Jürgen Partenheimer, Mies van der Rohe House, Berlin 2011




Jürgen Partenheimer, o.t., 2004


Jürgen Partenheimer, born in Munich in 1947, counts among the internationally most renowned German artists of his generation.
The work of Jürgen Partenheimer, emerged in Germany in the early 1980s, includes painting, drawing and sculpture, which also draw on essays, poetry and prose as a referential grammar of his artistic expression. His work has an abstract quality, which seems to express a state of uncertainty and inconsistency, calling in question the viewer's own.

His art is marked by a minimalist abstraction, which opens up an inversely wide spectrum of associations. These creative processes represent a model for an interpretation of the world and reality, which develop new standards of perception and run counter to all popular trends. Partenheimer's ability to combine his art with serious theoretical discourse testifies to his extraordinary qualities as an artist. For Partenheimer, abstract art is not self-referential, but opens up the possibility of transforming the movement of thought into a visible form. This unique approach was defined by the artist as "metaphysical realism"

Since his participation in the Paris Biennale in 1980, the Biennale Sao Paulo in 1981 and the Venice Biennale in 1986, Partenheimer's work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, the IVAM, Valencia, the CGAC, Santiago de Compostela, the Fundacion Miró, Barcelona, the Kunsthalle Bern, the Nationalgalerie Berlin, and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, among others.


W E B S I T E   www.juergenpartenheimer.de




Jürgen Partenheimer, Cees Nooteboom, De slapende goden | Sueños y otras mentiras, Ergo Pers, Ghent, 2005

Jürgen Partenheimer, Cees Nooteboom, De slapende goden | Sueños y otras mentiras, Ergo Pers, Ghent, 2005

  De slapende goden | Sueños y otras mentiras, with poetry by Cees Nooteboom and lithographs by Jürgen Partenheimer, is a limited edition artist's book, in which the minimalism of Partenheimer is juxtaposed to Nooteboom’s ‘poetry of place’. The book contains several images, partly in color, a continuous etching on the front and back cover, and a suite of two signed lithographs.
De slapende goden | Sueños y otras mentiras is published by Ergo Pers in a limited edition of 48 copies, signed both by the author and the artist. Letterpress printing and manual binding by Rein Ergo, Gent; lithographs printed by Felix Bauer, Cologne. The entire edition was printed on Waterford Saunders 190 g. 38 x 28 cm, slipcase in crystal clear perspex. Price: € 1300.
Jürgen Partenheimer has produced more than 70 artists’ books since 1970. These books are the quintessence of an encounter between visual arts and literature. An exhibition of his artists’Books, ‘Jürgen Partenheimer | Künstlerbücher’ was on view in Sinclair Haus in Bad Homburg.(10.05 - 24.07.2005) and in the summer of 2005 in Dresden [Buchmuseum der Sächsischen Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden 15 8 - 6 11 2005], where De slapende goden | Sueños y otras mentiras was introduced.

De slapende goden | Sueños y otras mentiras is the result of Partenheimer’s most recent collaboration with Cees Nooteboom. The book will be on view for the first time at the exhibition Jürgen Partenheimer | Künstlerbücher in Sinclair Haus in Bad Homburg.(10.05 - 24.07.2005) and in the summer of 2005 in Dresden [Buchmuseum der Sächsischen Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden 15 8 - 6 11 2005].


Cover A la rêveuse matière,
continuous etching on front and back cover)


À la rêveuse matière, a double volume artist book with a series of etchings by Jürgen Partenheimer and five texts by Francis Ponge.

A la rêveuse matière was published joining Partenheimers solo exhibition La robe des choses (The guise of things) at S.M.A.K. (Ghent) in the summer of 2002.

A la rêveuse matière is available in two editions; a limited deluxe edition of 24 copies, including seven etchings, and a regular edition of 24 copies including two etchings. The etchings were done directly by the artist at the studio of Henrie Hemelsoet in Ghent.
The poems were translated by Anthony Rudolf (English) and Piet Meeuse (Dutch). The letterpress text is handset in Bembo and Gill 18 point and printed by Rein Ergo. The etchings are printed by Henrie Hemelsoet.

