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19 Apr 2008

Thomas Grünfeld - HEIMSPIEL

© Thomas Grünfeld

Thomas Grünfeld - HEIMSPIEL


WED - SAT 14-18

0032 (0)498 31 99 41


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Thomas Grünfeld - Heimspiel - at McBride Fine Art

Thomas Grünfeld (Germany, 1956°) is a conceptual artist best known for his “Misfits” – taxidermy inventions made of various animal parts. In 1999, Grünfeld ventured into photography to produce a portfolio of nude images, a subtle homage to the Polaroids of Carlo Mollino (1905-1973). This Italian architect and designer did not shy from designing racing cars, furniture (often inspired by the feminine physic), or publishing a history of photography (in which he himself figures prominently), as well as a book on his skiing technique.

Grünfeld always has been fascinated by purposeful interventions of design. He equally created scenes, where the instincts of the artist, the designer and the devoted connoisseur enter into an ironic play within a self-directed environment. To heighten provocation of working with the nude, a most traditional exercise in the Western cannon  – the prints are made in the rare dye-transfer method, insinuating a heightened aesthetic experience.

The threshold to engage in Thomas Grünfeld’s oeuvre is, he insists, set consciously low, be it in the work groups Misfits, Gummis, Augenbilder or Filze (Misfits, Rubbers, Eye-paintings, Felts). There are clear mechanisms of attraction or repulsion in place to engage the viewer into more profound issues of how we perceive reality, or as in the case of the Eye-paintings: how we ourselves are perceived – by an environment which seems to have staid qualities, but is of course itself fluid and changing.

Thomas Grünfeld came up with a generation of artists in the Eighties, which chose not to take the lead from the mainstream of the Sixties and Seventies – which by then was perceived as theoretically overwrought, imbued in ideology to the point of couching naïve political intentions in art. Instead they focused on material qualities of the artwork. Grünfeld’s original motivation was to discreetly refurbish certain environments in order to subvert their stale, repressive and melancholy condition. But here an example of another interpretation of the works implications:

“Grünfeld’s work is a statement about the general perception of art and design. Both are intrinsically linked to ideals of nature and form. They aim to resemble nature and to shape structure, and in so shaping continually refer back to the inner laws of nature of structure. Grünfeld’s oeuvre draws on the collective memories and experiences that precondition how we see things… “

Art at the Turn of the Millennium (RIEMSCHNEIDER, BURKHARD and Uta Grosenick [editors]. Cologne, 1999.)

Shawn McBride
Mechelsesteeweg 4
2000 Antwerp

Opening 11th April
Duration 12th April - May 22nd