Tobias Rehberger

1966 (Esslingen/Neckar), lives and works in Frankfurt

Rehberger, who studied from 1987-1993 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Frankfurt am Main with Thomas Bayrle and Martin Kippenberger, is currently teaching sculpture at Frankfurt Städelschule. The artist has been working as an architect, painter, sculptor, designer and filmmaker and has never been afraid to try out different media, materials and styles. In his art he tackles social, ecological and economical questions.

At an international level, Rehberger is considered as one of the most challenging artists of his generation. Through his works that are rooted in the borderline between art and contemporary culture, Rehberger challenges our perception and thinking habits. He formulates questions about the production and presentation of works of art and about their function in society. He uses tools like public enquiries or the provision of special services, keeping himself as an artist in the background, in order to focus on the beholders of his works. Authorship is not important for him. He shifts elements known from architecture, design and the history of art into new unusual contexts, directing the eye to what is exceptional within the usual. Tobias Rehberger has surprised us time and again as an architect, sculptor, painter, designer and filmmaker doing crossover objects in which he combines most different media, styles and materials.

In 1993, the artist exhibited at Ludwig Forum für internationale Kunst in Aachen. In 1997, the artist created transparent lingerie and men’s underwear for the Biennale which he distributed amongst the guards who were invited to wear it during the exhibition. The public was informed of this action through a projection on a wall, instead of by a work of art. The artist’s contribution to the Expo 2000, Hanover, was a Japanese garden which was shelled with snow cannons everyday in summer. He offered book vending machines in a forest and transformed roof terraces into bars (Sculptures. Projekte Münster, 1997) or vegetable beds (Manifesta 2, Luxemburg, 1997), changing our viewing habits by minor interventions.

Throughout the years, he also asked his friends about what they needed for relaxing. Then he built well-being islands according to these instructions and exhibited them in a comprehensive show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe. His furniture design, furniture sculptures, lamp installations, shelve, ceiling and room design concepts in the style of the 60ies and 70ies have become well-known.

In 2003, Tobias Rehberger was awarded the Karl-Ströher prize. In 2009, he designed a cafeteria for the 53rd Venice Biennale with the title Was du liebst, bringt dich auch zum Weinen, and was awarded the “Golden Lion” as best artist.