Nils Bleibtreu on Sunday-S

Nils Bleibtreu on Sunday-S

Having grown up in the post-industrial Ruhr area, Nils has always taken his incentives from the assumedly wrong and broken. The imperfect and the flawed are central vantage points of his work.

During his studies at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Tal R’s class, he continued to search for a form of painting-oriented expression that oscillates between „high“ and „low“ culture like a seismograph, capturing the minimal tectonic shifts that move him and others, choosing a carefully, playfully, dangerously reactive approach.

The paintings are venues in which he goes on a rampage until the needed forms materialise. The methods of sampling and rearrangement compose the resonating cavities which he is comfortable to shout into.

Nils mostly uses construction materials such as corrugated polyester, paint substrate/non-woven fabric, plaster, dust, sand, studio scraps and water-based car varnishes.
Using these creates the necessary effects concerning materiality, colouring and viscosity, while the fast application allows giving up control in a manner pivotal to his work.

Nils spent his youth doing graffti. When he started studying, he realised that, for him, graffti is a dead end. If there’s a way in which graffti has infuenced his work, then it lies in the nature of the coincidental moments when something fails.

To Nils, giving up traditional painting with a brush means acknowledging/working with the narratives that lie in objects/materials that do not directly call for his creative action. Their assumed errors become further factors of reference/manipulation.

Reflecting on the way non-fctional approaches enable creator and beholder alike to engage with „reality“, has lead him to further incorporate essayistic, non-fctional, dialectic methodologies into his work. Contradiction, opposition, negative capability – the ability to remain in a state of insecurities, secrets and doubts without nervously looking for facts and reason – as well as appropriation and sampling are central to his current work.

Nils >>    “In a story by Bolaño I found a quote that captures the urgency I feel about the (hyper-)real and the aesthetic potentials of that which is readily found: „We believe that we have everything under control, we believe that what we miss is not important. But everything is important, we just don’t realise. We believe that art happens on one side of the street and that life, our life, happens on the other side. We don’t realise that that’s a lie.

If there’s two sides of the street, that also means I could choose between the impulse that develops originally „from myself“ and the impulse that reality passes me on. But if the sides of the street are as non-existent as the frontier between fction and non-fction, then there is only one path, and it contains lies, projections and facts alike.

I seek to interrogate the gravity of the contemporary that evolves from this way of thinking. My works exist at the border of painting and readymade, they reject securities, because to me, the moment of doubt that lies in every new try is their core. “


German, b. 1987, Dortmund, Germany,

lives and works in Düsseldorf / Germany

2014 Degree at Art Academy Düsseldorf

2013 Master Student of Professor Tal R

2009-2014 Düsseldorf Art Academy

Upcoming Solo Show at Sunday-S Gallery Copenhagen 2018



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