Thomas Palme | Francis Cape

27 April 2006 - 10 June 2006
30 April 3009

 Andreas Grimm and Adrian Rosenfeld are pleased to announce the opening of two new exhibitions at their Munich-based gallery: Thomas Palme, The Grip and in the downstairs gallery, Francis Cape, Waterline. 


Thomas Palme was born in 1967 in Immenstadt, and studied in Vienna, Munich and Düsseldorf. Palme’s black and white pencil drawings, which sometimes resemble the Art Brut, Austrian Actionists, Arnulf Rainer, Egon Schiele seem to be raw and morbid. The displayed bodies are oftentimes distorted and fragmented, their limbs deformed. Their faces are angular and rigid. The show contains over 90 drawings (80x60 cm) from the last two years and a video, documenting one of Palme´s Actionistic Performances.

Palme’s technique is as uncommon as his drawings. While he draws the objects on the right part of the paper with his right hand, he allows what is on the left to originate from his left hand. Thus highly technical and differentiated notations are created, from the fine, filigree pencil lines into a dense blackening occupying almost all of the drawing’s space, seemingly drawing the observer into a black swirl.

Black crosses grow out of the heads and bodies of the figures. In an emblematic way, they accompany the figures, occasionally becoming part of their body, injuring it. At the same time, the figures are dismissively gazing out into the void. Associations of insanity, solitude and death are themes that strike the eye of the observer, somehow altered in the almost chilly elegance of the line. Palme intermingles past with present. Morbid, emaciated creatures, who are celebrating death as erotic, encounter canonised representatives of the Geistesgeschichte such as Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Is the continuously recurrent symbolism of skulls, crucifixes and razor blades partly in the memento-mori manner, designed to remind the observer of his transitoriness, or is it aiming at displaying satirical threat and vulnerability in the here and now? Palmes’ work does not seem to be graspable since it oscillates somewhere between originating and fading away, between appearance and death, between desertion and satire.

Also, the inserted texts in the drawings are only seemingly providing information. They are neologisms, formulated remarks and rhetorical questions such as „Love is the strongest mountain and it has the highest heels“ or “What do you know from life?” They provoke without a moralizing effect.


Francis Cape studied at the City and Guilds of London Art School, and at Goldsmiths College in London. The artist lives and works in New York. His work is well known throughout the States and changes between classical sculpture, architecture and Interior Design.

“Waterline” is an installation of framed photographs hung in a level line above handmade 140cm high wainscot panelling. The photographs were taken on a two and a half hour walk through Gentilly and St. Roch in Central New Orleans, two months after hurricane Katrina. His photographs bring back the proximity and immediate witness that the media are no longer able to capture.

Cape has deliberately chosen ordinary areas which could be found anywhere in the USA. He worked closely with people who had lost their homes. It is the interchangeability and calmness that Cape wanted to trap, and that for us, adds the eerie quality to our knowledge about the aftermath of the catastrophe. It is an awkward mixture of images from any familiar US-neighbourhood, and a scene from a post-apocalyptic science-fiction movie. The waterline that becomes visible in many pictures, as well as the army’s paint markings listing the date and body count, unveil their symbolic character more than loud documentation. 

The employment of the partly painted wainscot panelling, a common architectural element throughout the USA in the last quarter of the 20th century, aims at eliminating the distancing effect of an exhibition space. Also, the ordinary household frames bought from a local store, contribute to this effect.

Capes’ photographs work like a silent, but nonetheless direct, reproach of the government’s inactivity concerning the vulnerability of people’s lives, futures and potential for transformation in the wake of the worst natural disaster to ever afflict the United States.

WATERLINE and THE GRIP will be on view through June 10 2006. Please contact Philipp Selzer for further information and images: r .

GRIMM|ROSENFELD, Theresienstrasse 56/Rgb, 80333 Muenchen. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Fridays 12.00 - 7.00 pm and Saturdays 11.00-2.00 pm.