At exhibitions of Tom Früchtl's works you need to have a wary eye. What you may believe to behold at first glance never corresponds to the facts. And you can experience this now at his solo exhibition entitled [surfacing] to which the gallery Nusser & Baumgart cordially invites you.
Here you will find a wooden crate, for example, that does not contain what you would expect - a painting carefully packaged up for transport. In fact the wooden crate is itself a painting: what Tom Früchtl calls an "object painting" because he has painted its surface, cosmetically applying 'maquillage' to it, as the title of the work "madera maquillada" (wood with make-up) suggests. Thus the artist appears to move within the tradition of trompe l'oeil-that fine art of sensory deception that has left its traces throughout art history since the ancients, demonstrating the virtuosity of artists in their sundry creations of a perfect illusion. But in Tom Früchtl's works the trompe l'oeil method is only half the truth. More precisely, his paintings do not pretend to be an object. Rather, each object and each of the materials used is transformed through his interventions into a painting.
With considerable ease and an appropriate dash of humour, Tom Früchtl reexamines the major themes of conceptual and minimalist art of the 1960s and 1970s: the relation between object, image and its portrayal, between illusion and reality, between mass commodity and original. From the perspective of a conceptual post-minimalist he transforms industrially produced products with minimal applications of paint back into handmade originals, which thus become unique exemplars. Tom Früchtl has eschewed the fear of the painter's artistic gesture that the minimalists found so unsettling. For him, the painter's art becomes an instrument that, building upon the foundation of all we have learned from the minimalists and conceptualists, can explore the fundamental questions of art in a contemporary manner while entertainingly disabusing the viewer of any certainty over the common categories of art, particularly in the relationship between an object and its representation in painting. (text: Martina Fuchs, excerpt)
Tom Früchtl 1997 graduated from Akademie der Bildenden Künste Munich. Since then, he has exhibited in numerous national and international shows (Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2010 / Transmediale, Berlin, 2010 / Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin, 2009 / Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 2009 / Centro Cultural de Cali, Columbien, 2009 / Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2008 / Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt, Germany, 2007 / Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, 2007 / Sammlung Rik Reinking, Sammlung Federkiel, Halle 14, Leipzig, 2005).