b. 1964, Reken, Westphalia, Germany
Lives in Berlin, Germany
Thomas Rentmeister lives in Berlin and is Professor at the Braunschweig Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst. He studied at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf.
He has exhibited in solo shows at the Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; the Centraal Museum, Utrecht; and the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne. Rentmeister's works are in the collections of numerous museums, including the Kunstwegen, Nordhorn; MARTa, Herford; the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach; and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Thomas Rentmeister is represented by Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide; Otto Schweins Gallery, Cologne; Ellen de Bruijne Projetcs, Amsterdam and ScheiblerMitte, Berlin.
“... Rentmeister's starting point seems to be the desire to transform the average consumer's indifference to materials, into an interactive sculptural inventiveness...”
(excerpt from 'Thomas Rentmeister', Dirk Luckow, ART+TEXT, No 52, September 1995, p. 93f - translation: John Fowler)
OBJECT. FOOD. ROOMS
OF CONTEMPORARY ART (PICA)
Thomas Rentmeister is a leading German artist whose fascination with everyday materials and the ideas associated with minimalism, surrealism and pop art has lead to the development of a very distinctive sculptural, installation and painting practice.
In this exhibition, the artist’s first major solo show in Australia, we see bulging, car-like sculptures, a wall-size monochrome painting made of nutella and a vast, white landscape of sugar, cotton wool, polystyrene and linen from which a tower of fridges emerge.
Thomas Rentmeister has been producing these types of works, once dubbed “dirty minimalism” for over twenty-five years and has exhibited widely in museums and galleries across Europe.
He piles, models, builds, paints and casts with materials as diverse as potato chips, sugar, nutella, hotel laundry, tissue boxes, tampons, nappy rash cream and old refrigerators, often playing a profound and witty game that questions the nature of art. He raises the question of what is real and what is not, regularly transforming the everyday into the sublime and showing us the beauty of materials we normally ignore.
100 FRIDGES IN A CORNER
Thomas Rentmeister's work has aptly been described as a kind of "Dirty Minimalism"* His monumental installation at GAGPROJECTS will be made of dozens of used refrigerators and other whitish materials, like Styrofoam, underwear and baby cream. The fridges will be piled on each other in a way that makes you think of a landscape of ancient ruins. Thomas Rentmeister creates a white world civilization of glued together garbage – a manifestation of an absurd recycling architecture.
* This term was used by Ursula Panhans-Bühler in her text "Sweet Heaviness and Gravitational Sweetness" in the catalogue for the exhibition "brown" in the Kölnischer Kunstverein in 2001