Disembodiment with Thomas Eggerer - Art Collector

  Thomas Eggerer: OZONE, 2015. Installation view, ground floor gallery, Maureen Paley, London. Courtesy: the artist and Maureen Paley, London

By Emma Capps

The practice of New York­based, German-born Thomas Eggerer was once largely devoted to his activities within the art collective Group Material, but by the late 1990s, the artist’s focus had shifted almost entirely to painting. A selection of Eggerer’s recent works (including a small selection of collages) are currently on show at Maureen Paley, where the artist’s canvases confidently occupy two floors of the gallery.

These assertively strange oil paintings are spacious arenas in which vague figurations of shirtless young men gather in loosely sketched arrangements; the subjects apparently in dialogue, although their gestures seem stunted, held back. The distinct mood of these paintings can be difficult to pinpoint – Eggerer renders the same figures again and again, situating them on his canvases with a seemingly ambivalent attitude towards aesthetic pleasantries (do his compositions suggest that our tastes in these things are too specific, too fussy, too cloyingly correct?). Eggerer also has an apparent lack of interest in drawing out the humanness of his human subjects – his figures are either turned away from us, or are instead reduced to a series of disembodied torsos, arms, legs and hands.

  Thomas Eggerer, Untitled, 2013. Collage on paperm 59.4 x 45.8 cm — 23 3/8 x 18 1/8 inchesCourtesy: the artist and Maureen Paley, London

Much of the works’ focus is on the space around the figures, where Eggerer plays with vivid, disorienting combinations of colour – fusing muddied pinks with electric purples, pungent greens, and caustic oranges. That these colours seem glaringly wrong alongside one another is what gives them such authority and depth; they insist on our attention, drawing us in to these dislocated spaces that otherwise seem so indifferent to our presence.

In the past 5 years Eggerer has held solo exhibitions across the globe, in Los Angeles with Richard Telles, (2014); at Petzel Gallery in New York (2013, 2010); at Galerie Buchholz, Cologne (2011); and in Berlin at Galerie Buchholz (2010). The artist will exhibit in the forthcoming 13th Biennale de Lyon: La Vie Moderne this year. Eggerer’s work is held in the permanent collections of the MoMA, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Sammlung Boros, Berlin, among other institutions in the United States and Europe

Ozone, the artist’s second solo exhibition at Maureen Paley will be on show until 23 August 201

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