Galerie Richard


The text below by Barbara Hess entitled «Hommage to the Spray Gun» is an excellent introduction to his works. 

“Everything folds in its own way, the rope and the stick, but also the colors that are distributed according to the concavity and convexity of the luminous ray, and the sounds, all the more acute as the trembling parts are shorter and more tense.“
Gilles Deleuze, Le Pli.Leibniz et le baroque, Paris 1988 

 In the field of music a suite is an order of pieces with a common programmatic theme.Under the title of the exhibition Suite for Spray Gun Thomas Zitzwitz brings together a series of paintings that were made using a spray gun – a technical tool, which is normally used in industry for the application of lacquers. The other common point of exponates is that the color is painted on a canvas irregularly folded.Only after the canvas is mounted on a canvas. 

The process of Spray Paintings can be characterized by a directed chance, since the result of this process, which is of a directed part and another random part, is only visible when the canvas becomes a flat surface mounted on a chassis – similar to the material of a film, which must be chemically developed after exposure.First of all, with the help of adhesive tapes, we define an area on the coated or raw canvas spread on the floor. Then the artist prepares this one, in a way like a piano by John Cage, by manipulating the fabric and from time to time placing objects under the canvas to design draperies.The surface thus prepared is treated with the spray gun – monochrome or polychrome – on all sides, to such an extent that the parts which are behind a crest and which are not affected by the paint mist remain empty, as the color becomes more pronounced on other parts, and where the absorption capacity of the canvas is exhausted, lakes of colors are formed. 

The association of a landscape in relief unites some Spray Paintings with compositions of Abstract Expressionism such as the monumental Mountain and Sea (1952) by Helen Frankenthaler – an effect, which is countered in some works by bands painted on the edges of the image field, which disturbs the spatial effect and which instead emphasizes the very process of painting. 

It goes without saying that Thomas Zitzwitz is not the first artist in the history of painting who experiments with folding. Clearly in the discourse of painting after Modernism there is no longer any question of originality or authenticity but of a relationship of difference and productive divergence.The title Suite for Spray Gun is also understood as a reference to the Hungarian exile Simon Hantaï (1922 – 2008) who is a historical representative of folding. 

In 1948 Hantaï left as an art student the territory of Socialist Realism and settled in Paris, the world capital of art of that time. There, between 1969 and 1973, was born his group of works Etudes (in music a designation for a musical composition written to serve to exercise the skill of the executant): All over large format executed on canvases folded several times, where the light, unpainted parts evoke an interlacing of bamboo leaves on a monochrome background. 

 Notably Thomas Zitzwitz’s Spray or Crumple Paintings mark a difference in his own artistic practice.In the second part of the 90s he had realized installations of video, sound and odors. Towards the end of this Decade he concentrated more and more on the paint by using interference pigments, which are applied using a scraper in a transparent acrylic gel.The light- and color-saturated surfaces of these paintings, which are often separated by exact horizontal edges into two or three differently structured parts, change their colors according to the viewer’s point of view and the light situation. Their hybrid and atmospheric character – which is not only chromatically unstable, but also changes between the type of painting and object – was more evident in 2007 in the artist’s book Moleskine Orangée.There the confrontation with Kodachrome photos dating from the artist’s childhood in the South of France transformed the vivid paintings into abstract images of memory. 

 A little later, in early 2008, Thomas Zitzwitz started working on the first Spray Paintings: It was also a deliberate change of the shiny and thicker surface“paint with pigments interfering with a more formal and less associative image effect”, as he formulated in his e-mail communication with American artist David Reed. 

 The relationship to the film mentioned at the beginning is for the Spray Paintings – whose visual appearance develops “only by straightening on the chassis – still significant in other respects.One of their most remarkable qualities is their illusionist and almost phototoréalist depth, since the three-dimensional aspect of the folding is preserved as a trace in the color applied on the canvas stretched.In fact, we can refer to them – like the images of photography or film – with the philosopher Charles S. Pierce as “indexical”. 

 Because between the spatial arrangement of the canvas on the floor of the studio and the visual appearance of the Spray Paintings as a two-dimensional painting exists a relationship of physical causality – similarly as in the association between the photographed object and its photographic image or cinematographic.Since bending is a transitional form between continuity and rupture – which, as Deleuze writes, is appropriate to divide differences, incompossibilities, disagreements, dissonances […] into as many possible worlds“– The Spray Paintings by Thomas Zitzwitz constantly change between illusionism and self-reference: a moment of instability and ambiguity, which remains essential for his pictorial approach. 

