Tobias Rehberger
Aus Wien [From Vienna], 2014

  • Collage: watercolor paper, color, honeycomb cardboard/ Lamp: paper, color
  • Collage: 344 x 286 cm, lamp: 70 x 60 x 40 cm
  • Acquired in 2016

Tobias Rehberger’s formally diverse work is among the most interesting standpoints in contemporary German art. Rehberger studied at the Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt am Main under Martin Kippenberger and Thomas Bayrle. The bipartite image-object constellation Aus Wien [From Vienna], 2014, combines a sculptural ceiling lamp made of paper with a large watercolor. From a bird’s-eye view, the observer looks at the colorful hustle and bustle of the Bad Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart, which, however, the observer identifies as the Wiener Prater on account of being misled by the title. The work was created as part of a large, location-specific installation for the Esslinger Kunstverein in the Villa Merkel, Esslingen. From a temporal and spatial distance, Tobias Rehberger looks back at the region of his birthplace Esslingen, at the familiar environment of his childhood. The watercolors designed to room dimension captured topographical locations of his personal map. In so doing, the architecturally peculiar (Stuttgart gas boiler) was given an equal standing alongside world heritage (Weissenhof Estate), urban eccentric (Dreifarbenhaus) alongside the historically charged (Stammheim). Newly designed lamp objects in the rooms on the ground floor of Villa Merkel are illuminated by remote control synchronously to the residential lighting of selected households in Germany and Europe. Rehberger’s work stages the fine line between applied design and autonomous artwork, the interface between purpose and aesthetic, original and copy, individual authorship and co-production, permanence and transience. “Using and reusing found elements and concepts, and transforming them into another context in order to create something new, is something that runs through all my work […]. The principles associated with collage – order, fragmentation, heterogeneity, diversity, complexity – are all equally relevant to me.” (T.R.) [1]

[1] Tobias Rehberger, in: zu Salm, Christian (Ed.): Manifesto Collage. Über den Begriff der Collage im 21. Jahrhundert, Exhibition Catalog, Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, May 23  – September 17, 2012, Nuremberg 2012, p. 123.

Tobias Rehberger

* 1966 Esslingen, D
Lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, D

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