Biography

Thomas Virnich is an untiring creator of two- and, most importantly, three-dimensional works. To him, life and artistic creation are inextricably intertwined, and his approach to artistic fascinations has remained playful.

Virnich lives with his family in the building of a former school in Mönchengladbach. The former schoolyard houses fancy structures, aeroplanes, distant planets and galaxies, intriguing creatures, and discoveries at various stages of artistic transformation – a strange universe, a twisted reality.

The materials Virnich uses – paper, papier mâché, cardboard, wood, clay, lead, and bronze –all bear the distinct marks of craftsmanship and manual processing. His sculptures seem to be intentionally left unfinished, delicate, and fragile. Architecture in particular is the main focus of Virnich’s attention. He examines space transforming into volume, known forms recreated by destruction and reconstruction, and the creation of space.

From 1978 to 1981, Virnich was a student at the RWTH Aachen University, where his mentor was Joachim Bandau. Later, until 1985, he attended Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts, and was taught by Alfonso Hüppi and Eugen Gomringer. In 1987, he received the Villa Romana Prize, and in 1991 the Villa Massimo award. The antique city of Rome impressed Virnich greatly, and this is still being echoed by his architectural sculptures today.

Virnich, who has been a professor at the Braunschweig University of Art since 1992, started to present his works in numerous individual and collective exhibitions even as a student. Institutions such as Museum Wiesbaden, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Abteiberg Museum in Mönchengladbach, Museum DKM in Duisburg, and various art associations have organised exhibitions of his works in recent years. In 2015 / 2016, Tony Cragg invited him to present his bronze sculptures in the Waldfrieden sculpture park near Wuppertal.

Works

Exhibitions

News

Documents

Publications

1978-81 studied at RWTH Aachen in the class of Joachim Bandau

1981-85 studied at the Art Academy Düsseldorf in the classes of Alfonso Hüppi and Eugen Gomringer

since 1992 Professor at the School of Visual Arts in Braunschweig

Awards and grants

1983

travel grant from the friends and sponsors of the Art Academy Düsseldorf

scholarship from the city of Aachen

scholarship from the federal competition „Kunststudenten stellen aus“

scholarship from the Ministry for Education and Science

1987

Villa-Romana-Preis, Florence

1987-89

Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff Scholarship

1995

Villa Massimo Scholarship, Rome

2001

Lower Saxony Art Award

Selected solo exhibitions

2022

Thomas Virnich. Zwischen Raum, Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin

2016

Thomas Virnich – Mailänder Dom, Buchmann Lugano, Lugano

2015

Schalk Im Kasten – Kunstverein Heinsberg, Heinsberg

Thomas Virnich – Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach

Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal

2014

on mountains and other holes, Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin

Die Welt am Kleiderhaken, Museum DKM, Duisburg

Zerschmolzen und Versilbert, Galerie Florian Sundheimer, München

2012

Erdgeister, Galerie Reckermann, Cologne

2011

Paradies Hin und Zurück, Roemer-Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim

2010

Thomas Virnich, Littmann Kulturprojekte, Basel / Zürich

2007/08

Umgestülpter Engel. Multiples 1983 – 2007, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau,

Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl

2003/04

Schatztruhe, Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg

2002

Bescherung, DG Deutsche Gesellschaft für Christliche Kunst e.V., Munich

2001

Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Kunstmuseum Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Städtisches Museum für Design, Nürnberg, Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach

2000

Künstlerbücher, Museum Burg Wissen, Troisdorf

1999

Galerie Holtmann, Berlin

1996

Alles wirklich, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig

1994

Kleine Welten, Produzentengalerie, Hamburg

1993

Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach

1992

Thomas Virnich, Galerie Meyer-Ellinger, Frankfurt am Main

1989/90

Thomas Virnich, Kunstverein und Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen

1989

Thomas Virnich / Benjamin Katz, Galerie Buchmann, Basel

1988/89

Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg

1989

Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn

1986

Große Kiste, Rotterdams Kunstrichtung, Rotterdam

Thomas Virnich, Kunstraum München, Munich

1985

Hausblöcke, Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach

1983/84

Ein Panzer wird zerlegt, Molkerei, Cologne

1983

Ein Kunststudent packt aus, Rosenthal, Selb

Further selected exhibitions

2018

PAINTING still ALIVE… On the way to modernity, Centre of Contemporary Art, Toruń/Poland

2013

Die Bildhauer, K20, Düsseldorf

2005

Rundlederwelten, Gropius Bau, Berlin

2004

La bellesa del fracàs / El fracàs de la bellesa, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona

1998

Deep Storage, PS1, New York

1987

documenta 8 in Kassel

1986

De Sculptura, Wiener Festwochen, Vienna

1985/86

Spuren, Skulpturen und Monumente ihrer präzisen Reise, Kunsthaus Zürich

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