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Home and Away and Outside - The Schirn Honors Tobias Rehberger


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Home and Away and Outside
The Schirn Honors Tobias Rehberger

During the First World War, some of the British Royal Marine Corps’ ships resembled Cubist objects as they traversed the seas covered in colorful patterns and geometric shapes. It was an extraordinary disguise technique called “Dazzle Camouflage,” which optically broke up the ship’s contours and shapes in such a way that the German submarine gunmen no longer knew what to aim for. Now, visitors can get a taste of this confusion in the major Tobias Rehberger show at the Frankfurt Schirn. As a continuation of his work Was du liebst, bringt dich auch zum Weinen, an “Op Art bar” for which he won the Golden Lion at the 53rd Venice Biennale of 2009, the artist covered the first exhibition room entirely with wallpaper in “Dazzle Camouflage.” At the Schirn, the bar has been transformed into a gallery displaying his allegedly flawed “handicapped sculptures,” mirror works, and paintings. The powerful flickering of the walls induces the space and the works of art to merge together.  

Home and Away and Outside is Rehberger’s first major retrospective in his hometown Frankfurt; it presents more than 60 works from the last twenty years over 7,000 square feet of space. The 1966-born artist is represented with numerous works in the Deutsche Bank Collection, where he occupies an entire floor in the Frankfurt main office. Rehberger is primarily interested in “developing strategies for art from design or other utilitarian contexts in order to integrate them more fully into life—so that art is no longer just something hanging on a wall or standing somewhere in space.” This exploration of design also becomes evident in the second exhibition room—a minimalist architectural landscape all in white. Along with vase-like sculptures and objects reminiscent of vintage furniture of the 1970s, a selection of “chairs” is on view here as well, design classics that Rehberger had built in Cameroon based on drawings sketched from memory, by craftsmen unfamiliar with the originals. The finale of the show is the new illuminated sculpture Regret, which the artist created especially for the glass roof of the publicly accessible Schirn Rotunda.

Tobias Rehberger. Home and Away and Outside
2/21 – 5/11/2014
Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt

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