*1957 Eschweiler – lives in Mönchengladbach

Thomas Virnich is an untiring creator of two- and, most importantly, three-dimensional works. To him, life and artistic creation are inextricably intertwined, and his approach to artistic fascinations has remained playful. Virnich lives with his family in the building of a former school in Mönchengladbach. The former schoolyard houses fancy structures, aeroplanes, distant planets and galaxies, intriguing creatures, and discoveries at various stages of artistic transformation – a strange universe, a twisted reality. The materials Virnich uses – paper, papier mâché, cardboard, wood, clay, lead, and bronze –all bear the distinct marks of craftsmanship and manual processing. His sculptures seem to be intentionally left unfinished, delicate, and fragile. Architecture in particular is the main focus of Virnich’s attention. He examines space transforming into volume, known forms recreated by destruction and reconstruction, and the creation of space. From 1978 to 1981, Virnich was a student at the RWTH Aachen University, where his mentor was Joachim Bandau. Later, until 1985, he attended Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts, and was taught by Alfonso Hüppi and Eugen Gomringer. In 1987, he received the Villa Romana Prize, and in 1991 the Villa Massimo award. The antique city of Rome impressed Virnich greatly, and this is still being echoed by his architectural sculptures today. Virnich, who has been a professor at the Braunschweig University of Art since 1992, started to present his works in numerous individual and collective exhibitions even as a student. Institutions such as Museum Wiesbaden, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach, Museum DKM in Duisburg, and various art associations have organised exhibitions of his works in recent years. In 2015 / 2016, Tony Cragg invited him to present his bronze sculptures in the Waldfrieden sculpture park near Wuppertal.

Publications

Gallery

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2016 Buchmann Lugano, Lugano | 2015 Kunstverein Heinsberg, Heinsberg | Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal | 2014 Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin | Museum DKM, Duisburg | 2012 Galerie Reckermann, Cologne | 2011 Roemer-Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim | 2010 Littmann Kulturprojekte, Basel / Zurich | 2007/2008 Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl | 2003/2004 Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg | 2002 DG Deutsche Gesellschaft für Christliche Kunst e.V., Munich | 2001 Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Kunstmuseum Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Städtisches Museum für Design, Nürnberg, Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach | 2000 Museum Burg Wissen, Troisdorf | 1999 Galerie Holtmann, Berlin | 1996 Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig | 1994 Produzentengalerie, Hamburg | 1993 Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach | 1989/1990 Kunstverein und Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen | 1989 Galerie Buchmann, Basel | 1988/1989 Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg | 1989 Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn | 1986 Rotterdams Kunstrichtung, Rotterdam | Kunstraum München, Munich | 1985 Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach | 1983/1984 Molkerei, Cologne | 1983 Rosenthal, Selb

Grants and awards

1983 travel grant from the friends and sponsors of the Art Academy Düsseldorf | scholarship from the city of Aachen | scholarship from the federal competition „Kunststudenten stellen aus“ | scholarship from the Ministry for Education and Science | 1987 Villa-Romana-Preis, Florence | 1987-1989 Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff Scholarship | 1995 Villa Massimo Scholarship, Rome | 2001 Lower Saxony Art Award

Exhibitions with Thomas Virnich

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