Selected works by Thomas Zipp

Thomas Zipp
Black Dada


Portfolio of 14 etchings Portfolio 1 from an edition of 42 Portfolio 2 from an edition of 42

76 x 58 cm
Thomas Zipp
Schwarze Ballons (1. down, 2. up, 3. S.K., 4a. tumb...tumb..., 4b.ABCE, 5. little U-light, 6. L.E.M., 7. O.E., 8. Elektrizitait)


9 part installation

mixed media
Thomas Zipp’s installations appropriate the language of museum and scientific display to convey a madman-made, foreboding view of western civilisation’s achievements. Schwarze Ballons (2005), a nine-part installation, includes among its components framed drawings that look like archival documentation, and roughly painted portraits of menacing individuals with brightly lit eyes, like undead gangsters. Two large black balloon-shaped sculptures, one suspended and one resting on the floor, fill the space with a sinister air. The work as a whole feels like a futuristic memorial, the result of an unfamiliar modern witchcraft.
Thomas Zipp
Der Schlaf IV (y-drops)


Acrylic and oil on muslin/ mixed media /chandelier (3 Parts)

250 x 340cm / 32 x 27 cm / 166 x 155cm
Der Schlaf IV (y-drops) (2006) is an ominous installation in greyscale, consisting of a painting, a framed sheet with a crossed line and needle pricks, and chandeliers made out of fluorescent tubes. Sleep (the English translation of Der Schlaf) and the dark realm of the unconscious are referenced in the title and the mountain topped with sexually charged shapes painted in black. The framed sheet, with its unreadable message, points to indecipherable depths of dream logic and the impossibility of understanding even with the help of the bright lights overhead.
Thomas Zipp


Acrylic and oil on canvas/ mixed media (3 Parts)

250 x 340cm / 160 x 200 cm / 32 x 27cm

In Zipp’s works, the free-association of the unconscious is an entry point into investigating collective guilt. E-Licht (2006), another museum-like display, juxtaposes two paintings – one of a flying zeppelin and the other a large, nervous abstraction – with a schematic drawing, like a minimalist condensation of idealist values from a previous era. A.B.:H.G.:B.16. (2005) and World Kantzler Office (2004) appropriate the codes of war-cabinet imagery to playfully question the way history is constructed.

Thomas Zipp


Acrylic and oil on canvas / Mixed Media

(2 parts)
Asked about his practice, Zipp responds with a brief history of lysergic acid diethylamine, aka LSD, and its early transition from medical hope to potential CIA tool for mind-control and chemical warfare. Each of Zipp’s charismatic works aims to shed light on the quasi-fictional truths of post-Enlightenment so-called progress, conveying a sense of the real darkness lurking behind irrational, violent acts that are historically constructed as victories.
Thomas Zipp
World Kantzler Office - detail


Mixed media

300 x 400 x 250cm



The Paolo Curti/Annamaria Gambuzzi & Co. gallery presents, on Tues 24 June, the group show "Painting on the roof". The exhibition, curated by Veit Loers, comes directly from the Abteiberg Museum of Mönchengladbach, of which Loers is the director. It includes works by nine German artists, and the exhibition can be seen as a Manifesto of the new painting. These artists do not pay tribute to the large formats and violence of the post-Pop painting of the 1990s, but neither do they belong to the ranks of the "politically correct" art imposed by vogue-conscious curators. At the same time, we cannot associate these paintings, watercolors and drawings with the historical tradition of neo-expressionism. These works, perhaps, can be defined as neo-symbolist.
Most of the nine artists come from southern Germany. They come to grips with the idea of narrative art, though without any debt to it. They are interested in the concept of the icon, in the true sense of the term, that of representative painting. The images in "Painting on the Roof" embody a nomadic character that constitutes their force with respect to other experimentation with painting of this generation. The new often appears in the guise of the old. For this reason, these figurative works possess a symbolic, realistic, calligraphic lightness. But their foundation is formed by the pursuit of archetypes and the visionary gaze at the invisible that always permeated the painting of the 20th century, starting with Kandinsky.


By Sophie Hamacher

The title of Thomas Zipp's latest exhibition, "EEEEEEE (God bless the Lord (Auch))," refers to the pseudonym under which Georges Bataille published The Story of the Eye in 1928. Apocalyptic, pornographic, and at times filled with wit, Zipp's "Schlaf-Bildern" (Sleep-Paintings) escort us through a field strewn with Bataillean imagery, a labyrinth of possibilities featuring flowers, bullets, asses, mountains, suns, and fish that look like zeppelins. In Der Schlaf IV (y-drops) (The Sleep IV [y-drops]), 2006, Zipp paints a landscape wherein a gloomy sky resembling a gigantic ass appears about to be impaled by a mountain peak. Zipp's "Sleep" series, painted in acrylic and oil, feature terrains eclipsed in darkness, symbolically echoing Bataille's essay "The Solar Anus." But hanging in front of each of these works are neon chandeliers girded by black-painted wood (E-Licht [E-Light], 2006), illuminating the paintings and their metaphor-laden imagery with an intense florescent light.

Dispersed throughout the show are repetitive typewritten letters on white sheets of torn paper, textual drawings that sometimes bear traces of bloodlike substances or bold black marks, while on the far side of the gallery, also in black wood, the Latin phrase Mens agitat molem (Mind Moves Matter), 2006, hangs on the wall, providing an erudite center to this transgressive wilderness. Far from a mere homage to Bataille, the exhibition, an energetic and half-absurd juxtaposition of disparate motifs, is refreshing in its hyperbolic threat of imminent disaster and surreal madness.