Bert Theis. Building Philosophy - Cultivating Utopia
The work of Luxembourg artist Bert Theis (1952–2016), at once poetic and politically engaged, conceptual and sensitive, personal and collective, evolved from a reflection on the role that art can play in society. Its most prominent manifestations were “platforms” and “pavilions” in various cities across Europe and Asia that visitors, passersby and locals were encouraged to use for moments of rest, contemplation, exchange or action – spaces where the idea of a “concrete utopia” took shape. Theis was also one of the main protagonists of the Isola Art Center in Milan, a collective and transversal platform for debate and activism around issues of urban redevelopment, which he co-founded in 2001.
Accompanying the first retrospective of the artist at Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, this monographic publication surveys his entire career, from his early collages and conceptual pieces on painting, language and the status of images to his large-scale installations for the public realm. It offers new insights into his practice through four specially-commissioned essays by curators, art historians and theorists who were close to the artist, as well as through an iconographic section that provides a comprehensive overview of his work.
With essays by Enrico Lunghi, Gerald Raunig, Marco Scotini and Elvira Vannini.
Edited by Christophe Gallois and Marion Vergin, in collaboration with Enrico Lunghi and Mariette Schiltz.