25 November 2022 – 14 January 2023
*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.