Tobias Pils

9 June - 13 August 2016

Capitain Petzel is pleased to be able to present the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Austrian painter Tobias Pils.


In his paintings, Tobias Pils generates a reality based on its own laws, in which paradoxes, ruptures and associative mental leaps result in an organic whole. The images lead their viewers into a world of forms and structures that seem familiar, but can never be completely resolved. His exclusive use of gray tones not only points to a conceptual approach similar to that of monochrome or purely gestural painting, it also removes the images from the realm of space and time.


Conceived towards the outside and taking into account the gallery’s glass architecture, Tobias Pils’ works resemble dream-like semantic constructions in the form of a unity of externalization and internalization. Floral forms present themselves like borrowings from Karl Blossfeldt, but without his formal severity — instead suggesting intuitive manifestations, fading out diffusely. They celebrate the beauty of nature and that of the eroticism immanent in nature. This floral lightness is contrasted with surreal elements and hard, severe forms that spread out across the canvas like an explosion or thrust themselves into the image as black shapes. The theme of nature in the paintings contrasts with the angular, mechanical forms of the ink drawings, which convey a sense of urban hardness.


The force of tension in Pils’ art is formed by the ambivalence of his works, their intangible

intermediate state, simultaneously impenetrable and transparent. Viewers are tempted to define a state, but it resists every definition. A slipping, transitory place becomes a space of aesthetic experience.


Tobias Pils was born in Linz (Austria) in 1971. He lives and works in Vienna.

Installation Views