Willy Brandt und Günter Guillaume
After finishing his studies in painting and sculpture in 1998 at the Städelschule Frankfurt am Main, graduating as a master student of Prof. Georg Herold, Thomas Kilpper spent a year in London with the help of a scholarship of the Hessische Kulturstiftung (cultural foundation). At that time, his passion to revitalize historic places through time-related art started to grow. So he carved over 80 portraits of people who were connected with this place from the past to the present day in the parquet floor in the empty London "Orbit House". Then, the portraits were printed on different fabrics, papers and foils. They were exhibited in free hanging afterwards. According to this principle of "floor cuttings", in which the artist for months physically edited the ground of abandoned buildings, Kilpper since then creates independent works of art in the tradition of wood- and linocuts. In a magical way Thomas Kilpper cuts his artworks into the found substance of a historically charged location - as well as in the 800 m2 large PVC floor of the former Ministerium für Staatssicherheit der DDR (Ministry for State security of the DDR) in Berlin in 2009. This place bears a highly emotional aspect relating to the german reunification: The overcoming of the past, which is connected to the east german Staatssicherheit (“Stasi”, ministry for “security” of the DDR) which until today has a stirring effect within german society. In his project "From State of Control" the artist linked this polarizing issue with a subjective selection of impressive images: In a kind of compendium a view of history is created, in connection with state surveillance, repression and social conflicts.
The impressive pictures of the project "From State of Control" are dealing with the polarizing and disturbing aspect of the state monitoring and repression or resistance within inner-german history. Complex issues such as colonialism, fascism, human rights up to the violent confrontation with the Rote Armee Fraktion (“Red Army Group”) are treated and stimulate our minds in a way of time travel into the past to indicate a critical debate.
In cleverly arranged, partly collage-like compositions, works such as "Sektempfang mit Erich Mielke, Erich Honnecker und Walter Ulbricht" (2009, linocut on paper on canvas, 240 x 170 cm), "Willy Brandt und Günter Guillaume" (linocut on textiles, 250 x 180 cm) or "Briefkastenüberwachung durch MfS und Theo Saevecke" (2009, linocut on paper on canvas, 260 x 160 cm) evoke the viewers individual empathy.
Thomas Kilpper, 08.09.2012 - 31.10.2012, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Exhibition Thomas Kilpper - From State of Control
Avtrykk. Tresnitt fra fem århundrer, Nov. 06, 2015 - Jan. 24, 2016, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo
Thomas Kilpper: 150 Years of Printmaking, Jun. 30, 2014 - Aug. 17, 2014, Kunsthaus Hamburg
ETNA CARRARA, Jun. 24, 2012 - Sep. 02, 2012, Ludwig Forum Aachen
Thomas Kilpper, May 25, 2012 - Aug. 05, 2012, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, København