Born 1971 in Linz, Austria
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria
Tobias Pils’ suggestive figurations are not entirely legible nor altogether abstract, but rather create associative worlds of forms that appear as paradoxes that resist a straightforward reading. Out of a palette of varied grey tones he creates paintings that vibrate with texture, filled with unexpected depths and infinite tones.
Following intuition and disregarding strict methodology, Pils pursues his ideas as they evolve during their making. He says of his process: “When I start to paint, I have quite a clear idea of the motive … the goal is to lose the idea through painting.” The viewer is confronted with unexpected iconography and motifs that then seemingly take several directions at once and create compositions of interpretive ambiguity that invite deeper contemplation. His body of work is diverse and complex however an undefined narrative nevertheless runs through it, appearing as scenes of a cryptic dream. Pils has presented his paintings as large, unified installation works, both at Art Basel Unlimited in 2016 and Secession, Vienna in 2013.
Recent institutional exhibitions include the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2020); Musée Picasso Paris (2020); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2020); Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop (2018); Le Consortium, Dijon (2018); Aspen Art Museum (2018); 21er Haus, Vienna (2017); Kunsthalle Krems (2017); Chinati Foundation / John Chamberlain Building, Marfa (2016); National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2010); among others. In 2016, Tobias Pils took part in the residency program of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. He was awarded the ISCP Scholarship New York in 2014, the Anton Faistauer Prize for Painting in 2011 and the Otto Mauer Prize in 1994.