1964 born in Sindelfingen, lives in Cologne, Germany
Studied at Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe (Diplom)
Study visits at Universität der Künste Berlin, Accademia Belle Arti Perugia 
and New York University

EXHIBITIONS (selection):
(s) = solo shows

2023   Les étoiles quand l’aube peu à peu les efface, Galerie Richard, Paris (s)
Totalement tendrement tragiquement, Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Otterndorf (s)

2022  What I like!, Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen, opening September 22
8 Mediations Biennale Polska, Gdansk, opening September 16
Drei Farben, Galerie Walter Storms, curated by Gregor Hildebrandt and Caro Jost, München
Summer Painting Show, Galerie Richard 74 Rue de Turenne, Paris
Kiss Cool, Galerie Norbert Arns, Köln (s) (opening June 23)
L’année dernière à Malmaison, curated by Alex Radu and Thomas Zitzwitz, with Olivia Berckemeyer, Louisa Clement, Dumitru Gorzo, Gregor Hildebrandt, Adelina Ivan, Alicja Kwade, Haleh Redjaian, Henning Strassburger, Mircea Suciu, Philip Topovolac, Ambra Viviani, Thomas Zitzwitz,  /SAC@MALMAISON,  Bucharest
Pleiades, Galerie de Zaal, Delft (s)
Collaborations, Guardini Stiftung, Berlin
Inauguration Group Show, Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Dubai

2021  I’ll be your mirror, Galerie Richard 74 Rue de Turenne, Paris (s) (until October 30th)
Wie bereits eingangs erwähnt…, BcmA Arts Projects Space, Berlin (opening October 4th)
ARCHE’ Architecture of Universe, Pavilion 0 at Giudecca Art District, Venice
5. Arte Noah, Kunsthalle Feldbach, Austria
Als gäbe es ein Morgen, curated by Roland Schappert, David Behning Galerie, Düsseldorf

2020  Time and space aren’t warping, promise, curated by Thomas Zitzwitz, with Elger Esser, Hervé Garcia, Gregor Hildebrandt, Robert Kraiss, Alicja Kwade, Daniel Lergon, Andreas Plum, Thomas Zitzwitz, Mediations Biennale Polska, Warsaw
25 Jahre Kunstgruppe, Kunstgruppe, Köln
Boxenstopp, Kwadrat, Berlin
Open Space, PR17, Berlin
Painting and Photography, Galerie de Zaal, Delft, Netherlands
ELF, Schau Fenster, Berlin

2019  Zone dangereuse, curated by Thomas Zitzwitz, with Claudia Comte, FORT, Katharina Grosse, Gregor Hildebrandt, Leiko Ikemura, Anselm Reyle, Thomas Zitzwitz, Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Luxembourg
In the Gallery, Gremillion & Co, Houston (s)
+1, Safe Gallery, Berlin
Kommunizierende Röhren 1, Salon René Holm, Berlin
Wer kann, der soll, Kunstgruppe, Köln

2018  Stand a little closer, Galerie de Zaal, Delft, Netherlands (s)
Mediations Biennale, Poznań, Poland
Sturmhöhen, Schafhof Europäisches Künstlerhaus Oberbayern, Freising
It smells like… flowers & fragrances, me Collectors Room, Berlin
YOUTOO 2018, Kunstgruppe, Cologne

2017  Wie bin ich nicht unglücklich, curated by Thomas Zitzwitz, with Berta Fischer, Gregor Hildebrandt, Alicja Kwade, Isa Melsheimer, Marcel Odenbach, Thomas Zitzwitz, Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Luxembourg
La Table Ronde, Diskurs Berlin
She comes in Colours everywhere, Akademia Sztuki W Szczecinie, Szczecin, Poland (s)
Mementos, Tour & Taxis, Bruxelles
Von Albers bis Richter, Museum Burg Wissem, Troisdorf, Germany
3 Ways, R.B.Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, USA

2016  Silk Airplane, Galerie de Zaal, Delft (s)
California Group, R.B.Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla
L’oiseau présente… Kaleidoskop, Ballhaus Ost, Berlin
A last View, Galerie der Stadt Sindelfingen
Jennifer Juniper, Gremillion & Co, Houston (s)
The snoring Princess, Kunstgruppe, Köln

2015  Fields of Dreams, Kunstraum Fuhrwerkswaage, Köln (s)
20 Jahre, Kunstgruppe Köln

2014  Suite for Spray Gun, Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Luxembourg (s)
Imaginary Autobiographies, Gremillion & Co, Houston (s)
And on and on and on, Kunstgruppe Köln
8 Books Two Weeks – Kienbaum Artists’ Books, curated by Rolf Ricke, Temporary Art Tower, Köln
De guerre en guerre… expressions contemporaines, Commune de Altkirch

