I entered the Josef Albers Museum 3 months ago, crossed the treshold and there it was ….on the left at 20 meters, large and totally in black and white…..one of the most impressive paintings i had seen in years. This is how i learned about Tobias Pils. I dit not know of the artist before, but his works have an abstract and graphic quality i had not seen before.
Working within a palette of blacks and whites and the range of grays that can be made from them, he creates mixed media paintings full of abstract and representational elements. These elements are often arranged so that they flow from one to the next seemingly of their own accord, obeying the dictates of a painterly logic that generates meaning through the accumulation of many small moments. As such, Pils’s works are endlessly captivating as arrangements of textures, flows, and material invention—in a sense, as symphonic, non-objective compositions, even when their mythological content and primal imagery tempt narrative readings. This syncretic approach reflects a mind that revels in contradictions, even as it seeks to suture together contrasting passages with a subtle and virtuosic array of mark-making strategies that are alternately bold, incisive, impressionistic, and completely open to the innate properties of paint medium and support. Pils works at a variety of scales and in different contexts, responding to the urgency of his own intuition and the external constraints of architectural and institutional settings with equal fluency. In each of these forums, he locates the places where the vast and the intimate meet, both in the physical world and the human psyche alike. The Tobias Pils poster for his Josef Albers MUseum exhibition is available at www.ftn-books.com