Artist: Tom Król
Exhibition title: Limbo
Venue: NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany
Date: March 15 – May 31, 2020
Photography: Simon Vogel / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein
NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein is pleased to present Limbo, the first institutional solo exhibition of Tom Król.
Painter Tom Król presents a multi-part series of defragmented faces, which use individual appropriations from comics, advertising and street art on an uneven canvas – assembled, composted of layers and thus referring by itself to the material as well as the process of painting. Symbols and ciphers, taken from everyday life and consciously detached, are considered worthy of remembrance for one’s own archive and personal pictorial memory, and collected. There they wait, lurk, decontextualized information that needs to be recontextualized, defined and imagined on the canvas.
Tom Król skillfully incorporates the exhibition space and its own architecture into the concept of the presentation. Signs and gestures depicted in front of an undefined, almost monochrome white backdrop form incomplete faces on the canvas. Eyes, nose, mouth, hinted at with light strokes in front of a colored surface. The mask-like heads look into the exhibition space, surround the viewer, silently try to establish a communication with him. Their inevitably demanding and never-sleeping gaze is always on the observer, slowly evoking a never-ending confrontation, a feeling of unease. Enduring as a task. But on the other hand also true interest, a welcome invitation, sincere will to exchange, broken by and questioned in the possibilities of the medium of painting. An ironic dichotomy inherent in Król’s works.
Among the individual works, a dialogical, albeit again non-verbal, web of interweaving in the space unfolds, too. How exhausting it must be to exist in this attentive society. And also: how enriching. The visitor in the middle of it all. Painting as communication. Already in the studio the works are mutually dependent in their genesis, the process of painting is not bound to one work, the questions and ideas change the picture carriers playfully and return to them just as light-footedly. The artist in the middle. Painting as a communicative process.
Tom Król was born in Cologne in 1991. He studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach, was a guest student at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles. He lives and works in Cologne.