1971 Born in Hamburg, DE
Lives and works in Huntlosen, DE
1998 Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften / FB Gestaltung, Hamburg, DE
1993 Muthesius Hochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung, Kiel, DE
Falsches Erwachen, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE
Spellbound, The Goma, Madrid, ES
A Recurring Dream, Feinkunst Krüger, Hamburg, DE
Ahnen ahnen, The Goma, Madrid, ES
Fading Song of the Wood, Loyal, Malmö, SE
Eulen und Engel, Galerie Bel‘Art, Stockholm, SE
The Fifth Sun, Galleri K, Oslo, NO
The Future of Yesterday, The Goma, Madrid, ES
Dreckiges Licht der alten Zeit, Marstall, Ahrensburg, DE
Das Licht am Ende - with Tilman Knop, Kunstverein Buchholz, Buchholz, DE
Arbeit im Berg der Wahrheit, Patricia Low Gallery, Gstaad, CH
Inneres Licht gegen äussere Dunkelheit, Stellan Holm Gallery, New York, US
Mansion on the Hill, Loyal, Stockholm, SE
Glaube, Hoffnung und Liebe, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE
Erntedank, Galleri K, Oslo, NO
Die Rache der Wirklichkeit, Galerie Michael Janssen, Köln, DE
Black Nostalgia, Stellan Holm Gallery, New York, US
Das Wir Gefühl, Stellan Holm Gallery, New York, US
Die Guten und die Anderen, Galleri K, Oslo, NO
HelterSkelterShelter, Projekt Just, Düsseldorf, DE
Zwielicht Palace, Halle K3 auf Kampnagel, Hamburg, DE
Heimspiel, Marstall, Ahrensburg, DE
Aussteiger, Freikunst Krüger / Multiple Box, Hamburg, DE
AlohaDiscoInkluse, art frankfurt projects, Frankfurt, DE
Aloha from Hell, Hinterconti, Hamburg, DE
Auf Verlangen vorzeigen, Multiple Box, Hamburg, DE
Horror Vacui, Galerie Anhava, Helsinki, SE
Puertos de Entrada, Sala de Exposiciones, Huesca, Spain, ES
El canto de los árboles, Matucana 100, Santiago de Chile, CL
La Buena Estrella, OTR Espacio de Arte, Madrid, ES
The Age of Collage, Feinkunst Krüger, Hamburg, DE
Pop Politics: Activism at 33 Revolutions, CA2M, Madrid, ES
Moorende Bauernfrühstück, Feinkunst Krüger, Hamburg, DE
Mortal Reflections, Ikon Ltd, Santa Monica, US
Surf+Anarchie+Alchemie, Amtsrichterhaus, Schwarzenbek, DE
Jack Helgesen Family Collection / Bildets arkeologi, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway, NO
23_dity-feeds&dirty-mind, Gängeviertel, Hamburg, DE
Casa de Empeño, Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City, MX
Totholz - curated by Till Gerhard, Loyal, Malmö, SE
Borowski, Brooks, Gerhard and Mull, Stellan Holm Gallery, New York, US
Man Son.1969 - Vom Schrecken der Situation, Villa Merkel, Esslingen portugal arte 10. Portugal Pavillon, Lissabon, PT
XXL 2 TAGILE FORTI, Velan Center for Contemporary Art, Turin, IT
MAN SON 1969. Vom Schrecken der Situation, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, DE (cat)
Knospen wollen explodieren,Palais für aktuelle Kunst, Glückstadt, DE
Works on paper, Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, CH
Altered States Of Paint, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, UK
The Triumph of Painting, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
Kombilösung: Spiegelvision, Artleib, Düsseldorf, DE
Hinter den sieben Bergen - with Marcel Dzama, Jonathan Meese, etc., Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, CH
Blood Meridian - curated by David Hunt, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE
Seestücke, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, DE
Unholy Truths, Initial Access, Wolverhampton
Sunset in Athens II, Vamiali´s Gallery, Athen, GR
Figuring The Landscape. Contemporary Art Galleries, Storrs, CT
„was wäre ich ohne dich...“. Deutsche Kunst der letzten 40 Jahre, Stadtgalerie Prag, Prag, CZ
4x2 - with Alex Müller, Projekt Just, Düsseldorf, DE
Sammlung Falckenberg, art Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, DE
Passion des Sammelns, Stiftung Federkiel Halle 14, Leipzig, DE
See history 2005, Kunsthalle Kiel, Kiel, DE
Security check, Arndt&Partner, Zürich, CH
Gegenwärtig: Geschichtenerzähler, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, DE
Ein Tag, Ein Raum, Ein Bild. Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim, DE
Ohne uns hätte man Beton - with Tilman Knop. SKAMraum, Hamburg, DE
Jahresgaben. Hinterconti, Hamburg, DE
SKAMfinale. SKAM, Hamburg, DE
Marken Kunst. art agents gallery, Hamburg, DE
Nerdism - with Henning Kles. Zeughaus, Hamburg, DE
Bestandsaufnahme: 43200 min BRD - with Henning Kles. xy-Galerie, Hamburg, DE
Junge Hamburger, Studio Galerie, Hamburg, DE
Press text 'Falsches Erwachen' '(2018)
Galerie Michael Janssen is delighted to present the third solo exhibition by artist Till Gerhard entitled Falsches Erwachen (False Awakening), a new cycle of large- and medium-format paintings from 2016-2017.
