Tilo Baumgärtel

Works on Paper


Tilo Baumgärtel
by Christoph Tannert (in: Vitamin P2 - New Persectives in Painting, Phaidon 2011)

Tilo Baumgärtel seems to have aligned his figures with the "multioption society" as Peter Gross calls it, referring to the way in which large sections of society have dispensed with the concept of salvation. Representatives of this exlstence appear slack and voiceless, thrust involuntarily into a particular and often peculiar set of circumstances - slumped on the ground in a makeshift campsite next to an amphitheatre, or sharing a cigarette with an Eskimo during a thunderstorm, for example. The characters in his paintings thus appear strangely inactive - lethargic perhaps, or simply without purpose.
Baumgärtel is not a social analyst, but he is a realist when it comes to his own inner worlds - there is something down-to-earth and believable about the strange scenarios he concocts. His worldly yet unworldly approach is reflected in deliberately neutral yet curiously retrospective attire - his characters regularly appear in period costume from one era or another. This, however, is only a trick to liberate himself from rules and norms. He sometimes leaves realism behind and gets closer to fantasy when he turns to exaggeration as a strategy, whether in the form of an oversized animal or a figure verging on caricature.
Some commentators describe his style as fairy-tale, while others say it is nostalgic. His aim, however is serious engagement. During an interview in 2008 he declared to me, "I see myself as a hinge between people asking questions on all levels, and as an agitator who presents his findings and tries to capture madness, beauty, questionable things and strange things in pictures in order to create a certain resonance." He also likes to incorporate a little irony into his pictures, perhaps to make his messages less indigestible. For fun, he brings everyday objects absurdly to life - quite literally in the drawn animation films that he creates alongside his paintings.
Baumgärtel thinks in filmic and theatrical terms, and his staged spaces have an extraordinary unity as painterly compositions. Within his complex pictorial arrangements, his figures are exposed in their isolation. They are shown in interior and exterior spaces, frozen mid-step as they realize that they have entered at the wrong time. They wait on staircases and in hallways, on beaches and wharfs; they meditate at writing desks or pianos or blow their psychoplasm pensively at the moon, always with unmoved faces (some reveal their dreams and yearnings, floating above their heads in the kind of speech bubbles found in comics).
The pictorial spaces that Baumgärtel creates are like memories and fantasies torn from their proper homes, offering visions of incipient decay or a looming downfall - we can't help but feel we are looking at the visualization of someone's worst-case scenario. This unsettling world is one of beguiling possibilities - of the dark, of threatening incidents, or of the menace of something unforeseen that enshrouds the figures in their post-catastrophic surroundings.
Baumgärtel's paintings have considerable affinity with the great decades of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - the spirit of Max Klinger, Arnold Böcklin and Edvard Munch with a leavening of Giorgio de Chirico. The contemporary relevance of his work is anchored in his respect for tradition and in a sense of rootedness within it. He has thrown the window of memory wide open and made the past contemporary.


Stress is the Opposite of Art
Interview by Anna Iltnere at the occasion of Tilo Baumgärtel's solo show in Riga (Latvia) 2014

“The hottest place on Earth” is how Joachim Pissarro, art historian and curator at MoMA, described the art scene in Leipzig in an article in The New York Times in 2006. American art collectors were swarming the studios in the former East German city like bees around a pot of honey, and they were ready to buy anything and everything that had been painted in Leipzig. One of these five fledgling artists in their thirties that made up the so-called New Leipzig School was Tilo Baumgärtel (1972). His show GOGO, at the “Māksla XO” gallery, is a rather notable happening in the Riga art scene, for Baumgärtel's paintings have gained quite a global reputation since the 2006 boom.

Have you been to Latvia before?

Yes, six years ago. A German journalist friend of mine has a country house in Latvia. I also visited Riga because that's where he works.

What was it that made you accept the invitation from the Māksla XO gallery to put on a solo show in Riga?

I really like the atmosphere in Riga. It's like the one that could be found in Berlin shortly after the Wall came down. A refreshing feeling that now, everything is possible. In Riga you can still find buildings that haven't been refurbished, or ones that have just begun to be restored, with modern shops that have already moved into the ground floors. I checked Google Streetview before I came, to see if the charming ambiance of the city hadn't disappeared over these six years – but everything is fine.

Your exhibition in Riga is titled “GOGO”. What's the story behind this name?

