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Thomas Palme, The Noise

Andreas Grimm New York
530 West 25th Street, 2nd floor, 212-352-2388
May 22 - June 28, 2008
Reception: Thursday, May 22, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Andreas Grimm is pleased to announce, The Noise, the first New York solo exhibition of German artist Thomas Palme.

Palme’s highly prolific practice encompasses the fields of drawing, video, performance, and installation. The black and white pencil drawings, which constitute the bulk of Palme’s creative output, are produced at a minimum count of four thousand works on paper annually. Palme draws simultaneously with both his right and left hand, creating images which contain a wide spectrum of marks, energies, and references, ranging from finely rendered portraiture to chaotic abstraction.

There are multiple forces at work with each other and at odds with one another in the images Palme creates. The technique which he has adopted to make his work, drawing with both hands at once, is integral to the content of the work itself. There is always a battle taking place between that which we can comprehend or identify as a part of our history, and that which is shrouded in mystery, perhaps supernatural, and definitely powerful if not completely in control. From Palme’s citations, it is evident that he is moving between and connecting the spaces of the metaphysical, the historical, the scientific, the religious, and the philosophical. In this intersection is not only a search for answers to large questions as exhaustive and epic as Palme’s practice itself, but also a space of transition which brings the viewer to the present through depicting the implications and effects of these dynamics of power and time on our lives.

While Palme’s past exhibitions have served as a formally presented, select edit of the sheer mass and pace of his process, The Noise, presents an experience closer to the process itself. Using large format drawings hung on clotheslines, pinned to the wall, wrapped around pedestals, and strewn on the floor in conjunction with multiple video monitors and photographs, Palme creates an all encompassing, room size installation which serves as a philosophical diagram.

Amongst Palme’s newest works, embedded in the installation, are a series of performance-videos made in the forests of his birthplace, Immenstadt. The videos, which he refers to as “ram-videos,” serve as reference to the mantra “ram,” and a tribute to several spiritual gurus. The most notable of these influences is Palme’s close friend, Ram Dass, who authored the 1971 contemporary spiritual classic, “Be Here Now ”, in which he teaches the harmony of all people and religions. These videos, particularly in the context in which Palme has placed them, mark a major turning point in our understanding of his work, connecting the iconography and characters found repeatedly in past and current drawings with Palme himself as the enactor of these identities in the space and time of actions taking place in film and photography.

In authoring his infamous 1848 manifesto, Karl Marx predicted the state in which we find ourselves upon entering the environment that Palme has created for us and for himself:

All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

Thomas Palme was born in 1967 in Immenstadt, and studied in Vienna, Munich and Düsseldorf. His selected works have been published in four major volumes: Nachlass (2003), The Brick (2004), The Grip (2006), and Palme in Berlin (2007). He has exhibited internationally, most recently at Overbeck-Gesellschaft, and Kuhstall Moosalpe.
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