2013  Guermantes, Galerie de Zaal, Delft (s)
pieces, Kwadrat, Berlin
abstracts-two, Galerie de Zaal, Delft
Nach 1963, Galerie im Oberlichtsaal, Sindelfingen
Sweet Home – Reloaded, Häusler Contemporary, München

2012  Here, here, or there, Christ König-Kirche, Neuss (s)
Den wilden Detektiven, Hallmackenreuther Cologne in cooperation with Galerie Rupert Pfab (s)
Am Abend im Café Übersee, Kunstraum St. Michael, Cologne (s)

2011  Arbeiten aus dem Bleistiftgebiet, Van Horn, Düsseldorf
Die Sammlung Lütze – süddeutsche Kunst des 19. – 21. Jahrhunderts, Galerie der Stadt Sindelfingen
The Cologne Portfolio, Gremillion & Co, Dallas (s)

2010  In side out, Susan Inglett Gallery, New York
Chromatic Tales, R.B.Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla (s)
Places and spaces out there, Galerie de Zaal, Delft (s)
Just Enough, R.B.Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla
Painting’s Prospects, Galerie Rupert Pfab, Düsseldorf (s)
Via Aurelia, Gremillion & Co, Houston (s)

2009  Likethingsiusedtotellyoulateatnight, Hallmackenreuther Cologne in cooperation with Galerie Rupert Pfab (s)
Well-Tempered, R.B.Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla

2008  In Patagonia, Galerie de Zaal, Delft (s)
2, Galerie de Zaal, Delft

2007  Premières gouttes de pluie, Galerie der Stadt Sindelfingen (s)
Kava Kava, Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr
Reprise, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla California

2006  Secret Défense (with Gregor Hildebrandt), Galerie Rupert Pfab, Düsseldorf (s)
Like her thoughts were far away, R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla (s)
Alors commença le bonheur, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque (s)
Glück auf, Schickeria, Berlin
Audio Relay, radiochiguiro, Lafayette
Totalschaden, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn

2005  Linear Logic (with Richard Allen Morris), R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla
Baie vitrée, Galerie Fahnemann, Berlin (s)
La Croix du sud, Galerie de Zaal, Delft (s)
25 Jahre Galerie Fahnemann, Galerie Fahnemann, Berlin

2004  13, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque
Farbfilm, Kunstverein Schloss Plön
Switch, Videonale Bonn

2003  Look both ways before you cross, Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden
Malerei, Galerie Fahnemann, Berlin
Thomas Zitzwitz, Galerie de Zaal, Delft (s)

2002  Thomas Zitzwitz, Fahnemann Projekte, Berlin (s)
Ten young German Artists, Galerie de Zaal, Delft

2001  Stefan Römer, René Zeh, Thomas Zitzwitz, Galerie Kapinos, Berlin
Sommer 2001, Galerie Fahnemann, Berlin
XS, Galerie Fahnemann, Berlin

2000  Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium, Oktogon der Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium, Kunsthalle/Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Genrepainting, G7, Berlin

1999  Mach’s gut Mensch, Kunstverein Schwerte

1998  Festival sul Novecento, Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo
Glut, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Arte Multi Visione, Comune di Rieti

1997  Odeurs… une odyssée, Passage de Retz, Paris
What’s hot, Baumgartner Galleries, Washington, D.C.
Teresa aus Madrid mit gelbem Kleid, 251 W 92nd St #6D, New York (s)

1996  Situation with Smell and Video, Baumgartner Galleries, Washington, D.C. (s)

1995  Videonale Intermezzo, Kunstmuseum Bonn
Multimediale 4, ZKM Karlsruhe

1994  German Video Art, selected Goethe Institutes
Trovare l’immagine, Pinacoteca di Terni
Videonale 6, Kunstverein Bonn

1993  Monitor 93, Konstmuseum Göteborg
Science and Fiction, Berlin Interfilm Festival, Berlin
German Award for Video Art 1993, ZKM Karlsruhe

1992  Laboratorio, Comune di Fossato di Vico



Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium, Bonn

Fulbright Scholarship, New York University

Special Commendation, German Video Art 1992–94, Marl

The Top 50, German Award for Video Art 1993, ZKM Karlsruhe



Lecturer, Summer University, German Academic Scholarship Foundation, Nice, France

Lecturer, Summer University, German Academic Scholarship Foundation, Görlitz, Germany

