*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.
Exhibitions with Thomas Virnich
01.03. - 20.04.2019 WUNDERSAME WELTEN "The absurd, presented with taste, [...]
Thomas Virnich – on mountains and other holes
12.09. - 11.10.2014 THOMAS VIRNICH on mountains and other holes [...]
Grants and awards
2001 Lower Saxony Art Award
1995 Villa Massimo Scholarship, Rome
1987-1989 Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff Scholarship
1987 Villa-Romana-Preis, Florence
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
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