First of all, it sounds good! But I also found out that in Japanese, “gogo” means the second half of the day – from noon to midnight. That's the time when I am most productive and when I create the greater part of my drawings and paintings. Of course, there's also the play on words with the term “gogo dancer”; this could also work because they only dance during the second half of the day.

How did you select which pieces to show?

They're mostly new works, scattered with a few older ones. I also took into consideration that you have the sea here, and that it's summertime.

The gallery's second room is devoted to your drawings. Were they made as final works in themselves, or were they sketches for paintings?

Usually the drawings are final works, but sometimes I do feel that I'd like to enlarge them so that I can work out the details, and then I transfer them into paintings.

Do you always make a sketch before you start painting?

Most of the time, yes. I really like to sketch. I've published a book of the best sketches from fifteen of my large sketchbooks [Skizzen 2002–2008, publishers: Lubok Verlag, 2009 – A.I.]. A sketch is like the “small talk” that precedes a drawing. But sometimes, this small talk sticks in the memory as something special. It's the same way with sketches.

Most artists keep their sketches behind the scenes – as a too intimate and unfinished part of the working process.

I have no secrets. In addition, I can hang several of the sketches on the wall as great drawings in themselves.

Some of the large paintings have almost identical ones next to them, just smaller in size.

Yes, those are the doll-house versions of the paintings (laughs).

Which one comes first – the small one?

It varies; sometimes both are made at once. For instance, so that I have something that I can take home and try out some motifs on with a bold hand. Sometimes it serves as a model for the large painting.

The painter Neo Rauch has said that painting gives him the opportunity to continue dreaming. Could you say the same thing? The presence of dreams and the surreal – as a slight offset from reality – is very characteristic of your work.

I tend to have very interesting dreams – usually at the time between eight and ten in the morning. But usually I can't use them in my paintings even if I wanted to, because dreams are too multi-medial and overly rich in narrative; the only way they could be embodied would be through film. What I am able to do, though, is borrow the atmosphere of dreams, but with a completely different plot and characters.
How do the stories in your paintings come to be?

I go to the studio, sit down at the table and start drawing. I give myself over to drawing, without any rational thought. And at that moment, perhaps, the material for the next painting is created. Sometimes an idea forms while I'm waiting at a red light, and I try to sketch it out that evening. I think that's what it's like for any artist. If you try to deliberately think up something special, make something interesting – it won't work. The ideas for paintings come about from a string of small chance happenings.

But why is this presence of the surreal important to you? In writing about your work, one critic deemed it as “holes in logic”. Would it be boring for you to paint something completely realistic?

Not at all. I can see myself painting portraits. In this drawing here, you see a completely normal situation – two people working en plein air: the daughter is painting, the father watches.

But there are dark storm clouds approaching, and it doesn't seem as if they're worried about them...

Well, yes, the situation may be strange – even slightly scary.

Almost all of your works are slightly scary. Just like in fairy tales, in which there is always a sense of drama.

Perhaps I have misinterpreted my older works, but it turns out that I try to make each new work even more dramatic – because it seems to me that I'm still lacking in that. When a painting is almost finished, I still try to work on achieving as unstable an energy as possible.

In one interview, you talked about a past period in which you were asking too much of painting, and that that's why you turned to animation for a while.What is your current relationship to painting?

The relationship is tricky. I finish a painting and I really love it, but then the following day, I realize that I was mistaken – because I actually hate the painting. The work stays the same, but I'm the one that has changed, and sometimes it happens too rapidly.

Are there any of your works with which you've been satisfied over the long term?

Yes, about 30% of what I've done (laughs).

Earlier, I mentioned Neo Rauch, who is not only the most famous of the Leipzig painters, but also a good friend of yours.

Yes, we shared a studio in an old factory building in the 90s. Later on we did separate our working spaces, and the only times we'd see each other during the day was to have coffee or lunch together.

Has he had an influence on the development of your signature style?

Yes, in the 90s – definitely. Neo and I both developed narrative painting. During our conversations, we'd share information on other artists or comics we had happened upon. Together we selected and collected things that could be relevant to us. Our recipe for painting and graphic arts at the time was 1940s comics which we diluted with Andy Warhol-type pop art and ugly, evil, WWII-era German illustrations. Around the year 2000, our paths parted. When I take a look into Neo's studio now, I see that his painting style is heading towards the classical. He's inspired by late baroque compositions, and his works are impressive and extremely large. Meanwhile, I'm heading into my own illustrative style, in which narrative still has great meaning.
When describing the development of the Leipzig art scene, your long-time teacher, the artist Arno Rink, has said that the Wall protected you from Joseph Beuys, and that that's why there are so many figural painters.

