After his remarkable solo show braun at the Kunstverein in Cologne, Thomas Rentmeister (1964) has continued to look for unorthodox ways to work within the parameters of classical modern sculpture to create dirty minimalism. Working with milk, chocolate spread and baby cream, he is able to define these as archetypical materials, elevating them above their conventional daily usage and thus creating intensely serious sculpture. A pile of chocolate spread, a pool of chocolate spread, plastic shelves covered with chocolate spread. His latest work is a group of refrigerators, with all the holes and cracks filled with baby cream (the whiteware). The smells that are generated are as attractive as his smooth and highly polished sculptures of polyester. In that respect, his sculptures and installations are always seductive; tempting. A big shiny orange bulb; a rose-coloured wave; an upright white thumb. All sculptures seem to scream: please touch me, eat me… He refers as well to more personal worlds; childhood smells, the 70's furniture of the parental home. It makes it even more tempting to cuddle.
Having said all this, one doesn't have the feeling that Rentmeisters work is just an open book of clear images and transparent meanings. In the end, there are always some unsolved mysteries, and dark corners.
In August 2002, Thomas Rentmeister received the prestigious Piepenbrock-Nachwuchspreis. His impressive exhibition in the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin was organized on the occasion of this prize. Thomas Rentmeister is now presenting a solo exhibition at Ellen de Bruijne Projects.
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