Frank Nitsche - Galerie Max Hetzler

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to announce the exhibition PROFESSIONAL SMILE of recent works by Frank Nitsche.

In a series of large canvas the Berlin based artist, born in 1964 in Görlitz, analyses his work and practice. As a result, he redefines the scope of his formal vocabulary. Nearly void surfaces of only a few geometric shapes are accompanied by seemingly three-dimensional architectures of lines and circles, which are reminiscent of assembly parts as to be found in complex construction drawings.

The painter deconstructs the formal style of his nearly 20 year oeuvre down to its basic elements. Bearing a pictorial grammar book in mind, which provides an alternative or even a counterproposal to any given syntax and linguistic term, Nitsche's paintings become a rhetoric, challenging themselves by revealing their means of expression.

Shapes from the world of consumption and media, stylized to consumer goods in virtue of promotional design, are dissected by the artist in order to be recomposed. Cartoon figures, newspaper illustrations or surfaces of products – everything adds to Nitsche's shaping machine. 

The painter is constantly drawing on his own work, which he, however, does not quote, but deconstructs to construct anew. The series HELLO CHINA demonstrates this procedure in an exemplary manner. The paintings were exhibited at the Brandenburgischer Kunstverein Potsdam in 2010 / 2011 and referenced architectural elements of the Kunstverein's building. These paintings are now presented again in PROFESSIONAL SMILE. In the meantime they have been subjected to a reworking and, after having been painted over various times, now lost their green colouring. Nitsche does not celebrate his art as a finished good. Instead, each sketch is followed by another sketch. He examines, which of the executed movements, placements or shapes are needed to create an image. Eventually, he integrates both these forms and their opposites in his works.

The in-depth choreographed exhibition is not only a crucial painterly self-experiment, but all of a sudden is interrupted by the panopticon of a photo wall composed of media images, which Nitsche is collecting in photo albums since his student years. These albums are not to be mistaken for sketch books, on the contrary, here the artist develops his own classification system. Images, documenting accidents as well as zoological curiosities and rendered in matter-of-fact grids, thus become collages with torrents of media images.

Hence, PROFESSIONAL SMILE raises the question of how artistic surfaces differ from the surfaces of the world around us. Even more radically, Nitsche asks how artistic products can be differentiated from any other reconstructed media product. This exhibition provides an answer: Art is defined by eternal self-reflection and perpetual revision.

PROFESSIONAL SMILE is Frank Nitsche's fifth solo exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler.

Frank Nitsche, born in 1964 in Görlitz, lives and works in Berlin. He studied at Hochschule für bildende Künste (HfBK) in Dresden. 

The artist had solo exhitions in institutions such as at the Brandenburgischer Kunstverein, Potsdam (2010/11); Haus am Waldsee, Berlin (2010); Sint-Lukasgalerie, Brussels; Musée d´Art et Contemporain, Strasbourg as well as at FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand (2007). 

Furthermore, Nitsche has participated in group exhibitions including Kunsthalle Erfurt; Stadtgalerie Kiel (both 2012); Fundación Barrié, A Coruña; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Croatian Biennial, Zagreb; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Museo dell'Arte del Novecento e del Contemporaneo - Convento del Carmelo, Sassari; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Rohkunstbau, Berlin; b-05 Kunst- und Kulturzentrum, Montabaur; Kunstverein Ulm; Neue Galerie Gladbeck; Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus (all 2011); Städtische Galerie, Dresden; Ludwig Museum, Koblenz; Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, Osnabrück; Galerie der Stadt Sindelfingen; Märkisches Museum, Witten; FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand; Royal Academy of Arts, London (all 2010); MUDAM – Musée d´Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2007); ZKM Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe (2006) and Tate Modern, London (2006) as well as the Prague Biennial (2005 and 2010) and at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2004).

For further information please contact Florian Rehn +49(0)30 459 77 420 or visit our website at

Next exhibition: Ernesto Neto, 23.02. - 13.04.2013