Achim Riethmann

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*1979 London
2000–2001 Falmouth College of Art Cornwall
2002–2007 Universität der Künste Berlin, master class Prof. Leiko Ikemura
2011 Gastdozent Malta College of Art, Science and Technology (MCAST)
Lives and works in Berlin

Grants / Scholarships

2013 Walter-Koschatzky-Kunstpreis, Rotary Club Wien-Albertina
2012 Losito Kunstpreis, Losito Kressmann-Zschach Foundation
2010 Förderpreis für junge Nachwuchskünstler, Art+Prison e.V.
2008–2010 Atelierstipendium, Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft

Solo exhibitions

2023 Wächter, Galerie Russi Klenner, Berlin
2021 Gefährten, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2020 Sehnsucht, Galerie Russi Klenner, Berlin
2018 Atlas, Galerie Russi Klenner, Berlin
2017 Global, Kunstverein Ulm
Hybrid, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2016 Aym, Galerie Russi Klenner, Berlin
2014 Fragmente, Russi Klenner, Berlin
Seltene Erden, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2013 Seed, Neuberg An Der Mürz, Austria
2012 Der Blaue Himmel, Galerie Anke Zeisler, Berlin
2010 Augenweiden, Kunstsalon Von Vattenfall Europe, Berlin
5.Rendezvous mit Kunst : Paare, Berlin

Group exhibitions

2024 ART DÜSSELDORF, Düsseldorf
2023 Mixed media #2, Projektraum studio. curated by Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
  ON AIR, Schloss Düneck currated by Evelyn Drewes | Galerie und Jan Kage, Moorrege
2022 AUFATMEN, Barlach Halle K, Hamburg
  Elb/Hängung #1, Villa am Elbhang, Hamburg
  Artissima mit Galerie Russi Klenner, Turin, Italy
  ALS WÄRE ALLES FÜR IMMER­– von Prozessen und Nichtzugehörigkeiten, KühlhausBerlin
  OOO [Out of Office], Berlin
Why can't we live together, Kunstverein & Kunstmuseum Marburg
2020 Aquarell, Neue Sächsische Galerie, Chemnitz
Watergate, Im Kontext Der Ostrale, Rijeka, Croatia
2019 Nachts Allein Im Atelier #6, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
Ping Pong Miami, Miami, USA
Eigenbedarf, Uferhallen, Berlin
Ostrale 2019, Dresden
You Are Here, Baumwollspinnerei, Leipzig
2018 Nachts Allein Im Atelier #5, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
Bambi Goes Art, Das Banale In Der Kunst, Kunstraum Hase29, Osnabrück
Vis à Vis, Barlach Halle K, Mit Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
What Paradise?, Sammlung Petersmesser, Weserburg, Museum Der Modernen Kunst Bremen
Der Süsse Brei, Kuratiert Von Isabelle Meiffert Und Lilian Engelmann, Eberswalde
2017 Wir Magier Meisterschülerausstellung Kuratiert Von Leiko Ikemura, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
Grenzerfahrungen, Galerie Russi Klenner, Berlin
Nah Und Fern, Teilnahme Am Skulpturen-Park, Bingen Am Rhein
2016 Nachts Allein im Atelier, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
New Selection, Jungekunstberlin, Berlin
Mitmenschen, Lachenmann-Art, Konstanz
Work On Paper, Jungekunstberlin, Berlin
2015 Nachts Allein Im Atelier, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
Die Andere Seite Des Lichts, Berlin
Pole Position, Jungekunstberlin, Berlin
Streben Nach Erkenntnis, Kunst Am Bau, Vhs Landau/ Bayern
Verwandlungen, Bilder Von Der Natir, Marienkirche Frankfurt Oder
Care Of, Russi Klenner C/O The Grass Is Greener, Leipzig
Nominiertenausstellung Kunstpreis 2015 Der Märkischen Oberzeitung, Schloss Neuhardenberg, Neuhardenberg
Kabinett, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
Junge Kunst Berlin, Showroom, Berlin
2014 6 Künstler - 6 Kunstakademien, Sparkasse Karlsruhe Ettlingen, Karlsruhe
Salondergegenwart, Hamburg
P/Art, Produzentenmesse, Hamburg
Und Woran Glaubst Du?, Nachtspeicher23 E.V., Hamburg
I Love Art From Berlin, Galerie Karin Sutter, Basel, Switzerland
Lost, Junge Kunst Berlin, Berlin
2013 Transformaktion, Kulturhaus 73, Hamburg
One Each, Russi Klenner, Berlin
Junge Positionen, Kapitel II / Berlin, Galerie Rigassi, Bern, Switzerland
Walter-Koschatzky-Kunstpreis, Nominiertenausstellung Im Museum Moderner Kunst Wien, Austria
Russi Klenner: Private View, Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin
2012 Illusions To Carry On / Junge Surreale Postionen, Galerie Rosendahl, Thöne Und Westphal, Berlin
Losito - Kunstpreis Gruppenausstellung, Potsdam
Notown, Beyond The Wall, Detroit, USA
34 Zu Kleist, Städtisches Kunsthaus Speyer
2011 Ich Bin Ein Berliner, Dezerschauhalle Miami, USA
Watchlist 11, Jungekunstberlin, Berlin
Zeitenwende, Ard Hauptstadtstudio, Berlin
Berlin Am Meer II, Galerie Rosendahl, Thöne Und Westphal, Berlin
34 Zu Kleist, St.Marienkirche, Frankfurt Oder
Hotspot Berlin, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berin
Krieg Im Frieden, Kunstpavillon, München
Szenenwechsel, Teil 1, Galerie Rosendahl, Thöne Und Westphal ( Rt+W ), Berlin
2010 Zandt Vs. Riethmann, Junge Kunst Berlin, Berlin
Retour De Paris. Unsere Meister Vom Expressionimus Bis Heute, Von Der Heydt- Museum, Wuppertal
Watchlist, Junge Kunst Berlin, Berlin
Fuck Ups, Fables And Fiascos, Galerie Caprice Horn, Berlin
Themenwechsel, Karl-Hofer- Gesellschaft, Berlin
Already A Year?, Galerie Stefan Westphal, Berlin
This Is Red, Klasse Ikemura Im Cap Cologne, Köln
Globalized Nature, Galerie Caprice Horn, Berlin
Grosse Kunstausstellung, Bbk Nürnberg


