Markus Schinwald


Drawing, installation, painting, sculpture...

Markus Schinwald

Past: March 12 → April 9, 2016


Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac presents Austrian artist Markus Schinwald’s first solo exhibition at its Paris Marais gallery.

Through his protean work, Schinwald explores a range of media such as video, drawing, sculpture or installation to shape a world that enables a dialogue between theatre, sociology, philosophy, psychology and even fetishism. As part of his pictorial creation process, Markus Schinwald uses old paintings, most of which date back to the so-called Biedermeier period, which he alters by adding incongruous elements such as prostheses. With this iconoclastic gesture, the artist creates a timeless piece that does not, or no longer, correspond to a particular aesthetic style, whether in terms of time period or genre. Contrary to such a restrictive artistic practice, with each exhibition Schinwald takes the viewer through an initiation journey as the experience is not only visual but also charged with physical empathy.

For this new project, Schinwald has chosen to display a new series of large-scale paintings as well as several installations resembling machines in motion.

At a visual level, Schinwald’s new pictures break away from his older works in which painted faces and prosthetic devices were the focus of the painting. Here the characters have freed themselves from their restricting implements and thus of a psychological burden. They enter an all new composition as the very scale of the canvas gives them the size of almost anecdotal statuettes. The monochrome background removes any narrative, iconographic or temporal anchor, revealing a mysterious setting out of which only hints of geometric shapes, materials, reflections or nuances emerge. There is a shift in Markus Schinwald’s usual iconographic repertoire: the prosthesis is no longer representational; it becomes contextual and conceptual. The psychological shackles are no longer embodied in the identifiable physical object as they take a more abstract form through a composition that recreates the conditions of this mental confinement.

This phenomenon occurs simultaneously with the artist’s installations. His sculptures comprise a clock movement, borrowed from 19th century ecclesiastic dials, itself contained within a white frame. The sculptures’ continuous motion evokes a repetitive choreography. The cogwheels, the cylindrical tree’s mechanical organ and the wooden furniture are substitutes for the legs and joints of the puppets’ or dancers’ that we see in Markus Schinwald’s previous creations. Beyond these mechanisms, the artist limits his latest sculptures to the basic geometric shape of the rectangle. This rectangle becomes an outline as the installations are empty; as such they evoke the theme of the window. This introduces an interplay between solid and void, creating a symbolic dialogue between inside and outside, introspection and extroversion. Through these, we then perceive the paintings or details of these, enabling us to look at Markus Schinwald’s work from a new angle, and more specifically to give it a new interpretation.


In 2007, Markus Schinwald exhibited at Tate Modern in London as part of the group exhibition The World as a Stage. In 2008, he had a solo exhibition at the Migros Museum in Zurich. Three years later, he represented Austria at the 54th Venice Biennale, a turning point in his career. In 2013, he had a solo exhibition at the CAPC in Bordeaux and at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Last year, he had a solo exhibition at the M — Museum Leuven as well as at the Magasin III in Stockholm.

A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition featuring an essay by Dominique de Font-Réaulx, general heritage curator, Director of the Eugène Delacroix Museum.

  • Opening Saturday, March 12, 2016 5 PM → 8 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

7, rue Debelleyme

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 72 99 00 — F. 01 42 72 61 66

Filles du Calvaire

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM

The artist

  • Markus Schinwald