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01 September - 03 October 2005
Marble Palace

It is for the first time that a personal exhibition of the German artist Markus Tollmann will take place in the Russian Museum. Some 200 works will be present: paintings, graphic art and sculpture of various periods of the master's oeuvre from 1990-s till nowadays. Markus Tollmann was born in 1963 in the German city of Buer. In 1978-1980, he studied under Joseph Beuys, worked with Francis Bacon in his London studio, and took much from his father, Günter Tollmann, who was an artist himself. His first exhibition opened in the Ostertor Gallery, Bremen, in 1982. Two years later he acquired his own gallery in the city. Since then Markus Tollmann has regularly participated in different exhibitions and the largest European art fairs. Tollmann's oeuvre may be divided into several periods, although the boundaries are in no way distinct. Every period is illustrated at the show. His paintings and works of graphics of the 1990-s are full of an irrepressible thirst for life and an evident craving for hedonism; whereas from the late 1990-s there appear two trends in his art, which can be traced nowadays as well. On the one hand, he turns to figurative art; on the other hand, he overtly plays with visual codes of late modernism. The foundation of the first trend was formed with such works as Gebrtsfreunden (1995), Erklärung (2000), and Chinesian — Ruben (1999); the foundation of the second — with such as Lambada (1988), Liegender Akt (1990), and numerous works exploring the themes of circus, fantoccini, and dolls. The trends coexist in Tollmann's oeuvre in the 2000-s, too. However, there is no particular tension of "incoherence" of consciousness. Both the immediately seen, the perceived and that existing in culture codes, determined by the art optics are dear to the artist. Some of his works reveal the inner steadiness (Maler mit Model, 2004; Geschwister, 2004; Schneiderpaar, 2004), others express the inner tension (Strippoker, 1990; Interview, 1999, etc.), while still other intentionally create the impression of a "break", deconstruction. Markus Tollmann's oeuvre may be seen as a manifestation of freedom, of being free from both the one-style dictate, and the fear of imitation, which is so typical of the contemporary art. The artists works create the impression of optimism, brightness, and luxury, they are full of vivid life and ardour. A catalogue for the exhibition has been published.