(Laughs) Yes, that's true in a sense. I had a very poor notion of conceptual and experimental art – just informational crumbs from television programs or catalogs. Even though there were a few East German underground artists who worked similarly to Beuys. But I don't think that that's why I ended up doing figural painting. I simply think that I wouldn't be as good at anything else. I've tried my hand at installations and sculpture, but painting is the medium in which I can express my desire for playing. To portray events on the canvas in the style of Friedrich Schiller [the German poet, playwright and philosopher who said that we are the most human when we are at play; this is upon which Schiller based his aesthetic understanding – A.I.]. To play through numerous versions of reality. Most other art mediums seem unfamiliar to me. With drawing, I can be the most spontaneous. I feel like I'm a part of the communities made up by comics' illustrators and masters of narrative painting; it started in my childhood, when I began collecting the drawings of William Hogarth [an 18th-century British painter and one of the first illustrators of comics – A.I.]

Do you remember where you were when the Berlin Wall came down?

A few days after its falling, my friends and I drove to Berlin from Leipzig with motorcycles, to see it with our own eyes.
What was the atmosphere like in Leipzig at the time?

It was strange, but at the same time – euphoric, because it seemed that now things are going to start, now everything is possible! Which, of course, was misleading. Many people left their usual places of work to start building their dream-castles, to quickly take positions of leadership and so on; but few actually reached these goals because the Western world brought stiff competition along with it.

How did the young East German artists feel about all this?

The coming down of the Wall was nothing but good for artists – the borders were open, there was now the possibility of seeing Europe and the world, and there was also the possibility of making it big. That is the advantage of being an artist – even if you come from a poor family or a downtrodden corner of the world, you still have a chance at making a good career for yourself with your talent. For a slew of East German artists, the coming down of the Wall came as a breaking point – because now they could see how truly competent they were. And many really did climb the international career ladder.

How would you describe the New Leipzig School phenomenon? What were the conditions that led to this success story in which the Leipzig art scene became “the hottest spot on Earth”?

The art world is always looking for new “hot spots”. Around 2005 it was Leipzig, around 2010 it was contemporary art in China; currently everyone's interested in Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland and Russia.
But what were the serendipitous conditions that led to the whole world suddenly talking about the art coming out of Leipzig?

Certain exhibitions and personalities were in the right place at the right time. The snowball effect started with an appearance at the Armory Show, in New York. Then Hollywood producer Michael Ovitz arrived in Germany – in Dustin Hoffman's private plane because Hoffman's daughter wanted to study art there. They were very interested in Leipzig, and they bought works by practically every artist in the city. Later on, several Leipzig artists were given solo shows in New York and Los Angeles. Michael Ovitz was a manager for a slew of Hollywood's most famous actors, and he tried to convince them to become art collectors. That's how, for example, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt were turned onto art.

You were around 30 years old at the time. Weren't you euphoric to reach such a zenith of fame while still so young?

Yes, it happened too early for me. There was a period when it was too much. I had a family with very young children, and that's what made me different from my peers who were facing their success on their own. I had to strictly allocate how much time I would spend working in the studio, how much time I would need to prepare my next solo show, and how much time I could devote to my family. At times, there was so much stress that I even considered taking myself out of the game – jumping off of the wave. I had also noticed that the artists that had begun to practically manufacture their works were, over time, dulling their talent and lessening their quality. Stress is the opposite of art.

Many artists wish to break out and be successful and have a good career, but at the same time, their chosen field – art – is about something else entirely, it's about timelessness and freedom from mercantile interests. How can these opposites come together?

One must remember that there are different artistic types. There are those for whom success or an audience are of little importance, and for whom art is like a form of therapy that keeps them from losing their minds. Every artist should work just for themselves at least in some sort of capacity. The next step is to think about how to set up your life so that you can work without any unnecessary stress and worries about making a living. Perhaps, for some, this means setting aside time for another job on the side. Philip Glass used to drive a taxi, and he composed several of his works while at the wheel. In any case, being a good artist and making lots of money are usually two mutually exclusive things.
How would you describe the art scene in Leipzig today, now that the above-mentioned fever has subsided?