Visiting Professor, Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach


BIBLIOGRAPHY (selection)

Thomas Zitzwitz (ed.), Watercolors, artist book, Cologne

Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery (ed.), Zone dangereuse, text by Björn Vedder, exh. cat., Luxembourg

Luc Caregari, Exposition collective: Soma pour le peuple, woxx, 11/07/2019
Peter Ungeheuer (ed.), +1, exh. cat., Safe Gallery, Berlin
Matina Lohmüller and Sabine Maria Schmidt (eds.), Augenblicke, exh. cat., Wienand, Cologne

Schafhof Europäisches Künstlerhaus Oberbayern (ed.), Sturmhöhen, exh. folder, Freising

Jens Hoffmann and Anne Vierstraete (eds.), Mementos, exh. cat., Bruxelles
Bénédicte Gimmonet, Focus on Contemporary Abstract Art, Dubai Madame Magazine, 2017
Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery (ed.), Wie bin ich nicht unglücklich, text by Sabine Maria Schmidt, exh. cat., Luxembourg
Marie-Anne Jorge, Affinités électives, Le Jeudi, 1/26/2017
Mylène Carrière, L’Allemagne à l’honneur à la galerie Zidoun-Bossuyt, Le Quotidien, 1/20/2017
Cèline Coubray, Et plus si affinités, Paperjam News, 1/20/2017
Jochen Kienbaum and Maria Linsmann (eds.), Von Albers bis Richter, exh. cat., Troisdorf
Diskurs Berlin (ed.), La Table Ronde, exh. cat., Berlin

Jesús Muñoz Morcillo, Elektronik als Schöpfungswerkzeug, transcript Verlag, Bielefeld

Kunstraum Fuhrwerkswaage (ed.), Fields of Dreams, exh. cat., Köln
Kienbaum Collection (ed.), 8 Books two weeks, exh. folder, Köln

Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery (ed.), Suite for Spray Gun, text by Barbara Hess, exh. cat., Luxembourg
Luc Caregari, Revolver éphémère, woxx Luxembourg, 10/23/2014
Florence Thurmes, La peinture au pistolet de pulvérisation, d’Letzebuerger Land, 10/17/2014
Nathalie Becker, Crumple and Spray!, Luxemburger Wort, 10/15/2014
Françoise Itamard, De guerre en guerre: Le regard de Thomas Zitzwitz, L’Alsace, 7/20/2014

Karin von Maur, Zwischen Farbe und Form, Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart

Susanne Niemöhlmann, Kunstkirche Christ-König, Neuß-Grevenbroicher Zeitung, 10/31/2012
Christiane Fricke, Die Liebe zur Abstraktion, Handelsblatt, 8/17/2012

Thomas Zitzwitz (ed.), Crumple Paintings, artist publication, Cologne

Robert Pincus, Quartet of soloists, San Diego Union Tribune, 11/26/2009

Hubertus Butin, Jochen Kienbaum (eds.), Moleskine Orangée, artist book, Snoeck Verlag, Köln
Beate Ermacora, Ines Wiskemann (eds.), Facetten der Angst, Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr
Jörg Borse (ed.), Kunsträume I, Sammlung der KfW Bankengruppe, Fankfurt am Main
Volksfürsorge (ed.), 12 künstlerische Positionen, Sammlung der Volksfürsorge AMB Generali, Hamburg
Sal. Oppenheim (ed.), 10 Jahre Sammlung Sal. Oppenheim, Sammlung der Sal. Oppenheim, Köln
Margitta Ulbricht, Facetten der Angst, Westdeutsche Allgemeine, 3/31/2007
Ludwig Laibacher, Farbprotokolle, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 3/16/2007
Ludwig Laibacher, Tafelbilder von ungewöhnlicher Strahlkraft, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 3/10/2007
Jochen Buchholz, Von der ästhetischen Bleichwirkung der Zeit, Sindelfinger Zeitung, 2/10/2007
Christa Hagmeyer, Abstraktionen mit visualisiertem Ton, Kreiszeitung Böblinger Bote, 2/7/2007

David Lewinson, The Radar Art, Riviera, July 2006
Rosanne Altstatt, Audio Relay in Lafayette,, 3/24/2006
Amanda Stevens, Interactive Art, The Albuquerque Journal, 2/24/2006

Galerie de Zaal (ed.), La Croix du Sud, artist book, Delft
Wiebke Hüster, Generation Pierrot le Fou, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6/4/2005
Olaf Karnik, Aus tiefstem Vergessen, unpublished
Barbara Hess, Baie vitréee, Ligne de Chance, La Croix du Sud, unpublished

