4 May – 17 June 2006
Bortolami Dayan is pleased to present new painting and sculpture by Thomas Helbig. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. For his sculptures, Helbig’s studio is a laboratory of invention where discarded ephemera of daily life is broken and reassembled to create totems of fictional power. Victory and defeat, violence, as well as apocalyptic demise are all references compellingly present in Helbig’s sculptures. Searching flea markets and the like, the artist finds figurines and discarded lawn ornaments such as Greek nudes, gnomes, animals and other intriguing objects that are often fragmented, contorted and reassembled into biomorphic abstractions. From their discarded, mass produced past, Helbig breathes new life into the vestiges by giving them rebirth as completely unique objects. Seemingly expelled from the earth or thrust from a volcanic eruption the sculptures are rough and primitive feeling, yet futuristic and finished with a high gloss shine.
Helbig’s paintings, abstracted and gestural, give a hint or an impression of something familiar, yet they remain enigmatic and abstruse. With a dramatic palette, Helbig alludes to the unwieldy force of nature and recalls some of Caspar David Friedrich’s more ominous paintings that anticipate a sense of foreboding and perhaps something greater than we, as humans, are. Artists like Friedrich and Rothko have been influential to Helbig as he looks to explore spirituality through his work and address that which is beyond our control. “We do not know what powers and violent forces determine us. However, in the work of Thomas Helbig the psychic energies that govern us find their form, their precise and their authentic expression,” – Berthold Reiss.
Born in Rosenheim in 1967, Thomas Helbig currently lives and works in Berlin. He has had solo exhibitions with Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin and Modern Art Inc, London. Group shows include “Painting on the Roof” at the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, and “Surfacing-contemporary drawing” at ICA, London.
For more information please contact Alexis Sermier at 212-727-2050 or firstname.lastname@example.org