The art scene is very lively in Leipzig; it's not even possible to get a chance to see everything. There are many moderately-sized museums and galleries, and also non-commercial art spaces and many private initiatives. In addition, the bar for quality art has stayed high – when compared to other Germany cities. Leipzig is also a good place to live and work in – the cost of living is not too high, and a spacious studio is affordable. The only downside is a lack of local art collectors, which means that international circulation must be actively organized – Leipzig's museums don't have such large budgets that they can afford to regularly purchase the works of emerging artists.

If we let our imaginations run wild for a bit – do you think that the Leipzig phenomenon could repeat itself in other post-socialistic cities, such as in Riga?

I think that it's very hard to manufacture a situation. The best method is to simply try to show yourself anywhere you can. For instance, by opening a small Latvian art kiosk in London, where the shows would regularly change and be constantly surprising the public. Yes, why not?

You've grown up, studied in, and still work in Leipzig. Have you ever thought about moving to New York, London or some other cultural metropolis?

I have, of course, thought about it. But I've only managed to live for a short while in Italy and Berlin. Last year I was given the opportunity to spend six months in New York. The offer came from a collector who owns studios in Manhattan in which I could work and live for several months at a time. But it looks like I could take up his offer only next year, at the earliest, because my oldest children are in school, and six months is a long time to be away.
What do your children say about your works? Do they ask questions, do you discuss the works?

Not exactly. But we do draw together a lot. I draw all sorts of funny faces, or I teach them how to draw a horse. I like times like that – when there is nothing specific that has to be done and I can simply play around.

If you had the chance to start again, would you still choose to be an artist?

There are a slew of professions that I maybe considered once, and that I still believe would be exciting. For instance, biology. That which I currently give over to art, I could just as well give over to nature.

  • 1972 born in Leipzig
  • 1991-1998 Studies of painting at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig in the class of Prof. Arno Rink
  • 1998-2000 Master Studies at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Prof. Arno Rink
  • 2015-16 Professorship for Painting at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig
  • seit 2018 Professorship for Painting at the Burg Giebichenstein University for Art and Design Halle
  • lives and works in Leipzig

Solo shows

  • 2023 The Same Water, Drents Museum, Assen (upcoming)
  • Das Selbe Wasser, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2022 Idiot, Galerie Kleindienst Westside, Leipzig
    Mafant, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Nelly, Barlach Halle K, Hamburg
    Nelly (with Sebastian Hartmann), Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
  • 2017 Eclipse, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2016 Für den Wels sind Teiche Inseln, Galerie der Stadt Wels, Wels (Austria)
  • 2014 Cut Down Timber, Slag Gallery, New York
    Gogo, Maksla XO Gallery, Riga (Latvia)
    Terra, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2012 Patron, Gallery Christian Ehrentraut, Berlin
  • 2011 Vigil, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Paintings and Drawings, Art-Etage, Biel (Switzerland)
    Tilo Baumgärtel, Kunsthalle Amersfoort (Netherlands)
    Dawdling Rocketships, Philara, Düsseldorf (with Nadin Rüfenacht)
  • 2010 To be all ears, Gallery Christian Ehrentraut, Berlin
  • 2009 Painting, Wilkinson London
  • 2008 The Storm, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2006 Safn Gallery, Reykjavik (Iceland)
    Kunsthalle Emden
    Wilkinson Gallery, London
  • 2005 Senzo, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2004 Wilkinson Gallery, London
  • 2003 Gallery LIGA, Berlin
    Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2002 Gerhardt von Reutern Haus, Willingshausen
    Gallery LIGA, Berlin
    Hydroplan, Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig
  • 2001 Canal Patrol 1, art association, Leipzig
    Canal Patrol 2, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2000 Kunstraum b2, Leipzig
    Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 1998 Gallery Toni Zeckl, Leipzig

