The abstract takes on unexpected powers in the works of German artist Tomma Abts.
Tomma Abts’ “Feke” (2013), one of 30 recent works by the artist on display at the Art Institute through early 2019.
Shadows, texture, energy and motion... all characteristics that make Tomma Abts’ acrylic and oil-on-canvas works so entrancing, ensuring the Art Institute’s exhibition of 30 recent paintings (Abts’ first solo U.S. show in 10 years) as one of the cultural season’s under-the-radar highlights.
“Looking at a Tomma Abts painting is like looking at a topographic map,” says exhibition co-curator Lekha Hileman Waitoller, explaining, “She uses an additive approach to painting—never erasing or removing, always building the shapes and lines that populate the canvases, carefully layering, juxtaposing and interweaving forms in ways at once subtle and eccentric, creating illusory spaces through highlights and shadows. Only when one enters into the space the painting inhabits are these layers and intricacies apparent.” Through Feb. 17, 2019, 111 S. Michigan Ave., 312.443.3600
Photography by: PHOTO © TOMMA ABTS, COURTESY OF GREENGRASSI, LONDON; PRIVATE COLLECTION, NEW YORK