“The material world gives me reasons to paint.” It is often the banal objects in our visual world that stimulate the artist (born in 1967 in Waldbröl, Bergisches Land and living in Berlin since 1970) to paint. For René Wirths a comb is just as interesting as an old cardboard box. Their visual exteriors interest him. He depicts them in extremely detailed paintings in oil on canvas and explores the meaning of things beyond their real, tangible existence. Galerie Michael Haas presents a selection of new works by the artist under the title ‘arithmos’. Included are paintings in which Wirths depicts fragmentary objects that follow an idiosyncratic, selected form of geometry.
The title of the exhibition, which refers to arithmetic, the theory of numbers, was chosen by the artist because he has always measured the subject matter and the surface area in his paintings in relation to each other. “Unlike the earlier works, the picture is no longer in automatic correlation to the object. The object does not stand for itself; it becomes part of a visual idea that makes use of its fragments. I follow a simple, logical, visual mathematic when composing a painting. Rhythmical appearing images are created, which also give rhythm to the exhibition space. One finds the term ‘rhythm’ in the exhibition title just as much as a kind of ‘out of rhythm’ can be found. After many years of pure object painting I want to open up my process in order to broaden my perspectives and more intensely channel my focus from the object onto the painting and its numerous possibilities. The term ‘realism’ seems too restrictive to me.” (René Wirths)
In 2011, the Kunsthalle Rotterdam presented the first large-scale exhibition by the artist. The Kunsthalle Krems also presented a comprehensive solo exhibition in 2014.