Group shows

  • 2024 Hunger nach Bildern, Museum No Hero, Delden (Netherlands)
    Mashup 8, Gosh, Leipzig
  • Überdruck, Kaisertrutz Görlitz, Kaisertrutz (Germany)
  • 2022 Bilderkosmos Leipzig. 1905-2022, Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig
    Bang! Die Rückkehr der Malerei, Galerie Noah, Augsburg (Germany)
    Minerva meets Leipzig in Assen, Drents Museum, Assen (Netherlands)
    German Painting Now, Telegraph, Olomouc (Czech Republic)
    Gestern, heute, übermorgen, Brandenburgisches Landensmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Oder
    Tilo Baumgärtel - Oskar Rink - Simon Adam Peter, Museum Bensheim (Germany)
  • 2019 Doubles, Kunsthalle Sparkasse Leipzig
    Das Kollegium, Grafikstiftung Neo Rauch, Aschersleben (Germany)
    Nähe und Dystanz, Landtag Brandenburg, Potsdam
  • The Leipzig Connection, Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU), Zagreb (Croatia)
  • 2018 Die neuen Leipziger, Galerie Noah, Augsburg
  • Malerei aus Leipzig, Antonio Colombo, Milan
  • Eros and Thanatos. SØR Rusche Collection Oelde/Berlin, Museum Abtei Liesborn, Liesborn
  • Zeigen und Sagen, Deutsche Bundesbank Geldmuseum, Frankfurt/Main
  • 2017  Ladder to Heaven, Neuer Pfaffenhofener Kunstverein, Pfaffenhofen (Germany)
  • Het Wilde Westen Van Buffalo Bill Tot Bobbejan, De Warande, Tournhout and Venetiaanse Gaanderijen, Oostende (Belgium)
  • Occcupation. Video works from the Kunstfonds, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden
  • Pentomino #4, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • 2016 The Cat Show, PAPER Gallery, Manchester (UK)
  • Bittersüße Zeiten - Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, Edwin-Scharff-Museum, Neu-Ulm (Germany)
    Bittersüße Zeiten, Städtische Galerie Regensburg
    How to find true love, Bikini, Berlin
    363. Bilderwahl, Griffelkunst, Hamburg
    Storyteller. Contemporary Art from Leipzig, National Art Museum & Goethe Institut Hanoi (Vietnam)
  • LUBOK - prints and artist books, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Schwandorf (Germany)
    Made in Germany: Contemporary Art from the Rubell Family Collection, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas
  • 2015 Iconic. The image as reference, Goethe Institute, Madrid
    Sommer Nacht Traum, Museum Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg
    Die Schenkung Böhm, Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig
    Don't shoot the painter - from the UBS Collection, Modern Art Gallery, Mailand
    Wasserlandschaften-Waterscapes, Stadtgalerie Kiel
    Nocturne. Ahnung, Abgrund und Apokalypse in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Kunsthalle der Sparkasse, Leipzig
    Beuys ohne Hut - Karin Szekessy fotografiert Künstler, Horst-Janssen-Museum, Oldenburg
    Bittersüße Zeiten. Barock und Gegenwart in der SØR Rusche Sammlung Oelde/Berlin, Kunsthaus Apolda Avangarde, Apolda
    Leipzig - Heldenstadt?, Goethe-Institut, Marseille
    Drawing, Galerie Dukan, Paris
    Vom Großen und Ganzen. Sammlung Haus N, Heribert-Gerisch-Stiftung, Neumünster
    Leipzig 2015. Sammlung Hildebrand, G2 Kunsthalle, Leipzig
    Werkschau der Spinnereikünstler, Werkschauhalle, Leipzig
    MASH UP 2, Hardenbergstraße, Leipzig
    Vertraute Gesellschaft, Thaler Originalgrafik, Leipzig
  • 2014 Mensch werde wesentlich,Kunstverein FAK, Zwickau
    bb, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Bittersüße Zeiten, Barock und Gegenwart in der SØR Rusche Sammlung Oelde/Berlin, Kunsthaus Stade
    BGL#4 - in between, Kesselhaus, Bergisch Gladbach / Cologne
    New visual worlds from Leipzig, Heike Moras Art, London
    Das flüssige Element. Seestücke des 17. und 21. Jahrhundert aus der SØR Rusche Sammlung Oelde/Berlin, Kunstmuseum Ahrenshoop, Ahrenshoop
    Die halluzinierte Welt. Malerei am Rande der Wirklichkeit, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin
