We are delighted to present the fifth solo exhibition of Tillmann Terbuyken entitled EDGES. Here the artist shows the expansive installation “Untitled (Draft for a stage)”, 2011–2022, which can also be read as a stage in an updated form that fundamentally alters the gallery space—just as Terbuyken has repeatedly changed the piece over several exhibition situations. The installation is connected to newer works and the architecture of Werner Düttmann at Mehringplatz via clearly readable spatial axes. A formally bipartite, shaped canvas is integrated in the wall of the “stage.” On one side, the inserted work is distinctly composed in formal terms, while on the other, blood-red dashes of paint fiercely transform the picture medium into a body swaying after an attack—a state that bears great relevance to the present and one which the artist fathoms anew time and again.
The starting point of Tillmann Terbuyken’s artistic work is appropriation. “I collect ideas, ready-mades, used materials such as cabinets, wooden stairs, plywood panels, colors and shapes.” He works on found material, deconstructs its components, liberates it from its original function. He takes pieces from the most various sources to process them to new bodies, always calling the corporeality of the material into question, until its wear results in a new form. The painted spatial bodies remain fragile, they demonstrate the way in which they are constructed and reveal the artist’s constant dealing with edges, ruptures and incomplete forms, which he condenses to space-filling gestures. Diagonals point beyond the boundaries of the picture to the gallery space. The composition of the show seems to cause the architecture to sway. Tillmann Terbuyken’s works fill the space, so that the viewers feel their presence with every movement. They approach the moving visitor in a bodily way, appearing to cross the boundaries of the material and creating an ambivalent situation. Depending on the viewer’s perspective, they are either intimate and welcoming or threatening and repulsive. Despite the often used primary colors that emanate childlike merriment from afar, the exhibition is by no means joyful, for the works are partially unbearable due to their fragility.
The artistic practice of Tillmann Terbuyken makes a case for the ambivalence of subjective realities and the freedom that arises from these bonds and from challenging them.
Tillmann Terbuyken (*1978) lives and works in Hamburg. He studied at Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (2003–2006) and Akademie beeldende Kunsten in Maastricht (1999–2003). Past exhibition projects were a.o.: “Cabinet” at Galerie im Marstall Ahrensburg (Solo, 2021), “Logs” at KM, Berlin (Solo, 2018), “Große Kunstschau Worpswede” (2018), “Ich bin so frei” at Zionskirche Worpswede (Solo, 2017), “Tondos” at Kunstverein Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen (Solo, 2016), “No Cover Image” at arti et amicitiae, Amsterdam (2016), “FREI” at KM, Berlin (Solo, 2016), “Dealing with Surfaces” at Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst Bremen (2015), “Wenn Du es gleich siehst, wird es schon anders sein” at Galerie der Wassermühle Trittau (Solo, 2014). In 2018 he was nominated for Paula-Modersohn-Becker Prize, in 2017 he was awarded for his artistic project at Zionskirche in Worpswede (2017). Tillmann Terbuyken is founding member of Friends and Lovers in Underground in Hamburg.