Thomas Eggerer’s new paintings in Todd, the artist’s sixth solo show at Petzel, present the viewer with aerial views of street surfaces—topographical evolutions of Eggerer’s longstanding interest in public spaces.
Each square canvas features precisely choreographed fragments of resting bodies, cutting in from the margins of the painting. This temporal occupation is contrasted with a circular “lid” or “cover” and intersecting parallel diagonals. The lids carry institutional significance, pointing to municipal authority, which contrasts with the transient fragility of leisurely carnal exposure. The lids also emphasize the presence of a concealed space underneath, quintessential to New York street life.
While the aerial viewpoint allows for voyeuristic surveillance, the 90 degree rotation from the birds-eye vista to the gallery wall, generates a vertiginous perspective where gravity and weight become factors. The resulting destabilization of a fixed viewing position is further augmented by the fact that the paintings appear to gyrate around the lids, subjecting the bodies to centrifugal forces and pointing to the space beyond the margins of the canvas.
The fragmentation of the bodies has a limiting effect on the bodies’ self-determination, and yet, perhaps as a consequence, it intensifies the fetishistic charge of the exposed skin, which is rendered in great detail like all other parts of the paintings. This attention to detail appears to be a new development in Eggerer’s work, which has previously exploited tensions between line and color or the “finished” vs. the “unfinished”. Hands appear to play a particular role here; while the purpose of the body as a whole is often unclear, manual activities are rendered with exacting precision (touching, holding, pushing). These gestures and poses appear somewhat out of place in a public space. The street floor is not treated like a part of the urban arena but rather like a natural domestic habitat.
Petzel Gallery is located at 456 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM–6:00 PM.
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Thomas Eggerer and Jochen Klein initially started their collaboration by co-authoring texts for the catalog of Die Utopie des Designs, a show at the Kunstverein Munich, Germany, curated by Helmut Draxler in 1994. They continued writing together, resulting in the essay “The English Garden in Munich.”
This text would provide a context for a collaborational artwork that was executed around the same time: In the spring of 1994 Thomas Eggerer and Jochen Klein placed a message board on the outside wall of a public toilet, in proximity to the English Garden. The work Leave a message—respectively the documentation of the installation—was part of the show Oh Boy, It’s A Girl (19 July – 11 September 1994) at the Kunstverein Munich curated by Astrid Wege and Hedwig Saxenhuber. The message board was conceived as a communication tool between gay men to get in touch with each other in a public space.
The essay describes the development of French garden architecture, its transition into English garden architecture and the body culture related to it. The text is divided in seven chapters, as well as a prologue and concludes with pointing out the contemporary use of the park as a gay cruising area.
This publication marks the first time that the essay “The English Garden in Munich” is published.
Brochure with foil embossed cover
Co-published by Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York & saxpublishers, Vienna
Edition of 500
This catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition Gesture and Territory, Petzel Gallery, New York, October 10 – November 9, 2013
Includes the text "Everyone Has a Job" by Devin Fore
Published by Petzel Gallery, New York
© 2013 Petzel Gallery
This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition O Pioneers, at Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, January 13- February 14, 2006
The publication contains the essay:
"Experiences Facing Groups - Medial and the Social Constellations in the Work of Thomas Eggerer" by Helmut Draxler
Edited by Daniel Bucholz and Christopher Müller
Published by Galerie Daniel Buchholz
© 2007 Thomas Eggerer, Helmut Draxler and Galerie Daniel Buchholz
This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Atrium, at Kunstverein Braunschweig, September 14 - November 9, 2003
The publication contains the following essays:
"Crownless Kings and Class Trips" by Diedrich Diederichsen
"Thomas Eggerer's Antigravitational Painting" by David Joselit
Edited by Karola Grässlin
Published by Lukas & Sternberg, New York
© 2003 Thomas Eggerer, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Karola Grasslin, Diedrich Diederichsen, David Joselit