The overview of Thomas Gentille’s work at the Neue Sammlung provided an unprecedented access to the American artist’s 50-year career, and an excellent opportunity to revisit our understanding of his work. Minimal, formalistic, two-dimensional: These are some of the qualities that seem to cling to Gentille’s practice, and certainly informed my expectations as I made my way to the exhibition. After looking at more than 200 works, these qualifiers no longer seem completely adequate, and get “complicated” by an unexpected sense of depth, movement, and the seductive power of his unassertive but intense technical polyphony.
A high point in the artist’s career, this is also the first solo exhibition by an American jeweler at the Neue Sammlung. Most visitors lauded the institutional accolade and the unintrusive exhibition setup devised by curator Petra Hölscher, in tandem with the artist. Given its importance, AJF was interested in looking at the show from two different perspectives: In Thomas Gentille: Untitled and Unknowable, Kimberley Chandler walks us through the show, and unpacks the artist’s decision to not date his own work, and in this interview conducted separately by Patti Bleicher, Gentille tells us why this show is important for him, and the difference between retrospective and overview.
– Benjamin Lignel