Michael Toenges, “Paintings on Paper 1995-2019”

From 24th August to 12th October presented by Taguchi Fine Art

The Installation view of “Paintings on Paper 1995-2019” (2019) by Michael Toenges
at Taguchi Fine Art
Courtesy of the artist and Taguchi Fine Art

From the summer to this fall, Taguchi Fine Art presents a solo exhibition of Michael Toenges, A German painter. Toenges is Leverkusen based artist who was born in 1952, Germany. Some of his works are in the collection of Kolumba Kunstmuseum in Cologne and Kunsthaus Aarau in Switzerland. As he lives and works mostly in Europe, it is such a good opportunity to see his works in Asia by this solo show “paintings on paper 1995-2019”. A feature of the exhibition is that the exhibited works are all his small paintings on cardboard. According to the gallery, these small works have been received less attention than his other large scaled works and paintings on canvas. Even though his small works on cardboard have been regarded as preparatory and fragmental works, it is worthy of attention since the small works can be seen as the evidence of his experiment and struggle with colors. Presented works are from the old works made in 1995 to the latest works prepared for the exhibition.

The Installation view of “Paintings on Paper 1995-2019” (2019) by Michael Toenges
at Taguchi Fine Art
Courtesy of the artist and Taguchi Fine Art
The Installation view of “Paintings on Paper 1995-2019” (2019) by Michael Toenges
at Taguchi Fine Art
Courtesy of the artist and Taguchi Fine Art

Toenges explores diversity of colors through piling oil paint up on the wooden board and canvas. Toenges states that his main concern is the arrangement, contrast and construction of colors, without being bound by images or forms. He has been devoting himself to explore colors and the materiality of paint, which are regarded as fundamental elements in painting.

In the process, Toenges usually doesn’t prepare sketches in advance, while painting without any reference image or plan as well. Though he paints spontaneously without certain planned image, at the same time Toenges researches composition of colors used by other artists in history such as Giotto, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Goya and else. By his accumulated knowledge from constant researches, it seems possible to paint without hesitation.

In fact, just because his work is made without a plan, it seems to be made at once, but technically, it goes through the process of putting colors on a board, drying, and repeating these over and over again. Thus, his painting can also be considered as having long time as his studies about the usage of colors in art history.

Since his work can be interpreted in both features fast and slow, we also feel two kinds of charm. Firstly, his work takes our attention at once, just like a moment that Toenges to do paint without hesitation. Secondly, his work makes us to stay for a long time in front of the work same as the process of his efforts. An opportunity to enjoy his work in both fast and slow way is until 12th October at Taguchi Fine Art.

Michael Toenges, “Paintings on Paper 1995-2019”

  • Dates: August 24 (Sat) – October 12 (Sat) 2019
  • Hours: 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and National Holidays

Article written by Jeongeun Jo
Jeongeun Jo is from Korea now living in Japan. She is one of the member of TRiCERA who graduated from Graduate School of Fine Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA/ Geidai). She is also working as an artist herself. 

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