The entire edition is printed on vélin d'Arches 200 g. Size 28 x 36 cms.

Each book is signed by the artist (frontispice and colophon)





Rolf Quaghebeur, The Act of Thinking, in 'La robe des chose's, S.M.A.K., Ghent 2002.



Installation view Jürgen Partenheimer, La robe des choses, S.M.A.K., Ghent 2002.  

Publications Jürgen Partenheimer

Selection recent publications



Jürgen Partenheimer | Roma - Sao Paulo | Zeichnungen Drawings, 2003/2005, /Richter Verlag 2006.

C O P A N, Diario Paulistano. Bilingual text edition of the Sao Paulo Diary. Published by the Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 2006.

In the spring of 2005, Jürgen Partenheimer spent almost a month in the huge Oskar Niemeyer-designed Copan building in Sao Paulo. He kept a diary, and in reflective, deeply honest and poetic language, used it to come to grips with the architecture, topography, climate and life of the city, disclosing not just his thoughts but many aspects of his artistic process.

Special edition of 10 copies, with inserts, collages and some drawings. Slipcase.

Metaphysische Landschaft. Katalog zur Ausstellung im Nietzsche-Haus, Sils-Maria, Schwabe Verlag, Basel, 2007.

Über den Unterschied zwischen Branding und Werk oder Das freiwillige Exil der Unabhängigkeit, Edition Copernicus Texte, 2007.

Jürgen Partenheimer: Fraktales Denken. Zarter Wahnsinn. Literaturbuchhandlung Moths, München 2008.

Nigel Prince: Jürgen Partenheimer. Discontinuity, paradox & precision. Birmingham 2008, ISBN 978-1-904864-40-0.

Uwe Wieczoreck: Jürgen Partenheimer. Das Schlüsselloch im Museum Chasa Jaura Valchava. Valchava 2009.

Jürgen Partenheimer: Reality and Vision. The RISD occasional papers series No. 1. Rhodes Island School of Design, Providence 2009.

Jürgen Partenheimer: Die fünfte Himmelsrichtung ist die Mitte. Kiel 2010, ISBN 978-3-9813781-1-5.

Baudi & Milco Onrust: Jürgen Partenheimer. Works-Renga. Onrust, Amsterdam 2012, ISBN 978-90-76135-00-7.

Jochen Kienbaum: Jürgen Partenheimer. Seeds & Tracks and Folded Spirits. South African Diary. Kienbaum Artist Book-Edition, Snoeck Verlag, Köln 2013 ISBN 978-3-86642-035-1

Klaus Schrenk, Dirk Lukow, Benno Tempel, Nigel Prince: Jürgen Partenheimer. Das Archiv – The Archive. Distanz, München/Hamburg/Den Haag/Vancouver/ Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-95476-046-6.

Anne Claire Schumacher: Jürgen Partenheimer – Calliope. Ausstellung Musée Ariana, Genf. Snoeck, Köln 2015, ISBN 978-3-86442-147-1.

Andrea Schlieker: Jürgen Partenheimer. Lichtschwarm, White Cube, London 2017, ISBN 978-1-910844-17-5











[1] Metaphysical realism is the thesis that the objects, properties and relations the world contains, exists independently of our thoughts about it or our perceptions of it [2].
Metaphysical Realism, for Partenheimer, replaces abstraction and points beyond the facticity of the form. In his oeuvre, the term Metaphysical Realism first appeared as the title of a series of drawings and paintings in the early 2000s, and was used since then to describe his work. The art historian Werner Schnell wrote a text about the term in reference to Partenheimers work.

[Werner Schnell „Partenheimers Metaphysischer Realismus / Partenheimer´s Metaphysical Realism“ in: Jürgen Partenheimer, Der Schein der Dinge. Gentle Madness, Museum am Ostwall Dortmund, p.52-59, Dortmund, 2004]
[2] Challenges to Metaphysical Realism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) | plato.stanford.edu



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