Fahnemann Projekte (ed.), Ligne de Chance, artist book, Berlin
Robert Reitzfeld, A trip to Germany, New York Arts, 11/24/2004
Kerstin Stremmel, Thomas Zitzwitz: Ligne de Chance, Stadtrevue Kölnmagazin, 10/28/2004

Lisa Zeitz, Wutanfall, mandarinenfarben, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 8/31/2003
Patrick-Daniel Baer, Look always, Prinz Dresden, May 2003
Uwe Salzbrenner, Besser zweimal geschaut, Sächsische Zeitung, 4/23/2003

Hubertus Butin (ed.), Thomas Zitzwitz, Projekte, Berlin
Jim Drobnick, Corrupting the purity of the white cube – olfactory interventions into museums and gallery architectures, Crime and Ornament, Toronto
Johannes Meinhardt, Eine Malerei der Unvereinbarkeit, Fahnemann Projekte, edited by Hubertus Butin, Berlin
Olaf Karnik, DJ Premier in Deep Concentration, Projekte, edited by Hubertus Butin, Berlin
David Galloway, A leaner and sleeker Art Cologne, International Herald Tribune, 11/9/2002
Christiane Meixner, Abtauchen im Sog psychedelischer Farborgien, Berliner Morgenpost, November 2002
Veit Stiller, Thomas Zitzwitz in der Galerie Fahnemann, Die Welt, 10/18/2002
Johannes Wendland, Lockruf aus Mitte, Handelsblatt, 9/27/2002
Jim Drobnick, Toposmia – Art, Scent, and interrogations of spatiality, Angelaki, April 2002

Susanne Titz, Interferenzen – über die neuen Gemälde von Thomas Zitzwitz, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium 2000, Bonn
Barbara Hess, Sauve qui peut, Beobachtungen zu einigen Situationen von Thomas Zitzwitz, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Stipendium 2000, Bonn
Klaus Sebastian, Falsche Münzen, Rheinische Post, 11/29/2000

Jim Drobnick, Recipes for the Cube. Aromatic and Edible Practices in Contemporary Art, Foodculture, Toronto
Claudia Colasanti, L’immagine leggera, Flash Art Italia, No. 213
Millenniumsausgabe, Die Zeit, No. 1, pp 39, 41, 42, 45

Georg Elben (ed.), Kunst-Stücke, Sammlung der Deutschen Ausgleichsbank, Köln
Alessandro Rais (ed.), L’immagine leggera, Festival sul Novecento Palermo
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (ed.), Glut, folder
Chiara Somajni, Leggere, ma con spessore, Il Sole 24 ore, 10/11/1998
Comune di Rieti (ed.), Arte Multi Visione, folder

Jacques Caumont (ed.), Odeurs… une odyssée, folder Passage de Retz, Paris

Ferdinand Protzman, Aroma One’s Own, Washington Post, 12/21/1996

Heinrich Klotz (ed.), Multimediale 4, ZKM Karlsruhe
Andreas Denk, Multimediale 4, Kunstforum, No. 131
ZKM Karlsruhe (ed.), Multimediale 4, Mediagramm, Nos. 19, 20
Videonale Bonn (ed.), Videonale Intermezzo, folder

Mariano Apa (ed.), Trovare l’immagine, Pinacoteca di Terni
Goethe Institut (ed.), Deutsche Videokunst 1992 – 94,
Videonale Bonn (ed.), Videonale 6,
Christoph Blase, Der Tropfen auf dem Monitor, Frankfurter Allgemeine 
Zeitung, 9/15/1994
Christiane Fricke, Videonale 6, Kunstforum, No. 128
Tilman Baumgärtel, Herzen in High Speed, Die Tageszeitung, 9/15/1994
Andreas Denk, Revision des Mediums, Neue Bildende Kunst, No. 5

ZKM Karlsruhe (ed.), Deutscher Videokunstpreis 1993,
Konstmuseum Göteborg (ed.), Monitor 93,
Berlin Interfilm Festival (ed.), Science and Fiction,

Mariano Apa (ed.), Laboratorio,, Electa Editori


COLLECTIONS (selection):

AXA Kunstsammlung
Galerie der Stadt Sindelfingen
KfW Bank Bonn
Kunstsammlung LVM
Kolumba Museum Cologne
Museum Würth
Norddeutsche Landesbank
Sammlung Kienbaum
Schauwerk Sindelfingen
Volksfürsorge AMB Generali Hamburg


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