THOMAS VIRNICH - HELTER SKELTER
24th October 2015 to 21st January 2016Many of Thomas Virnichs’ works come into being in an experimental process derived from pre-existing forms. This process is less defined through rational preliminary considerations, but rather by playful and yet a systematic probing of the possibilities of sculptural transformation. This means that a new object can arise on principle through the inversion, division, moulding, combination etc. of any three-dimensional initial form. "Tin and wooden toys, goody bags and plastic balls", are some of the objets trouvés which have enabled him to discover a totally new innovation of form and which he "systematically makes use of for further work". In addition, however, architectural models, casts of the artist’s own body, his own sculptures or those from other sculptors and miscellaneous objects which are of emotional significance to the artist may become a point of departure for new works. Two bronze sculptures form the focal point of the exhibition arising from the group of works titled "Fliegende Katakomben" (Flying Catacombs) in which Virnich combines an architectural model of his studio with impressions of journeys and memories of ancient places and monuments.
Thomas Virnich (born in 1957 in Eschweiler) lives and works in Mönchengladbach. From 1978 until 1981 he studied at the Technical College in Aachen with Joachim Bandau and then changed to the Düsseldorf Academy of Art, where he studied under Alfonso Hüppi and Eugen Gomringer until 1985. In 1983, Virnich had his first solo exhibition and received a grant from the city of Aachen as well as exhibition space at the Art Cologne. Furthermore, he received the promotional award for visual arts for North Rhine Westphalia in 1985, the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Scholarship in 1987 and the Lower Saxony Culture Prize in 2001. Since 1992 he has been teaching at the College of Visual Arts in Braunschweig.