Thomas Rentmeister

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Thomas Rentmeister
Thomas Rentmeister.jpg
Born (1964-03-04) March 4, 1964 (age 57)
Reken, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
NationalityGerman
Known for Sculpture
Website www.thomasrentmeister.de/en/
Thomas Rentmeister, on the left: untitled, 2011, Nutella on laminated chipboard, 350 x 1200 x 16 cm, exhibition view Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany, 2011 Rentmeister - Nutella und Penaten.jpg
Thomas Rentmeister, on the left: untitled, 2011, Nutella on laminated chipboard, 350 × 1200 × 16 cm, exhibition view Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany, 2011
Thomas Rentmeister, Muda, 2011, various materials, approx. 385 x 1195 x 1145 cm, exhibition view Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2011 Thomas Rentmeister - Muda.jpg
Thomas Rentmeister, Muda, 2011, various materials, approx. 385 × 1195 × 1145 cm, exhibition view Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2011
Thomas Rentmeister, untitled, 2007, frying pans, concrete, dimensions variable (25 - 131 cm), exhibition view Haus am Waldsee, Berlin 2007 Thomas Rentmeister - ohne Titel - Bratpfannen, Beton.jpg
Thomas Rentmeister, untitled, 2007, frying pans, concrete, dimensions variable (25 – 131 cm), exhibition view Haus am Waldsee, Berlin 2007
Thomas Rentmeister, untitled, 2000, Nutella, approx. 25 x 270 x 180 cm Thomas Rentmeister - ohne Titel 2000 - Nutella.jpg
Thomas Rentmeister, untitled, 2000, Nutella, approx. 25 × 270 × 180 cm
Thomas Rentmeister, in the foreground: untitled, 1994, polyester resin / in the background: untitled, 1993, polyester resin Thomas Rentmeister - ohne Titel 1993 - ohne Titel 1994.jpg
Thomas Rentmeister, in the foreground: untitled, 1994, polyester resin / in the background: untitled, 1993, polyester resin

Thomas Rentmeister (born March 4, 1964 in Reken, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) is a German artist. He currently lives in Berlin and teaches at the Braunschweig University of Art (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig). [1]

Contents

Biography

Rentmeister studied from 1987 to 1993 at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf where he was taught by Günther Uecker and Alfonso Hüppi. In 1999 he became a lecturer at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. He taught at the Berlin University of the Arts from 2002 to 2004 and at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee from 2005–2006. He became a lecturer at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig in 2007 and was promoted to professor in 2009. [2]

Work

Rentmeister has become known to a larger audience with his high-gloss polyester sculptures which look like oversized blobs or comic figures. [3] Beginning in 1999, he has worked repeatedly with Nutella Spread and Penaten Baby Cream. He adopts “a set of industrially mass-produced domestic materials as units or building blocks, from sugar cubes and cotton tips to Tempo tissues, electrical sockets and whole refrigerators.” [4] He then makes sculptures using these materials.

“His art is never a hermetic, self-contained work, an aesthetic monad; the identity of the non-artistic materials always remains recognizable.” [5] The irreverence with which Rentmeister combines art and life is the most extraordinary aspect of his work. [6]

Rentmeister references Minimalism but freshens up its “severe stylistic vocabulary with a healthy dash of Post Pop and Dadaist nonconformity.” [7] Ursula Panhans-Bühler has called this “impure Minimalism.” [8]

Exhibition catalogues and features emphasize Rentmeister’s humor. “His tools are humor and his approach is that of the parodist.” [9] He knows how to align density in form and content with humor. [10] But Rentmeister is more than a senior ironist. Thomas Rentmeister in an interview with Deutschlandfunk: “My work is saturated with irony; but this is not the only motivation that drives me. If you omitted the irony, my oeuvre would still work.” [11]

Rentmeister and his work steers clear of one-dimensional definitions. “Rentmeister’s work oscillates between an emotional ‘will to art’ and a humorous art and institutional critique, between a reference to everyday life and the aspirations of art, whereby the artist carefully avoids taking a clear stand.” [12]

The philosopher Hannes Böhringer writes in his essay “Fridge kaput”: The refrigerator installations draft “an image of an entropic end-stage in art.” [13]

The “motor behind Rentmeister’s work” is the “balancing act between seduction and repulsion, between the aesthetic and the unpleasant. [14] The artist wants to “find the point where the sweet, the beautiful suddenly turns into the disgusting, the repressed and the inappropriate”; according to this, Rentmeister’s whole oeuvre is characterized by a “fully developed paradoxical strategy of ambivalence.” [15] The “theme of transience” also “discreetly but nevertheless unmistakably permeates broad sections of his oeuvre.” [16]

Exhibitions

Rentmeister has shown at numerous international galleries and museums. Rentmeister’s work was the subject of the mid-career retrospective Objects. Food. Rooms.

Selected solo exhibitions

Rentmeister's work is in numerous collections including the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen, Germany; Kolumba, Cologne, Germany; MARTa Herford, Germany; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Museum Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany; Abteiberg Museum, Mönchengladbach, Germany; Lehmbruck-Museum, Duisburg, Germany

Selected books

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References

  1. Thomas Rentmeister at Braunschweig University of Art
  2. Thomas Rentmeister Website
  3. Christoph Schreier: Culture paste. The Rebirth of Modernism out of Nutella Spread and Penaten Baby Cream, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 36
  4. Leigh Robb: Condition Report, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 140
  5. Christoph Schreier: Culture paste. The Rebirth of Modernism out of Nutella Spread and Penaten Baby Cream, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 34
  6. Magdalena Kröner: Malen mit Penatencreme, FAZ
  7. Christoph Schreier: Culture paste. The Rebirth of Modernism out of Nutella Spread and Penaten Baby Cream, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 32.
  8. Ursula Panhans-Bühler: Sweet Heaviness and Gravitational Sweetness, Thomas Rentmeister – braun, Katalog Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln 2002, p. 60
  9. Christoph Schreier: Culture paste. The Rebirth of Modernism out of Nutella Spread and Penaten Baby Cream, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 37
  10. Stefanie Stadel, Zwischen Genuss und Überdruss, in: K.West – Das Kulturmagazin des Westens, 11/2011
  11. Peter Backof: Nutella, Tampons und Penatencreme, in "Corso. Kultur nach drei" im Deutschlandfunk, 19. Oktober 2011
  12. Christoph Schreier: Culture paste. The Rebirth of Modernism out of Nutella Spread and Penaten Baby Cream, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 37
  13. Hannes Boehringer, Fridge kaput, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 112
  14. ”Stefan Berg: Are You Sure That the Refrigerator Light Really Goes out When You Close the Refrigerator Door?, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 56
  15. Christoph Schreier: Culture paste. The Rebirth of Modernism out of Nutella Spread and Penaten Baby Cream, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 56
  16. Christoph Schreier: Culture paste. The Rebirth of Modernism out of Nutella Spread and Penaten Baby Cream, Rentmeister, Thomas and Christoph Schreier: Thomas Rentmeister. Objects. Food. Rooms. Kunstmuseum Bonn / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2011, p. 58