Tobias Rehberger – recently awarded the “Golden Lion for the Best Artist” at the 53rd Venice Biennial – in his work often uses interpretation and reinterpretation of everyday objects that are familiar to us but which rarely deserve our attention to the point of reflecting on their conception, design or means of production.
Within this field of interpretational and re-interpretational possibilities, Rehberger frequently seeks to establish different types of collaboration, whether with African or Asian craft workers (he asked the former to reinterpret his own modernist furniture designs), or with his assistants, who conceive and carry out the work known overall as “Infections” (here Rehberger approves or modifies the lamps made out of Velcro, without ever adding new elements to them) or, in a final analysis, with other artists, as in the series of portraits of artists from 1995, in which they were invited to bring their favourite flowers to the exhibition, without knowing why they had to do so, which was that they would be placed in the vase already executed by Rehberger for their respective portraits.
In an interview he granted in 2007, about his work “On Otto”, which was exhibited at the Fondazione Prada, in Milan, Rehberger defined his work as follows: “(…) my work is based on a couple of central questions. It’s about communication, misunderstanding, points of reference, and production itself – What does it mean, how does it function, how do you come to a result? The questions for me are always, how things communicate, how people read something, and what kind of conclusions they draw from what they’re reading. (…)”.
In this exhibition Tobias Rehberger is presenting a mural painting, a set of sculptures from the series generally termed “handicapped sculptures”, a group of works from the series “windows”, which takes its reference from the windows in his studio, and which are lit up on one of the sides and aims at reproducing a determined solar light intensity corresponding to a determined period of the day, as well as some works from the already-mentioned series “Infections”.
Tobias Rehberger was born in 1966 in Esslingen, in Germany. He lives and works in Frankfurt, where he completed his MA in Fine Arts. Of note among his solo exhibitions are: the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, the Fondazione Prada, Milan, the Queen Sofia Art Centre Crystal Palace at the Madrid National Museum, at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, at the Museu de Serralves, in Oporto, at the Palais de Tokyo de Paris, at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and at the Stockholm Moderna Museet, among many others, including many participations in group exhibitions, among which one may highlight participation in three different group showings at the Venice Biennial, respectively, 1997, 2003 and 2009.