06.05.2018 - 19.08.2018
Tjorg Douglas Beer
  • Abracadabra Simsalabim, 2018, Copyright Herbert Gerisch Foundation
  • O Neos Anthropos / The New Human Being (Utopia), 2012, Courtesy Private Collection Copenhagen, Denmark, © VG Bildkunst
  • The Mind Of The Ceo I, 2012, Courtesy Produzentengalerie Hamburg, © VG Bildkunst
  • Jardin d'Espoir, 2018, Copyright Herbert Gerisch Foundation

In the summer of 2018, the Herbert Gerisch-Stiftung is dedicating a large-scale solo exhibition featuring sculptures, paintings and collages to the internationally successful Lubeck-born artist Tjorg Douglas Beer.

The first part of the exhibition in the Gerisch-Galerie presents works from the past 15 years.


Recent paintings and ceramic sculptures make up the second part of the show in the Villa Wachholtz. In addition, two outdoor sculptures in the sculpture garden will become permanent fixtures in the foundation’s collection.

The works in the first part of the exhibition in the Gerisch-Galerie come from international public and private collects such as the Falckenberg Collection / Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Collages, objects and sculptures address the media-related charging of religious confrontation, war and chaos. Through his choice of materials and a certain sense of playfulness, Beer’s interest in content remains in an ambivalent balance between despair and seriousness that nonetheless demonstrates a positive point of view. He develops his ideas based on everyday perceptions and experiences of personal, media-oriented and political realities.


His work has been influenced by regular stays in Athens, where he works together with a Syrian ceramicist from Aleppo, a never-ending social state of emergency, an omnipresent existential threat and the refugee crisis that has been evident since then as well as Greece’s geopolitical location at the border to the Near and Middle East. Contemporary phenomena become visible as associations in collages and ceramic figures.


The second part of the exhibition in the Villa Wachholtz presents paintings that open up a transfigured poetically utopian alternative reality. In his more recent works, arrangements and scenarios develop from the painting process. Beer mixes ink, marker, lacquer, acrylics, oil paint and oil stick with the result that faces and figures appear from the transition of overlapping colours. These figures are preserved and subsequently arranged in fragmented landscapes that can be seen as landscapes, interiors or sculptures. A section of the canvas surfaces care ‘covered’ with quadratic colour fields. Unfinished figures, squares and colour transitions lead to collage-like paintings.


The ÜBLER WALD [Evil Forest] series shows fairy tale-like landscapes painted on small canvases. The landscape varies between apocalyptic dreams and utopian moments populated by figures that travel through these worlds – lost beggars, dazed magician and otherwise generally strange creatures.

The outdoor sculpture Abracadabra Simsalabim connects the sad reality marked by flight and war with the utopian lightness of the fairy tale-world of One Thousand and One Nights.


Simsalabim very probably goes back to encounters between medieval Christians and Muslims, who had often been described as ‘magicians’ (in part because of the technological scientific progress of the Islamic world as opposed to Europe) until well into the later Middle Ages. The formula bi-smi llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm (In the name of God, the All-merciful) pronounced by Muslims before undertaking an important activity was understood in popular culture as an onomatopoeic incantation.



Exhibition opening on Sunday, 6 May, 12 noon

Welcoming remarks: Brigitte Gerisch (Chairperson Herbert Gerisch-Stiftung)

Opening address: Dr Marcus Andrew Hurttig (curator, MdbK Leipzig)

The artist is present

Admission free



Tjorg Douglas Beer was born in Lübeck in 1973 and raised in Hamburg, where he studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste. His works have been shown since then at several of the most important national and international museums and galleries, for example Tate Modern, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Kunstverein Hamburg, Weserburg, Museum für Moderne Kunst Bremen, Project Space Kunsthalle Wien, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, X-Initiative, New York, Arizona State University Art Museum, Remap3+4 Athen, basedinberlin, Neue Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 21er Haus – Museum for Contemporary Art Vienna, Konsthall Varberg. Beer had solo exhibitions at such venues as the Kunsthaus Hamburg, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Stadsgalerij Heerlen, Institute for Modern Art Nuremberg, Contemporary Art Institute Sapporo, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.


He is furthermore represent in some of the most prestigious public and private collections, for example Melva Bucksbaum New York, Margulies Collection, Miami, Collection of Mikki and Stanley Weithorn, New York, Beth Rudin de Woody, Florida, CAP Collection, Southhampton, Falckenberg Collection, Hamburg, Herbert F. Johnson Museum, NY, Albertinum - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Montblanc-Kulturstiftung, Hamburg, Sammlung Sør, Persol Collection Milan, Sohohouse Group Collection, Berlin/Miami).

He also participated at the Artgenda 2002 in Hamburg, Manifesta11 - European Biennale for Contemporary Art 2016 in Zurich, the Socle du Monde Biennale 2017 in Herning and the Berlin Kreuzberg Biennale 2012.


Alongside his artistic work, Beer has also initiated such projects as the Galerie im Regierungsviertel Berlin, the Berlin Kreuzberg Biennale and the Galerie Utopia that are dedicated to the creation of situations which enable the existential concerns of an exhibition context.