Tjorg Douglas Beer
UNDER THE OCTOPUS TREE
09.10.2019 – 03.12.2019
Grzegorzki Shows Berlin presents new works by the German artist Tjorg Douglas Beer, who works in various fields and creates collages, paintings, and sculptures. The exhibition title, Under the Octopus Tree, is a reference to the artist’s interest in escape scenarios: since 2019, Beer has spent a lot of time in Greece, and the Octopus Tree is a synonym for the fantasma of utopian life. Beer generates his work from life experiences rather than from a conceptual point of view. In his paintings, he mixes ink, markers, lacquer, acrylic, oil paint, and oil stick and develops arrangements and sceneries out of the process of painting. As a result, faces and figures appear from the transition of overlapping colors. These figures are preserved and then arranged in fragmented scenarios that could be landscapes, interiors, or sculptures. Unfinished figures, squares, and color transitions lead to collage-like paintings.
In the exhibition, Beer also shows ceramic sculptures made in collaboration with a Greek ceramist. After the series of figure paintings, Beer has developed a more technical form of figures and heads in the ceramic works. Here, the shapes also resemble rockets and bombs: a symbiosis of human and thing. These sculptures are then stamped with various objects from the artist’s studio. Describing his work, Beer says: “Some people write songs. I make things.”
Tjorg Douglas Beer was born in Lübeck in 1973 and grew up in Hamburg. There, he studied at the College of Fine Arts. His work has been shown in some of the most important national and international museums and galleries, including the Tate Modern, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo; Kunstverein Hamburg; Museum of Modern Art Bremen; Arizona State University Art Museum; Project Space – Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Timothy Taylor Gallery, London; X-Initiative, New York; Remap3 + 4 Athens; based in Berlin: Neue Nationalgalerie in Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; 21er Haus – Museum for Contemporary Art Vienna; and Konsthall Varberg. Beer has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Hamburg; Kunstraum Innsbruck; Stadsgalerij Heerlen; Institute for Modern Art Nuremberg; Contemporary Art Institute Sapporo; and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.
Beer is also represented in some of the most prestigious public and private collections: B. Melva Bucksbaum New York; Margulies Collection, Miami; Mikki and Stanley Weithorn Collection, New York; Beth Rudin de Woody, Los Angeles; CAP Collection, Southhampton; Falckenberg Collection, Hamburg; Herbert F. Johnson Museum, NY; Sammlung Gercken, Albertinum – Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Montblanc Cultural Foundation, Hamburg; Persol Collection, Milan; and the Sohohouse Group Collection, Berlin/London.
In addition, Beer has participated in the following biennials: Artgenda 2002 in Hamburg; Manifesta11 – European Biennale for Contemporary Art 2016 in Zurich; the Socle du Monde Biennale 2017 in Herning; the Berlin Kreuzberg Biennale 2012; and the Mykonos Biennial 2019.