René Wirths

Nature morte

For his first solo exhibition in France, Berlin artist René Wirths shows at Impasse Beaubourg a series of twelve spectacular “still lives.” Disproportional and sometimes oddly retro looking objects – motorbike, audiotape, brush, ladder – are represented in strict profile with a striking realism.

Born in 1967, René Wirths occupies an original position among the younger generation of German painters. His paintings explore the notion of perception. Between conceptual art and hyperrealism, René Wirths chooses some of his own “stuff” and makes them “pose” in the studio as if they were actual models. He then represents them through an extremely slow process of layering, attempting to catch the ambient light filling the studio.

His canvases keep the mark of this painstaking process, as the artist faithfully captures his own reflection as well as the reflection of the surrounding walls onto the objects’ very surface.

As says the critic Julia Trolp in “René Wirths – Dinge” : “We see here that person who cleanses real objects in a painting process and then shows them to us clearly on the canvas. That person becomes visible who, like a monk, disappears for days on end into his cell and disconnects himself from reality for a certain length of time (…) That the artist however never loses touch with reality is evident in his paintings: he builds up a distance between himself and the world to ultimately come closer to it.”

The artist

Born in 1967 in Waldbröl, Germany, René Wirths lives and works in Berlin. Fascinated by questions of perception and representation, he produces carefully framed meticulous paintings of everyday objects on a white background. He ‘poses’ his ‘subjects’ in the natural light of his studio and then renders them precisely as he sees them, forcing the viewer into a head-on confrontation. Part conceptual, part hyperrealist, his works reveal the failings of our perception and explore the perplexity the artist feels when examining the world. 

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