Thomas Kratz notoriously erratic production can be acting, if at all, easy to settle between the poles of painting and performance. Yet scratch is not as performing as an artist even more emphatic painter-conceptual or even curating Entrepreneur labeled. Rather, he brings his project in such a precarious situation, it’s pretty solid at those key points is due within which art is currently taking place, and behind which it could legitimately go or interestingly with it.
His actual exhibition at Croy Nielsen quite competes with conventional painting. There are a work group – serial, a kind of alibi-concept only with the flesh color, grey and Inkarnattönen different ink manufacturers painted. Hochwanner, Lick Gin (various of them), and Nude are their titles.
Thomas Kratz paintings have a seemingly simple surface – a concept – often monochromes. Based on the titles of his pieces though, he proves to work with a very humorous concept. “Hochwanner” or “Lick Gin” tests the borders of painting, challenging the viewer to rethink composition.
Thomas Kratz works intersects handcrafted materiality with the random nature of industrial production. Working with acrylic on fabricated wood, Kratz makes paintings that are at once representational and purely abstract; dryly minimal and wildly all-encompassing; flat but in fact layered; as well as chaotic, complex, direct, dumb, elegant, expressive, and hilarious. If they were intended to dissolve hierarchy, they succeed.
Text source: Free translation and arrangements by me from german http://www.artnet.de/magazine/thomas-kratz-bei-croy-nielsen-berlin/ and Artforum magazine on line, 2010