Howard Scott Gallery is pleased to announce the opening – on Thursday, 6 September of the debut solo exhibition in the United States for the German painter, Thornston Zwinger.
ZWINGER was born 1962 in Greifswald on the Baltic Sea. On the mention of Greifswald most art scholars will immediately think of the Romantic Casper David Friedrich who was born there in 1774. For Zwinger, this reflex is a source of inspiration, but also a burden. Inspiration because two centuries ago, this artist tried to anchor the pictorial world of his time in ideas by means of analytical formalizations, a cold approach that had little success among his contemporaries. Another source of inspiration for Zwinger is the way this predecessor overcame the remoteness of the provinces by intellectually renouncing them. As an artist from Greifswald, then, the burden of this legacy is not the fact of being constantly confronted with this special ancestor. That would be an honor. The burden is that today, unlike at the time, German Romanticism is confused with vague notion of companionship and with conceptual obscurity. Nothing could be less true of ZWINGER. From the contradiction between history and the demands of today, he draws the energy to develop a program of his own.
The first priority, now as then, is to leave aside the academic rituals of the modern. He therefore offers neither Leipzig School new historicism nor Dresden post-colorism nor Berlin media discourse. ZWINGER paints ZWINGER – guided by instinct, irreverent and rigorous in equal measure, creating an order of picture surrogates, drawing on everything that comes his way. The motifs that flow into his pictures come from art history, from movies, from scientific illustrations, from commercials – it makes no difference. This anything-goes approach to source materials has been in effect since Pop Art. But what is new in ZWINGER'S work is that these incursions from art and everyday life lose their communicative recognizability. ZWINGER strips them of their specificity, their allusiveness and their origins.
ZWINGER work was recently exhibited at Museum fur Junge Kunst Frankfurt/Oder and Tammen Galerie in Berlin.