    This Side of Paradise, Sotheby's Gallery S2, London
    Leipzig - Cité des heros?, Goethe-Institut, Paris
    Amorphophallus, Gallery Ehrentraut, Berlin
  • 2013 Ortsbestimmung, Kulturhistorisches Museum Görlitz
    Pittbullbutterfly, Galerie Leuenroth, Frankfurt / M.
    Schöne Landschaft - Bedrohte Natur. Alte Meister im Dialog mit zeitgenössischer Kunst, Kunsthalle Osnabrück
    acht mal zeichnung - Linien und Systeme aus Leipzig, Kunstverein Leipzig
    Sachsen/Werke aus der Sammlung der Deutschen Bank, Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig
    LUBOK in Mexiko, Museo de la Estampa del Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura, Toluca (Mexico)
    Tierstücke - der SØR Rusche Sammlung Oelde/Berlin, Abtei Liesborn
    Jetzt+Hier. Gegenwartskunst aus dem Kunstfonds, Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau, Dresden
    LUBOK. Grafica contemporanea y libros de artistas de Leipzig, Galería de Arte Contemporáneo del Teatro Isauro Martínez Torreón, Coahuila, México
    Cliche Verre, Spinnerei archiv massiv, Leipzig
  • 2012 Paintings of uncertain areas, Frankfurter Kunstverein
    Leipzig Art Panorama, Seongnam Art Center, Seoul (South Korea)
    Eros und Thanatos (SØR Rusche Collection),Werkschauhalle Leipzig
    to get here, Wendt+Friedmann Gallery, Berlin
    The Future Lasts Forever, In.ter.alia, Seoul (Southkorea)
    Personalities on Paper, Ornis A. Gallery, Utrecht
    All Water, Gallery Mikael Andersen, Berlin
    Sieben Blicke - Sammlung Philara, Künstlerverein Düsseldorf
    Lubok, fica contemporánea y libros de artistas de Leipzig, Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City
  • 2011 After the Goldrush, art association Speyer
    Lubok, Museum of art Spendhaus, Reutlingen
    Convoy Leipzig, Biksady Gallery, Budapest
    Leipzig Painters, Gallery Baton, Seoul (South Korea)
    Saxonia Paper, Kunsthalle der Sparkasse Leipzig
  • 2010 To the natural. The Altana art collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig
    5. Drawing Biennal, Momentum kunsthall Moss, Moss (Norway)
    Parallels: Young contemporary painting from Norway/Leipzig, Kistefos Museum, Oslo
    Interface Print, Museum of Visual Arts and Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig
    Silent Revolution, Museum of art Kerava, Kerava (Finland)
  • 2009 Leipzig Calling, Academy of Art, New York
    60/40/20. Art in Leipzig since 1949, Museum of Visual Arts, Leipzig
    Carte Blanche IX: In front of native scenery - The Sachsen Bank Art Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig
  • 2008 The Leipzig Phenomenon, Kunsthalle Budapest
    Daydreams & Dark Sides, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
    Drawcula, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    New Leipzig School, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen (Netherlands)
  • 2007 Made in Leipzig, Essl Collection in the castle of Hartenfels, Torgau
  • 2006 Update East – West, Pintura Allemania de Vanguardia en el MACUF
    Artists from Leipzig, Arario Gallery, Peking
    Made in Leipzig, Sammlung Essl, Wien
  • 2005 David, Matthes and me, art association Bielefeld
    David, Matthes and me, art association Nuremberg
    Cold Hearts: Artists from Leipzig, Arario Gallery, Seoul (South Korea)
  • 2004 Clara Park – Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
  • 2003 Seven Times Painting, Museum of Visual Arts, Leipzig
    Painting Show, Antony Wilkinson Gallery, London
    Gallery Nicolai Wallner, Kopenhagen
    Future – Five Artists from Germany, Sandroni Rey Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 2002 New Realism, Gallery Rothamel, Erfurt
    Städtische Galerie, Speyer
    Kunstspeicher Oldenburg
    Metallgalerie, Frankfurt/Main
    Gallery LIGA, Berlin
  • 2000 LIGA, Steibs Hof, Leipzig

