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Serial collector Thorsten Brinkmann creates surprising immersive installations

On view now: Thorsten Brinkmann’s The Great Cape Rinderhorn, February 4- May 15.

Location: Rice Gallery
6100 Main St., Houston, Texas 77005.
Visiting the gallery is free and open to the public.

WAG Video: Watch the video below for a conversation with firm principal Lea Weingarten and Rice Gallery assistant curator Joshua Fischer.

About the artist: Thorsten Brinkmann lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. He studied visual communications at Kunsthochschule Kassel and fine arts at Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg. In 2011, he received the Finkenwerder Art Prize, which is awarded to artists who have made an extraordinary contribution to contemporary art in Germany.

His work has been featured in museums throughout Europe, Belgium, New York and Germany, amongst other places.

What the artist is known for: Internationally recognized German artist Thorsten Brinkmann is most notably recognized for his unconventional photographic portraits and still lifes.

Brinkmann is a self-proclaimed serialsammler or serial collector. He sifts through broken and discarded items at thrift stores and incorporates what he finds into photographs, which he then uses to create his room-sized installations.

One unique installation that he is known for is “le hütte royal” in Pittsburgh. Brinkmann transformed an abandoned single-family house into a fully immersive installation that reuses music albums, furniture, trophies and other found and discarded materials into the existing structure.

What the artist is showing: The installation being shown at Rice Gallery is titled “The Great Cape Rinderhorn,” which Brinkmann describes as a “decaying piece.” Many of the portrait and still life photographs he has done within the past several years are featured in this exhibit. However, the majority of the installation was created from objects he accumulated in Houston.

When comparing his installation to art in general, Brinkmann says:

“One way to experience art is to stand in front of it. You can walk around a sculpture, but you are mostly using your eyes. In an installation, you really use your whole body and all of your senses. In this installation, you can even bend down and crawl. There are old objects and materials, so there’s a certain smell. You can touch things. You are completely surrounded in an atmosphere and you become part of it.

Photo courtesy Rice Gallery.