Schönes Neues Wohnen inhabits the interior and exterior of Full Haus, as well as the gallerists’ cars, parked nearby. The exhibition’s name is inspired by a line of paints from Alpina, a German paint manufacturer. The company’s promotional booklet organizes its household paints into “color recipes.” Whether for food or for color, recipes provide the democratizing promise that a person need not have prior specialized knowledge in order to make something. Recipes are the antecedent of maker culture.
The promise of “Beautiful New Living” feels appropriate for this building, which is at once an embodiment of the aspirations for egalitarian, communal living, and at the same time a fashionable, expensive testament to the eventual failures of that egalitarianism. Tobias Donat’s gestures—a mural, a phrase, a carpet, a slogan—resist commentary or cynicism about these contradictions, instead offering everyday materials and design choices as a way to ask: how do we live?
Tobias Donat lives and works in Berlin. Recent exhibitions include „Caught in the Act“ at Audio Visual Arts, New York (2015); „Tanod Saibot“ at Philipp Pflug Contemporary, Frankfurt/Main (2015); „Pashmina“ at Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main (2014); „!“§$%&/()=?,“ at 1822-Forum in Frankfurt/Main (2012); and „Übermorgenkünstler II“ at Heidelberger Kunstverein (2012). In 2014, Donat graduated from the Städelschule, Frankfurt/Main. He is the founder of Graue Maus Verlag, a self-publishing imprint dedicated to artist books.