20 August 2011 till 13 November 2011

Günter Tuzina

Persbeeld tentoonstelling Günter Tuzina
Close ties

Günter Tuzina (Hamburg 1951) has had close ties with the Gemeentemuseum for several decades. Over the years, successive directors have collected his works. As a result, the museum houses the largest collection of Tuzina's work in the world and held two large-scale retrospectives in 1985 and 2002. It recently acquired his largest floor relief, entitled Zwart, blauw, groen (1991), on which this exhibition in the projects room is based. The relief will be surrounded by a selection of paintings and drawings from the Gemeentemuseum's extensive collection.

Human scale

Günter Tuzina's oeuvre forms part of the abstract tradition initiated by Mondrian and De Stijl that culminated in Minimal Art. While that tradition reduced painting to primary elements, merely colour and line, Tuzina recombines these elements to create a new language in which the human scale and the personal touch return. In Minimal Art there is a fundamental division between the artist and his work: the works are often made from industrial materials. Sol LeWitt takes the removal of the artist's own hand from the production process one step further. He defines the principles of a work, which can then be executed by someone else.


Like Mondrian, Tuzina constantly seeks the limits of human precision. But where Mondrian endeavoured to produce horizontal and vertical lines with machine-like exactitude, Tuzina plays with the imperfection of the hand-drawn line, never perfectly sharp or straight.

Floor reliefs

He creates fascinating combinations of form and line using horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, squares and rectangles, and a limited range of colours, sometimes directly on the wall, mostly on canvas and paper. Though he initially confined himself to drawing and painting on walls, his visual language continues to expand. His fascination with space first led him to create wall reliefs, of which the Gemeentemuseum has a very early example. In the nineteen eighties he made a number of floor reliefs. In his sculptures too, Tuzina remains faithful to his belief that the human factor must be visible in a work of art. The edges of his sculptures, to take one example, are slanted, contrasting sharply with the perfectly straight angles of industrially produced objects.

Projects Gallery

In the Projects Gallery the Gemeentemuseum organises exhibitions of contemporary artists whose works engage directly with the architecture of what was originally the sculpture room.