Thomas Zipp

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Thomas Zipp (* 1966 in Heppenheim an der Bergstrasse ) is a German painter and plastic artist and musician. He lives and works in Berlin .


From 1992 to 1998 he studied with Thomas Bayrle at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main and at the Slade School of Fine Art in London . Since then he has lived and worked in Berlin. In 2006/2007 Zipp was visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe , and since 2008 he has been professor for painting and multimedia at the Berlin University of the Arts . He has published several illustrated books and exhibits his works in numerous exhibitions, including international ones. Including “Artforum Berlin” in New York and Wolfsburg . Zipp's exhibitions also took place in London, Glasgow and Copenhagen as well as Gstaad , Berlin and California .

Until the 1990s, Zipp played drums a. a. in the punk band The Swunk, which he founded with two friends at the time. The band released various in-house productions, but was never commercially successful.

He also taught as a visiting professor in 2005/06 at the University of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Thomas Zipp has been a professor for painting and drawing at the UDK Berlin since 2009 .

Planet Caravan - a futuristic world fair, Kunsthalle Mannheim 2007

For the 100th anniversary of the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Thomas Zipp was invited by Rolf Lauter to realize a room installation on the subject of the world as an exhibition. With his 4 assistants, Zipp worked day and night for 2 weeks and developed a unique cosmos of paintings, objects, sculptures, found objects, photographs, chandeliers and much more, the laws of which are determined either by the coldness of space or by radioactive heat. Painting is used here either with geometric-linear arrangements as a cold-minded definition, or with informal spots that mutate into atomic clouds or explosions.

In this cosmos, humans sometimes appear as mutations, but also as naked innocence, but more often in the form of written comments. Zipp shows scientists and artists - such as futurists and surrealists - with speech bubbles in small, manipulated reproduction drawings. So they speak up by repeating the futuristic motto “the adjective must be abolished” or calling for England to be attacked. In Thomas Zipp's subtle pictorial territory, the former German province of Samoa is reactivated, the heliocentric system with Tycho Brahe is exposed as a lazy compromise and Otto Hahn is accused of being a usurper.

Thomas Zipp's narrative conceptuality has nothing in common with the old concept art, when he paints large pictures, produces drawings and prints, works with the medium of photography, creates videos and makes sculptures. He has established himself in these media because he himself finds statements in the artistic genres and modern art that he makes usable for his services. He moves playfully in all of these areas. Basically there are themes and leitmotifs that can be located in myth, history, art history, science and literature, but also often enough overlap and make critical references to our social reality. That's why Thomas Zipp sprinkles bombs like big pills, hangs chandeliers on the ceiling or puts a pulpit in the room. There is an old cradle under German half-timbering, but even with Goya the sleep of reason gives birth to monsters, and so nothing stays as it was. Even the atomic physicist and Nobel Prize winner Otto Hahn is superimposed with Martin Luther in a new edition of Bragaglia's Fotodinamismo and transformed into a demonic being, as it were.

In Zipp's visual worlds, apocalyptic streams of thought of the New Age meet with a provocative spiritual irony as a break. That is why Virgil and Dante should not be missing on their walk through the seven circles of hell and limbo. The artist himself plays the instruments of expression from visionary to moralist, from dramatist to humorist.

Exhibitions (selection)

Solo exhibitions

  • Exorcise the demons of perhaps , Maschenmode - Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin (2001)
  • The Nero Command , Marc Jancou Fine Art, New York (2003)
  • Futurism Now! SAMOA leads , Daniel Hug Gallery, Los Angeles (2004)
  • You have to get rid of the adjective , Baronian_Francey, Brussels (2004)
  • Mind over Matter , Patrick Painter Inc., Santa Monica, (2006)
  • Beyond the Superego , Galerie Krinziger, Vienna (2007)
  • Planet Caravan - a futuristic world fair , Kunsthalle Mannheim (2007)
  • White Reformation Co-op Mens Sana in Corpore Sano , Kunsthalle Fridericianum , Kassel (2010)
  • Warning !: solarized deterritorialization. insanity against protestantism (England attacked by the Americas) , exhibition space Céline and Heiner Bastian , Berlin (cat.) (2011)
  • Comparative Investigation about the Disposition of the Width of a Circle , Palazzo Rossini ( Biennale di Venezia ), Venice (2013)
  • Sources of Variability in Magnitude Estimates , Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (2014)
  • The Threshold Problem and Some Possible Ways to Solve It , Cc Foundation & Art Space, Shanghai (2016)
  • White Rabbit (Martin Luther) , Overbeck Gesellschaft & St. Petri Kuratorium, St. Petri zu Lübeck, Germany (2017)
  • MOON GAS , Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin (2018)

Group exhibitions

  • When Humor Becomes Painful , Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst , Zurich (2005)
  • Full House: Faces of a Collection / Faces of a Collection , Kunsthalle Mannheim (2006)
  • Deformation of Character , MoMA PS1 , New York (2006)
  • Rings of Saturn , Tate Gallery of Modern Art , London (2006)
  • Euro-Centric. Part 1, Rubell Family Collection , Miami (2007)
  • Art Prize of Böttcherstraße in Bremen 2007 , Kunsthalle Bremen (2007)
  • Familiar Terrain - Current Art in & About Germany , ZKM , Karlsruhe (2008)
  • When the mood strikes ... Collection of Wilfried & Yannicke Cooreman , Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (2009)
  • If Not In This Period Of Time: Contemporary German Painting 1989-2010 , Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo, Brazsilien (2010)
  • Berlin-Klondyke 2011 , Art Center Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA (2011)
  • Paintings from the Rubell Family Collection , Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid (2012)
  • I knOw yoU , ^, Dublin (2013)
  • DAK'ART 2014 , 11ème Biennale de l'Art Africain Contemporain, Dakar (2014)
  • Picasso in Contemporary Art , Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hall for Current Art, Hamburg (2015)
  • Manifesta 11, Zurich, Switzerland (2016)
  • Be Happy - we do not forget you , Zander Collection, Bönnigheim (2017)
  • "Germany is not an island", Collection of Contemporary Art of the Federal Republic of Germany, purchases from 2012 to 2016 , Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (2018)

Literature (selection)

Web links


  1. Thomas Zipp on Artfacts. Retrieved June 23, 2017 .
  2. ^ Thomas Zipp Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. Retrieved June 23, 2017 .
  4. Thomas Zipp, Guido W. Baudach: Is there life after death? Planet Caravan? A futuristic world fair - Thomas Zipp, Kunsthalle Mannheim 02.05-17.06.2007. Kerber, 2007, ISBN 978-3-86678-094-1 ( [accessed March 4, 2020]).
  5. Full House: Faces of a Collection, Kunsthalle Mannheim April 2nd - September 4th 2006 . 2006 ( [accessed March 4, 2020]).