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Pièce de monnaie

Pièce de monnaie, 1992

Hermann Pitz
  • Artist (1956)

Hermann Pitz’s work, which uses all the creative wherewithal that the 20th century has made available to art (photography, collages, found objects, readymades…), can be defined as an art of combination.  His oeuvre reveals the complex relations between the object, the image, and the spectator.  One of the bases of his work is the research that he has been conducting since his early days into light and optical phenomena.  In his works, he presents different tools which enable him to “play” with the image, such as parabolic mirrors (Studio Düsseldorf, 1992), the convex mirror (Boeken, 1993), magnifying glasses (Babyboxen, 1986), and glass lenses.  In recollecting his childhood games, he was interested first and foremost in the light phenomena caused by the accumulation of drops of water on different surfaces which he tried to photograph (Goccie d’aqua, 1988).  These drops of water swiftly found their scientific counterpart in the use of the convex glass lens (Forme entière, 1987-94).  Conducted over the lines of a landscape drawn in miniature, these glass drops set the image in motion; this image appears and disappears depending on the onlooker’s position. At a very early stage, Pitz started to cobble together small paper objects cut out using a stencil.  In 1979, he constructed small model houses on three levels.  Some of them are the exact replica of an architecture, with doors, windows, and ground-floor vitrines.  Others, identical in shape, are built with pieces of paper bearing varied motifs such as texts, a city map, and pin-up photographs…  Because the form remains the same, a contradiction comes into being between what we know and what is really shown.  The object is perverted by the motif as soon as the motif is identifiable.

Hermann Pitz (Oldenburg, 1956) lives and works in Düsseldorf and Amsterdam.  Between 1975 and 1981, he studied painting at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin.  He came to notice in 1978 with the series of exhibitions titled Räume, which he organized with the Berlin artists Raimund Kummer and Fritz Rahmann under the group name Büro Berlin.  Since then, several international solo and group exhibitions have been held in Berlin, Rotterdam, Hamburg, at Documenta VIII and IX, at the Venice Biennale, and in Stuttgart, Brussels, Paris and New York.  He has won several prizes in Germany, including the Critics Award for the Büro Berlin project in 1987, and he received the Deutscher Künstlerbund in Berlin in 1994.  Hermann Pitz has also had several teaching positions (Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, 1990-2003; Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, since 2002; Newcastle University, 2010.)