IL ATTEND LA NUIT
29.07.2020 – 25.08.2020
IL ATTEND LA NUIT.
DARK NIGHT. UNSPEAKABLE NIGHT. FARAWAY AND YET SO CLOSE IS THE NIGHT. AT NIGHT THE CITY IS DIFFERENT. THE CITY WILL FOLLOW YOU. PARIS. DO WE ALSO PLEASE YOU, DARK NIGHT? RUE DE L’HÔTEL DE VILLE. AND THE MORNING AFTER. PERHAPS THE LIGHT WOULD MEAN NEW SUFFERING. WHO KNOWS WHAT NEW THINGS IT WOULD REVEAL TO ME. VICTOR NOIR. I FEEL THE PULSE OF THIS CITY. I FEEL THE NOISE IN MY VEINS. I SMELL THE GRAY OF THE ASPHALT. LA DRAGUE. NUIT. SOUNDS LIKE MUSIC IN THE NIGHT. BLINKING STARS EVERYWHERE LIKE ENDLESS EYES THAT THE NIGHT HAS OPENED IN US. BODY, REMEMBER. HIS PICTURES ARE REFLECTED IN THEIR LIVELY EYES. THE BLACK BODIES OF THE BANLIEUES PARISIENNES NOIR. DIMLY, THE LETTERING “IL ATTEND LA NUIT” APPEARS, FLICKERING LIKE A FADED NEON SIGN. HORS LES MURS. GARE DU NORD. NIGHT SMELL. THE SPOTLIGHTS OF THE BATEAUX MOUCHES CUT THROUGH THE AIR, EXTENDED LIKE GLEAMING SWORDS. ONLY LUST CAN RESIST TIME. DOES THE MORNING ALWAYS HAVE TO RETURN?
The painter and stage designer Thomas Gruber shows in his pictures, which are drawings, and in his drawings that seem like painted pictures, the shadows of a private world, and gives them autonomous form and space. His works are the substrate of his rambles through urban landscapes. Individual observations and memories become reflections on human life at a certain time and a certain place. As a flaneur, quite in the spirit of Baudelaire and Poe, he is able to decode urban everyday life with its myths and secrets. Actually experienced incidents and perceptions are stored and transformed and catalysed in a very idiosyncratic way. They remain encoded, forever secrets. What Thomas Gruber experiences as reality, he transforms into an abstract visual mode. The elemental and most important engagement with the visual material is for him the slow and monotonous preparation of a smooth pictorial surface. A highly sensitive pictorial epidermis is produced through an endless process of sanding and then layering of paint. He focusses the painterly means on two image plans, ground and pattern, which together constitute the visual presence of the painting. In his painting, Thomas Gruber uses mainly non-colours, preferring black and grey in all their nuances. The actual painting takes place at the end, as a fleeting reaction of his hand.
Thomas Gruber, born in 1951
Studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München
Fellowship at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris
Stage designs for opera and theatre productions
including at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, Staatstheater Saarbrücken,
Oper Leipzig, Staatstheater Darmstadt, Staatstheater Braunschweig, Oper Bonn