The room served as a point. Thomas Zeb at the Guido W. Baudach Gallery

By Maximilian Wallish (02.05.2021)

View of the installation, courtesy of Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin.Photo: Roman März

Since the 1920s it has been customary to present European exhibitions by contemporary artists in the white cube, a white box with parquet floor, shop windows in the upscale part with a base area and some stucco on the ceiling. We connect luxury art to these spaces. Simplicity, the reductionist dogma of interiors, has a distinctive effect: the white-painted room is shyly backing down, and the artwork gets all the attention. Businesses often seem futile and without a story, as if out of context. It must be timeless.
The White cube Exclusive in that it looks calm and calm and stores every contour and traces irrevocably. Every sound echoes here. In a sense, this space confronts us with our physique and that isn’t exactly friendly. In his current exhibition, Thomas Zeb has departed from the whim of displaying art in inhospitable spaces Respond to temporary and stable palpitations (In German: reaction to short-term, persistent flash stimuli) in Guido W. Baudach gallery.

This exhibition can be described as a spatial intervention: the installation opens inside the gallery in a completely new way and allows for a different perception of art. Zipp calls this scenario Dark spot. This is the built-in contrast of the white cube. Instead of precise profiles and right angles, the walls are curved and give the rooms an arched partition. Blob can be translated as blob, so the spatial sequence, seen from above, is shaped like a drop. The material of the black wall paint is velvety matte and absorbs bright, bright light leaving no shadows.
The dark honeycomb-painted rooms are reminiscent of the recessed caves and holes that were long decorated with murals. But Zipp doesn’t want to remind you of the prehistoric chalk pictures. More than that, this space questions our perception of art and our viewing habits.

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Responsive image
Thomas Zeb, Blind Spot Detection Unit (Hermann Grid), 2021
Acrylic, oil and varnish on canvas, artist frame 185 x 155 cm
Courtesy of Thomas Zipp & Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin.Photo: Roman März

The artwork, other than that from a white cell first-person shooting, step back and form part of an overall concept. They have embedded themselves in front of the black wall, at most protruding with their white frame. The flashing is reminiscent of the first exhibitions of The Blue KnightBrightly colored works are hung against a dark background. However, in Zipp, there is no mysterious change, the corners of the room are brightly lit, and the gallery space has been refilled after the old conventions are discarded.

The work of Thomas Zeb evokes optical, visual and metric flash. The panels occupy several levels. Coordinated action comes to life Spot detection unit (Hermann Grid) Precisely because of the strict grid configuration, which evokes the gray / black dots as an optical illusion in a strict grid of white lines at points of intersection. The individual cubes are falling over it. To the right of this, the possible perspectives on the sides of the cube are plotted in a kind of myth. Zipp is about what’s hidden behind what can be seen. What appears in two dimensions as a triangle can, as a three-dimensional shape, be a falling square.
Work elsewhere Blind Spot Detection Unit (Helical). In front of a gray outlined pattern, a flat landscape is inhaled at the bottom edge of the image. In the diamond fields in the high sky there are red numbers counted in a spiral: the number 1 begins in the upper left, and the sequence of numbers continues to rotate towards the center.
Many works have small marks such as crosses, points, and circles. If you close one eye and look at the mark for a long time, it will disappear after a short time. Here, too, optical illusions show us seemingly objective and subtle geometry. It becomes relatively stable and can be deceived with a few interventions.

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Responsive image
Thomas Zeb, Blind Spot Detection Unit (Spiral), 2021
Acrylic, oil and varnish on canvas, artist frame 94 x 74 cm
Courtesy of Thomas Zipp & Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin.Photo: Roman März

Like a white cube, geometry is just a construction, a convention by which we try to explain, depict, and objectively our world up close. But they remain only temporary means, because acting that has been purified from the self cannot work. Zeb exposes this fallacy in his work, which in turn settles in its new home: the point, the building, the curves and its black background, a kind of tar stain ?? Symbols of something that the white cube has clearly surveyed over the past 100 years. It is still an artificially produced, chemically lit and bright place. A gallery space that captures business and visitors with its random dark arches and soft shades. A space that charges us nothing, allowing for an artistic experience we barely know anymore. An exhibition not to be missed.

Thomas Zeb. Respond to temporary and stable palpitations
29 – 20 April June 2021 (visit by appointment)

Guido W. Baudach Gallery
Pohlstrasse 67
10785 Berlin

Maximilian Wallish

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The room served as a point. Thomas Zeb at the Guido W. Baudach Gallery
Interessantes vom Gallery Weekend Berlin: Thomas Zipp. Respond to temporary and stable palpitations

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