Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by German-born artist Tjorg Douglas Beer in Vienna.
Five monumental ceramic sculptures are located in the major room of the exhibition space. Each of them is placed on a base in different heights, of which the ones in steel are designed by the artist. Formally, they are reminiscent of rockets and bombs. While at the same time, they show human features. Stamped with various objects from the artist’s studio, the works function as a symbiosis of anthropomorphic representation and inanimate thing. Or as assemblages of a figure and a technical object. Tjorg Douglas Beer generates situations, scenarios and objects in his works. He translates influences from literature, music, politics and life in general in exaggerated form into new contexts. Themes such as war and destruction, which echo in the works, also form the background of the sculpture SIMSALABIM (2017). A ceramic sculpture of a child figure, that raises its middle finger, is sitting on a pedestal, appearing as a flying carpet. The utopian monument of the future combines a sad reality marked by flight and war with the lightness of fairytale worlds (like of 1001 Nights).
In addition to the ceramics, the exhibition features three recent wall works and three new bronze figures. The small bronze AI (2021) is inspired by sculptures that idealise the human figure, revealing parallels to classical Greek sculpture. Conceived as an assemblage, it contains echoes of a plastic fork, a plastic soldier and even a vinegar bottle. The principle of assemblage also characterises the three paintings from 2015. Beer breaks through the classical two-dimensional painting by incorporating pieces of fabric and mirrors into the canvas, while allowing the application of paint to oscillate between thick sections of colour and thin glazes. The compilation of works not only demonstrates Tjorg Douglas Beer’s diverse artistic approach and his use of media and materials. It also enables visitors to delve deeper into his artistic cosmos, in which images of the future between utopia and dystopia emerge under the evocative magic formula “Simsalabim”.
Tjorg Douglas Beer, born in Lübeck in 1973, studied at the HFBK, University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. His work is shown internationally in museums and galleries, including Kunstverein Hamburg, Weserburg, Museum für Moderne Kunst Bremen, Projektraum Kunsthalle Vienna, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, Tate Modern, London, X-Initiative, New York, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Remap3 Athens, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, basedinberlin, Neue Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. Solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Hamburg, Stadsgalerij Heerlen, Institut für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, Contemporary Art Institute Sapporo, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, among others. In Austria, his works were shown in a solo exhibition at Kunstraum Innsbruck (2009), as well as at Belvedere 21 – Museum for Contemporary Art Vienna.