Drawing Biennial 2017

Exhibition & online fundraising auction of over 200 unique works on paper

Exhibition: 2 March – 26 April · Auction: 12 April 10am – 26 April 9pm


Markus Vater


Top Pick

artist Matt Calderwood, actor Russell Tovey

Year 2016
Medium Ink on paper
Dimensions 42 x 29.7 cm
Bidding Open Wed 12 April, 2017 at 10:00am
Bidding Ended Tue 26 March, 2019 at 9:30pm

Markus Vater:

Born 1970 Düsseldorf, Markus Vater lives and works in London. Graduated from Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Meisterschüler Alfonso Hüppi (1998) and MA Painting Royal College of Art (2000).

"We call a philosopher someone who neither swears by the old dogmas nor the new catchwords. Someone who dares say “no” where the compact majority has said “yes”; he is called a philosopher here.  A jester on his own initiative.” This is how Fritz Mauthner has the French philosopher Descartes define his role at a happy get-together of philosophers. As he was not also a prophet, he would hardly have thought of Markus Vater. In the present time he would most probably do so, even though Vater states his profession primarily as an artist. The art exhibited by Vater often includes a mixture of courtesy and rebellion. Pictorial and textual notations of things seen, felt or dreamt are condensed diary-like into their own cosmos. Dark desperation emerges which aligns the imagined or moral impossibility but also includes childish and sentimental elements. The flow of Vater’s consciousness is neither impeded by dreamy inanities, nor by a caustic extrapolation of contemporary inhumanity. 

- Johannes Stahl

His work is held in public and private collections including Graphic Collection of the Museum Kunstpalast Duesseldorf, Collection of the Wilhelm Hack Museum Ludwigshafen, Collection Willi Michel of the Franz Gertsch Museum Switzerland, and Falkenberg Collection Hamburg.

Selected solo exhibitions include What You See is not What You Look at, Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburg (2018); Sitting in a hole that has the shape of a frightened cat, Union Gallery, London (2017); I imagine how You imagine I imagine You, Galerie Rupert Pfab, Duesseldorf (2015); Wogegen ist eigentlich die Gegenwart?, Kunstverein Rostock, Rostock (2015); Die Unendlichkeit ist auch nicht mehr was sie mal war, Galerie Peter Zimmermann, Mannheim (2013); Lucky Weekend, Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2013); and Open house, Studio Voltaire, London (2012). Select group exhibitions include Zwischen Nähe und Distanz: Konstruktion von Wirklichkeiten. Von Goya bis Picasso,  Kunstpalast Museum, Düsseldorf (2019); Unstilled Life : Artistic Animation 1980-2020, Ron Mandos Gallery, Amsterdam (2020); Brexit: Mail Art from a Small Island, Sipgate shows, Düsseldorf (2019); Kanu islands, Mornewegstrasse 30, Darmstadt (2018); Nebukadnezar, Forum Kunst Rottweil (2017); ASP3 Artselfpublishing Fair, ICA, London (2017);and Particular Conditions, Kingsgate Project Space, SUBStore,Tokyo and Tadahon-ya, Kyoto (2017).

Awards and residencies include DAAD Scholarship to London (1998); and Villa Romana Residency, Florence (2003).