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04 Oct 2012

Bielefelder Kunstverein presents Thomas Kratz and Jessica Warboys

Poster for the exhibitions by Thomas Kratz and Jessica Warboys, 2012

Bielefelder Kunstverein



Thomas Thiel
+49 (0) 521. 17 88 06
+49 (0) 521. 17 88 10

Bielefelder Kunstverein
Welle 61
33602 Bielefeld

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The Bielefelder Kunstverein is currently presenting new works by Thomas Kratz and by Jessica Warboys, a recent participant in dOCUMENTA (13), as two solo exhibitions. Warboys und Kratz work with an extended concept of painting, which draws in the exhibition space as a pictorial space. As well as engaging with colour, form and materials, both artists use the media of painting, film and performance in different ways to explore topics from art and recent history, together with aspects of how they experience and go about the act of creating images.


Thomas Kratz thinks of himself as a painter first and foremost. His work develops out of fundamental themes from the histories of art and of contemporary affairs and out of the conditions governing colour, form and material and it denotes the conscious juxtaposition of artistic concepts. Most recently, his work has been marked by an intensive concern with portraits and with representing human skin tones. In this process, Kratz understands the unprimed, open-pored canvas as a membrane. It defines the boundaries between inside and outside, image and viewer, figuration and abstraction. And at the same time, it renders these things fluid. In addition, Kratz creates sculptures and performances, which appear to contrast with his painterly work, but only at first glance. He has a particular penchant for elevating everyday objects into cultic ones and for reinterpreting iconographic figures, in order to integrate them into his own ritualistic, and in part surrealistic, games in space.

New paintings and murals have been created for the exhibtion at the Bielefelder Kunstverein, continuing his engagement with body images and portraits. Alongside these, Kratz investigates the possibilities of presenting painting to suit the times and sets it up in an intensive dialogue with the architectural space.

Thomas Kratz, born 1972 in Waiblingen (Germany), lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the University for Design in Karlsruhe and at the Royal College of Art in London. Moreover he was master student in the class of Günther Förg at the Academy of Visual Arts in Munich. Lately his works have been shown in various solo exhibitions, amongst others at Croy Nielsen, Berlin (2010 and 2012) and Kate MacGarry, London (2008), as well as in Center in Berlin (2007) and at kunstraum, Munich (2007). Besides he participated in numerous international group shows, amongst others in Portrait of Space, Clonlea Studios Co., Dublin, Ireland (2011), Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2010), Supernature an Exercise in Loads, AMP Gallery, Athen, Greece (2010) and in Günther Förg & Thomas Kratz, behindthewindow, Munich, Germany (2008).


Specific landscapes and nature itself usually form the starting point for the artistic works of Jessica Warboys. Also highly significant for her are biographical background material and a concern with the collective memory. Her paintings, sculptures and videos bear traces of the immediate surroundings and of performative sequences of actions. Natural elements like water, light, colour pigments, various objects and vehicles for imagery thus become independent actors. The artist exploits the physical characteristics of the materials she uses and applies them artistically, in order to foster new types of pictures. In all this, openness in form is a fundamental aspect, together with documenting and making transparent the way the pictures are produced as a part of the working process. As a matter of principle, Warboys relates closely to space in her work.

For her work at the Bielefelder Kunstverein, Jessica Warboys is comnining the history of a library, photographs and drawings from the French dancer, Hélène Vanel, one of the Surrealist circle, with expansive paintings. In this way, an essay will arise out of images, objects and gestures. In collaboration with Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Warboys is supplementing this especially for the opening week by developing the performance, »Vanelephant«, a translation for the stage of her artist's edition, which is appearing concurrently. This exhibition at the Bielefeld Society of Arts is the first solo appearance in Germany by the British artist, who is also currently showing at dOCUMENTA (13).

Jessica Warboys, born 1977 in Newport (UK), lives and works between London and Paris. She is a graduate of the Falmouth College of Arts and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Warboys has exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions, A Painting Cycle, Nomas Foundation, Rome (2012), Victory Park Tree Painting, Cell Project Space, London (2011), Land and Sea, Le Crédac, Ivry-sur- Seine, Paris (2011), A l'étage, Satellite Series, Maison d'art Bernard Anthonioz – Jeu de Paume (2011), Ballad of the Green Hoop, South London Gallery – a live film / event (2010), and Parasol, Gaudel de Stampa, Paris (2009). Works presented in various group shows, include, dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012), Au loin, une île !, Frac Aquitaine, Bordeaux, (2011), Madam Realism, Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, Tableux, Le Magasin, Grenoble, (2011), and The October Show, Limoncello, London (2010).

Curator: Thomas Thiel

The exhibitions are kindly supported by:
Sparkasse Bielefeld and Hörmann

A brochure accompanying the exhibitions has been published (28 pages, German/English).

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