms, which were ground breaking at the time.

SIMON SCHUBERT - Wherever is now

November 11, 2016 - Januar 21, 2017

In his most recent exhibition at Galerie Thomas Modern, Simon Schubert presents new works on paper, foldings and graphite drawings, as well as sculptures and objects. Rooms and interior views, perspectives and vistas again play a prominent role – not only literally and visibly, but also metaphorically.

Simon Schubert’s folded paper works show interiors and suites of rooms, created in the eye of the beholder by the light and shadows of the surface. In addition, they always play with the motif of the incident light represented in the picture itself. Consequently, they are of an ambivalent, transient nature, seeming to perpetually appear and fade away again. There is also a sense of persons being present, despite the rooms being nearly always entirely empty of humans. In addition, they include a passage of time, which also plays a key role in the graphite works.

Here, the represented room remains essentially invisible, shrouded in the black of the graphite of the drawing, but the darkness that is perceived in this way, is interrupted by the partially blinding incident light. Like the folds, the motifs – rooms, windows, doors, staircases – intone the theme of being drawn into the room, walking through the room, and therefore also passing through time. This is further emphasized by the candle as motif, a universal symbol of transience, of time, but also of hope.

All of Schubert’s works – in particular also the sculptural works and the large self-portrait – thus centre on the theme of introspection, and raise the physical, spatial aspect to a psychological level.  The rooms that are not specifically localized have a labyrinthine connotation: they are also metaphors for inner worlds.

These often Baroque rooms, stretching into infinity, refer to Schubert’s preoccupation with structuralist theories, and it is therefore no surprise that one of the main works of Structuralism by Gilles Deleuze, which deals with Baroque rooms and forms, is entitled “The Fold”.

But the element of time, too, derives from – besides spatial infinity – the variety of literary references in Simon Schubert's work, which also reappear in the title of the exhibition. The normally impermissible coupling of time and spatial allusions in “Wo auch immer ist jetzt“ (“Wherever is now”) is a modified quotation from "Peter Pan", one of the most famous children's books in literary history. Its existence, outside time, in the utopian space of “Neverland”, where time has stopped and children never grow up, is a metaphor of the inner world of the mind, just as in Simon Schubert’s formally virtuoso pictorial space creations.


September 9, 2016 - November 5, 2016

To mark the opening of the season with OPEN art 2016, Galerie Thomas Modern is presenting the latest works by Peter Halley. Peter Halley calls the four large-format canvases “SAW” I – IV, “grid paintings”, a technique he has used since 2014 to introduce a new formal component into his work.

In his work, Halley explores geometrical patterns, colours and surface structures, and their organisation, investigating the structures of modern technological constellations in communication systems, architectures, supply infrastructures and the like. In all his works, one can see the predominance of digitally determined layouts in frameworks and layers.

In his latest compositions, Halley focuses on rectangular colour fields without outlining structures, as in the “cells”, “prisons” and “conduits” of his earlier works. These new pieces contain allusions to largescale image pixels, thereby reflecting Halley’s questioning of the organisation and construction of space, communication and its regulation; but they also deal with our ever more abstracted perception of reality via digital image fields of LED monitors, computer screens and the ubiquitous touchscreens of mobile phones, tablets or navigation systems.

Peter Halley’s “grid paintings” appear to give a self-contradictory commentary on the rivalry between the digital and analogue image, thus also alluding to a chronological structure – where the completely ephemeral, transient digital image is concerned. It remains unclear whether the paintings depict a detail in the time sequence or colour combination, as in the extreme enlargement of a digital representation, or selection by chance that forces the observer to take a particular point of view. At the same time, the apparent, extremely enlarged “pixels” have been transformed into actual, entirely analogue, materially tangible colour surfaces.

As though to reinforce this contrast, Peter Halley gives the colour surfaces a relief-like, haptic surface, thereby contradicting even more strongly the character of the actually incorporeal digital pixels, which are merely appearance and can only provide a colour, an image, a representation – i.e. more complex information – when combined in their thousands. Even if the strict rules of composition are clearly sible, Peter Halley in this way shows how the hierarchy of information influences the rules of perception.

In these highly minimalistic but large-scale grids, the clearly delimited colour surfaces remain without information content or symbolic meaning. Initially, the colour contrasts are the only information, whereas the composition is contingent in its effect and the underlying order pattern or arrangement scheme is not deducible. Nevertheless, the question arises as to whether the sequence and the size ratio of the surfaces to one another don’t contain a code after all. Here, Halley emphasises the importance and role of geometry: is it a pattern underlying the world, an unveiling of the most secret systems of order, or a rigid explanation schema, devised by man and opposed to the organic?

The contrast between the coldness of the mathematics, the geometry and the warmth of the colour, of the sensual perception, leads us to the core of Halley’s artistic criticism of the limitations of systematic measurement and classification of the world. At the same time, he thereby addresses one of the oldest aesthetic theories – that the sense of beauty is determined by proportions. In the history of art, there have been many diverse, exhaustive efforts to fathom the mathematical rules of beauty – one only needs to remember Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man and the importance of the golden ratio.

In these new works, Halley departs one step further from the architectonic principle that dominates his “prison paintings”, towards a pure geometrical abstract composition, which he spectacularly and, in contrast to all earlier artistic movements of Geometrical Abstraction, Abstract Impressionism, Pop Art or Minimal Art, disengages from the non-figurative, and connects directly to the reality of the living world.

About the Artist

Peter Halley first came to prominence in the mid-1980s with his diagrammatic representations, his geometrically alienated cells and prisons in strong, fluorescent colours. Since the 1990s, Halley created site-specific installations, in which he integrated his images into large digital prints that covered entire walls.

From 1996 to 2005, Halley published index magazine, focusing on interviews with countless artistic personalities. In 2001, he received the Frank Jewett Mather Award from the renowned College Art Association for his art criticism. From 2002 to 2011, he was Director of Graduate Studies in Painting and Printmaking at Yale.
The latest exhibitions with works by Peter Halley were the opening exhibition “America is Hard to See” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a one-person exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and, currently, his large installation in the rotunda of the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main.

Galerie Thomas Modern exclusively represents Peter Halley in Germany and has presented his works in a number of one-person and group exhibitions, most recently with a large wall installation at Art Basel Unlimited 2016.

For detailed information and press images, please contact:
Sabrina Betz,, +49 89 29 000 863

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