In his earlier work, Gerhard largely deals with the fantastic and the uncanny, which he conveys via motifs embedded and borrowed from popular culture. In like fashion, his new paintings are informed by dreams and the unconscious, as well as by pantheistic folk and nature mythologies.
The late-Romantic writings of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats (who was, in turn, influenced by Celtic mysticism and traditional English poetry, such as that of William Blake) also provide rich source material for Gerhard’s imagery. Here again, the artist takes a detour through popular culture to chance upon Yeat’s 1899 poem “The Song of Wandering Aengus”* in the guise of Donovan’s 1971 musical version of the original text.
The title of the exhibition, Falsches
Erwachen, describes a shifting dream state, during which a sleeper transitions from one dream into another but believes to have awaken at the onset of the second. Under such circumstances, many people believe they are indeed awake, and as a result, they are unaware of remaining within a dream. This occurrence is often interpreted as a sort of “defense strategy” by the unconscious mind against the lucidity of the dreamer.***
With his new paintings, Gerhard reveals an “alternate dimension,” as he did in his previous work. However, the streamer-decorated party zones of esoteric happenings are now replaced by the interior space of the unconscious—the singular and astonishing self.
Yet, the pictorial space created by the painter still lies beyond the rational and possesses a mysterious and mystical quality. Many of his figures have their backs turned to the viewer, thereby signaling the border between an inside and outside world; or they are faceless, thus becoming a projection surface generated by and for dreamers.
Gerhard's imagery oscillates between the figurative and the abstract, although the abstract elements in his new works are bolder and strongly emphasized. Furthermore, his color palette appears more intensely hued; and through which he aligns himself to models of Nordic painting, such as Edward Munch, and to the post-impressionism and expressionism of Paul Gauguin.
The increasingly ambiguous fusion between humans and nature; dreams and the presumed reality of wakefulness; mysticism and unconsciousness; the figurative and the abstract; and paint and its substrate provides another essential element of abstraction to the content, and, on a painterly level, to its form.
Press text 'Glaube, Hoffnung und Liebe' (2007)
After his solo exhibition in 2006 in the gallery’s showrooms in Cologne, the Galerie Michael Janssen now has the pleasure to present Till Gerhard’s second solo exhibition in Berlin.
Gerhard, born in 1971 in Hamburg, where he now lives and works, among others took part in exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg) and at Saatchi Gallery (London).
The scenes in Till Gerhard’s paintings might, at first sight, seem perfectly cosy but at second sight they at the latest cause discomfort. Ostensible unoffending photo templates of young people on festivals in front of moody sunsets are turned through painterly transformation into something sinister and threatening, with deformed faces, dark and threatening skies and spookily levitating shining entities.
With loose painterly gestures in lucid neon-colour hues and by means of impalpable shifts and inserting mysterious, inexplicable aspects that seem to be visible on canvas only for a couple of seconds only to disappear the next moment, Gerhard turns the icons of a hippie-contemplativeness from the sixties up to the present time into weirdness.
The channelling of such frightening elements in everyday situations -or rather vice versa, the discovery of weirdness in familiar surroundings- does not serve Gerhard as stylistic device for a gothic fictitious movie but documents his doubts on the innocence of the very real times of his childhood, which in retrospection and on photos seems unnaturally safe and sound.
Press text 'Die Rache der Wirklichkeit' (2006)
Till Gerhard's painting suggests his own microcosm in which the boundaries between reality and fiction dissolve and the fantastic invades the real world. For the first time, six oil paintings and six drawings by the Hamburg artist Till Gerhard will be presented at the Galerie Michael Janssen.
Gerhard's large paintings tell the story of people who congregate and form a society to experience a specific moment. The visual space the painter creates lies beyond the rational and harmonious worlds, communicating a mysterious, unnerving mood. His figures turn their backs on the viewers, thereby marking the boundary between interior and exterior worlds. In the painting "Falscher Guru" (2006), the presented figures form a semicircle around a covered object in the centre, above which a ghost seems to hover. Gerhard's visual world moves between figuration and abstraction. On closer observation the presented figures appear distorted or unfocussed, underlining how his figurative motifs also have remnants of abstraction within them.
Gerhard's skill lies in his ambiguity. His visual world is mysterious and fantastic, thereby irritating and unsettling his viewers. The writer Tzvetan Todorov defines the fantastic as, "the indecisiveness a person feels through knowing only natural laws and facing an event that has a metaphysical appearance."
For instance the group event in the painting "Avantgarde Backlash" (2006) radiates a subversive threat stemming from apparently metaphysical phenomena. In a seemingly visionistic way, Gerhard paints the metaphysical world invading into reality. His painting reflects the paranoid condition of the world, which although painted in glowing, bright colours, communicates a threatening character and creates its own dynamism from which onlookers are unable to escape.
The artist often uses motifs from the world of pop, as is apparent in the painting "Die andere Seite" (2006), which clearly refers to the legendary cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road. Gerhard plays with the viewer's power of association in a targeted way, deliberately unsettling him with informal elements that overlap the original identity. It remains uncertain whether the ghostly figures are really pop icons or perhaps just the shadow of broken illusions.