Stage Setting / Animation

  • 2021 The Book of Disquiet (Fernando Pessoa), Staatsschaupiel and Albertinum Dresden
    Lear (William Shakespeare), Deutsches Theater Berlin
    Divina Commedia Festival with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Moritzbastei Leipzig
    2020 The Magic Mountain (Thomas Mann), Deutsches Theater Berlin
    Noises Off! (Michael Frayn), Staatschauspiel Dresden
    2019 Crime and Punishment (Fydor Dostoevsky), Staatsschauspiel Dresden
    2018 Humilated and Insulted (Fydor Dostoevsky), Staatsschauspiel Dresden
    Hunger (Peer Gynt), Deutsches Theater Berlin
    Gespenster (Strindberg, Ibsen, Heine), Deutsches Theater Berlin
    2016 Berlin Alexanderplatz (Alfred Döblin), Deutsches Theater Berlin
    2012 The Drinker (Hans Fallada), Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin
    War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy), Centraltheater Leipzig


  • 2002 Art Award of the Sachsen LB
    Grant of Saxony in Columbus/Ohio
    County Grant of Hessen, Germany
  • 2001 Grant of the German central office for studies Venice
  • 1997 Grant of the German National Academic Foundation


  • 2016 Leipziger Maler in Wels, nachrichten.at, 12.02.2016
  • 2015 Senza Parole (catalog), Gallery Kleindienst / LUBOK Verlag, Leipzig
    Charlotte Mullins: Tilo Baumgärtel, Picturing People. The New State of Art, Thames & Hudson, London
    Nocture. Ahnung, Abgrund und Apokalypse in der zeitgenössischen Kunst (catalog), Sparkasse Leipzig
  • 2014 GOGO - Tilo Baumgärtel (catalog), Gallery Kleindienst & LUBOK, Leipzig
    Jens Kassner: Eigentlich Romantiker, Leipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ), 10.01.2015
    Anna Iltnere: Stress is the Opposite of Art. An Interview with German Painter Tilo Baumgärtel, artterritory.com, 20.08.2014
    Opening of Tilo Baumgärtels Exhibition in Riga, Riga2014.org, 01.08.2014
    This Side of Paradise (Katalog), S2 Sothebys, London
  • 2012 The Future Lasts Forever (catalog), in.ter.alia, Seoul (South Korea)
    German Now. From Leipzig (catalog), Seongnam Arts Center and UNC Gallery, Seoul (South Korea)
    Katinka Fischer: Erotischer Akt in ungewissen Gegenden, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), 27.07.2012
    Xamou Art: Tilo Baumgärtel the New Leipzig School Artist, Xamou Art, 07.08.2012
    Tim Walsh: Painting of Uncertain Places, This is tomorrow. Contemporary Art Magazine, 10.09.2012
  • 2011 Christoph Tannert: Tilo Baumgärtel, Vitamin P2. New Perspectives in Painting, Phaidon, London/New York
    Convoy Leipzig (catalog), Biksady Gallery, Budapest
    Tilo Baumgärtel: Bergwerk aus Backstein, Spinart Magazin, 01.05.2011
    Jens Kassner: Leipzig malt weiter, Leipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ), 30.04.2011
  • 2010 Lines on the move. Drawing Biennal 2010 (catalog), Tegnerforbundet, Oslo / Galleri F15, Moss (Norway)
  • 2009 Tilo Baumgärtel - Scetches 2002-08 (catalog), LUBOK, Leipzig
    Tony Godfrey: Painting Today, Phaidon, London/New York
    Benjamin Ferguson: Interview with Tilo Baumgärtel, www.artslant.com, September 2009
  • 2008 Kunstwerkstatt- Tilo Baumgärtel (catalog), Prestel, München/Berlin
    Neue Leipziger Schule (catalog), Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen (Netherlands)
  • 2006 Tilo Baumgärtel - Senzo (catalog), Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig / Kerber, Bielefeld
    Arthur Lubow: The New Leipzig School, The New York Times, 08.01.2006
  • 2005 Cold Hearts. Artists from Leipzig (catalog), Arario Gallery, Chungnam (South Korea)
    David, Matthes und ich (catalog), Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Nürnberg
    The Triumph of Painting (catalog), Saatchi Gallery, London
    Gregory Volk: Figuring the New Germany, Art in America, June/July 2005
    Manuela Thieme: Dschungel-Tour, Das Magazin, October 2005
  • 2004 Ken Johnson: Clara Park. Postions of Contemporary Painting from Leipzig, New York Times, 24.09.2004
    Maura Egan: Neue School, New York Times Magazine, 09/2004
    Kristof Rouvel / Antonius Bracht: Tilo Baumgärtel. The artist as critic of reason, East International, Norwich School of Art and Design
    Eastory (catalog), Gallery Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris,
    Gerhard Mack / Gregor Hohenberg: Die Stadt der Leinwandhelden, Art, 12/2004
  • 2002 Tilo Baumgärtel - Hydroplan (catalog for the Sachsen LB Award), Museum of Fine Arts / Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Tilo Baumgärtel (Katalog), Sparkassen-Kultursttíftung Hessen-Thüringen / Kreissparkasse Schwalm-Eder
  • 2001 Tilo Baumgärtel. Works from 1997-2001 (catalog), Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig