//Thomas de Leliwa

Daidalos (2012) / Acrylics on canvas / 200x150cm

Thomas de Leliwa uses different painterly concepts and traditions in his artistic practice: He works with narratives, abstract, conceptual or concrete approaches, mostly in small series. This gives him the greatest possible artistic freedom to achieve in his paintings a form of expression adequate to the phenomenon or theme in question. The material consists not only of motifs or structures, but includes already found procedures of image creation and use.

//Stories zur Dialektik des AnthropozänsSeries (Selection)

As such, the material is freely handled and put into new orders. It is about compression, exaggeration, distortion, destruction and about new connections through re-montage or cross-fading. It is about painting as an act of direct communication: it should challenge, overwhelm, and entertain the viewer.

Redux (2018) / Oil, acrylics on canvas / 100x90cm

Furthermore, one aspect of his painting concerns the current aesthetic changes of imagery in general. Visual perception has been fundamentally transformed and expanded in the last 20 years. Based on the predominantly visually formed digitization of communication, an extreme increase in colorfulness, gaudiness, and contrast has occupied our everyday environment and also changed the mechanisms and temporality of our mode of perception. Visual stimuli are ramped up to compete for attention. The time to respond to stimuli is getting shorter and shorter.

Unentschieden (2012) / Oil, acrylics on canvas / 200 x 150cm

Thomas tries to examine these aesthetic phenomena and conditions of overstimulation artistically with the craft means of painting and to make them the starting point for a new pictorial design.

//Subversive Paintings – Series (Selection)

Left: Shades Nr. 2 (2014) / Oil, acrylics on canvas / 125x125cm // Right: Shades Nr. 1 (2014) / Oil, acrylics on canvas / 125x125cm

The pictorial phenomena of the present and their origins in terms of content often form the fundus. Starting from the medial, social and cognitive determination of human seeing, the artist tries to interpret the effects of this process with painterly means.

The artistic process of painting means each time anew the further development of his personal expression, which finds its unfolding in a specific and original transformation. The indispensability as an individual in a world of existential uncertainty influences both content (theme) and expression (style) in the confrontation with realities.

//Abstractnonabstract – Series / Language of Bodies – Series (Selection)

Wiedersehen alter Freunde (2016) / Oil, acrylics on canvas / 100x80cm

//Drip-Paintings – Kleine Freuden – Series (Selection)

Each finished image creates a new reality that challenges him to come closer to a reassurance with the next image, but which can never be fully achieved. In the spirit of Albert Camus, “We must think of Sisyphus as a happy man.”

//Beauty and Truth – Series (Selection)


since 2008 / Freelance artist/painter

since 1995 / Atelier Berlin-Neukölln

since 1990 / Academy and study courses, international workshops painting

1978 – 1981 / HdK Berlin, FB freie Malerei, Prof. C. Müller, Aktzeichnen

1980 – 2008 / Architect, freelance and employed

1974 – 1979  / Dipl.-Ing. for architecture and urban planning, TU Berlin architecture studies

1973 / Study of art education, Pädagogische Hochschule Berlin

//Exhibitions & Experiences ( Selection)

2022   / Projektraum Kunst, Werkstadt Kultur Berlin e. V., solo exhibition

2022 / Galerie Fantom, Berlin-Charlottenburg,  solo exhibition

2021 / Projektraum Kunst, Werkstadt Kultur Berlin e. V., Ausstellungsreihe “simulacrum“ „subversive paintings“, solo exhibition

2020 / artbox.project Zürich 2.0, group exhibition

2019 / Transformart, Berlin-Oberschöneweide, curated art fair

2018 / artbox.project at Amory Artweeks, New York, Chelsea, group exhibition

2016 / GIG, Galerie unter den Eichen, Berlin-Zehlendorf, solo exhibition

2016 / Galerie Kuhn & Partner, Berlin-Schöneberg „Passagen“  Paintings from Katrin Bäcker & Thomas de Leliwa

2015 / KunstBoulevard, Kunstamt Steglitz-Zehlendorf, curated group exhibition

2015 / 10 Jahre AFMB, Künstler der Akademie, Berlin Charlottenburg, group exhibition

2013 / Galerie Kuhn & Partner, „Freunde der Galerie“, Berlin-Schöneberg, group exhibition

2012 / Galerie Kuhn & Partner, Berlin-Schöneberg,  group exhibition

2012 / KaU (Kapelle am Urban), Berlin-Kreuzberg, solo exhibtion

2008 / Villa Oppermann, Potsdam, group exhibition and auction