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  • Thomas Scheibitz Kaposi (Study) 2007
    Thomas Scheibitz
    Kaposi (Study) 2007
  • Thomas Scheibitz installation view, The Artist's Dining Room, Tate Modern
    Thomas Scheibitz
    From left to right: Head, Gypsy Rose Lee, Arrow, Window, 2007

Thomas Scheibitz explores the boundary between figurative representation and abstraction in both painting and sculpture. He uses a range of recurring shapes and figures: stars, flowers, circles and windows, meticulously building up his compositions from a kaleidoscope of visual references; digital images of signs and designs; sketchbooks; collages; drawings and maquettes. He twists and transforms his collected images into the seductive colours and dynamic geometrics of his paintings and sculptures. 

In Kaposi 2007, he shows us a cross-section of modular forms which remind us of familiar structures, like modernist housing blocks or plug sockets. The work is typical of Scheibitz’s use of disorienting scale, shifts of perspective and almost recognisable motifs. In Kalender 2007, swirling triangular planes rotate around a central hub, resembling a rotor cutter. It suggests a feeling of disintegration; the small rectangle on the left looks as if it may fall out of the picture, and the unfinished feel of the painting, with its numerous drips and sketchily over-painted blocks of colour creates a further visual uncertainty. Much of the pleasure of Scheibitz’s work comes from the playful way he leaves the traces of his art clearly visible – we can never forget the hand-made and completely private nature of each work. 

Scheibitz also incorporates found symbols into the four roughly painted sculptures that inhabit the window space of this gallery: the uncannily familiar shapes suggesting a head, a figure with an outstretched arm, an arrow and a window. The jostling and interlocking forms are presented in much the same way that they might in be one of the paintings – the gallery window becoming the canvas they are laid on – yet the sculpture gives us the added twist of the reflections and modelling provided by the shifting of the natural light from the window. 

Thomas Scheibitz was born in 1968 in Radeberg, Germany and lives and works in Berlin.