Materialistic desires become evident in smooth and shiny paintings: Achim Riethmann’s new works directly invoke associations with advertising and show cases. Only when approaching them they turn out to be delicate water colour drawings, covered with industrially coated and tinted glass panes. Organic waste, downtrodden and withered blossoms or a hung up down jacket are isolated and taken out of their natural context. They are surrounded by a dark, reflecting surface that seems to be ambivalent in terms of content: On the one hand neither determined nor imaginary sphere, it integrates on the other hand the present and the observers reflected in it into the picture.
As an artist that constantly addresses socio-political issues, Riethmann now concentrates on pecific items, on the traces of the individual and his/her cravings. He directs the attention on himself, becoming very personal: The artist arranges private items that are apparently in different stages of their functionality next to each other in centred compositions, not in a fragmented way like in former works. Without explicitly positioning himself against certain consumption patterns or against materialistic dependence, the pictures rather evoke a strange kind of emotional or even existential attachment to the items and brands. Or, in the case of the organic waste, hint at the lack of any kind of relation.

The soft tones of the water colours and their delicate image mode are proof of Riethmann’s skills in handling the medium. Combined with the glass panes, a prefabricated, commonly used window glass with UV protection, the paintings gain a noticeable multimedia element. The reflection and the industrial appearance of the surface aesthetics of the works only emerge after the coating, during a twofold and therefore time-consuming work process. Here, not just an exceptional approach of an artist to his works manifests itself, who otherwise appreciates water colour drawings precisely for their immediacy. Moreover, the meticulous painting of the glass panes almost detracts from the fact that they are handmade. In the light of the artist addressing the subject of the ephemeral nature of objects, this virtually seems to be a contradiction if not a deliberately accentuated anachronism. It remains an open question whether Riethmann demonstrates a critical attitude here or if this is even a kind of formal actionism. One can merely note a melancholic pausing in front of the objects of everyday life that are perceived by people, at least temporarily, as an enhancement of themselves.

Frederieke Czaja

" ... at the heart of his work is the identification of the individual in a Westernized, increasingly global society and the simultaneous longings and fantasies of the individual himself."

Leiko Ikemura, Professorin an der Universität der Künste, Berlin

"With a special pleasure ... the Berlin artist creates ab- and illusory images of found realities of our present and intertwines them in series as always sensitively treated set pieces of mental world journeys. Using a wide variety of artistic techniques, he creates thought models that are as capable of presenting as they are of triggering a broad spectrum of thematic chains of associations."

Martin Hartung, Kunsttheoretiker 

 "... White surfaces conspicuously dominate the visual language of the individual motifs, creating a spectacular pictorial architecture. The erasure of given space emphasizes the body language, renews the context of real possible situations and opens a resonance space for illusions. Foreground and background, as well as the relationship between space and surface, transform into an ambivalent spatial structure through the position of the creatures or objects. Left blank suggests sober objectivity, supported by the reduced choice of pictorial motifs."

Hans Tepe, Galerist

"Global, social and/or private exceptional situations form the thematic starting point. These can be natural disasters, accidents but also armed conflicts. I use press images, images from the Internet or my own photos, from which I acquire certain sections and use them as a template for my painting. In doing so, I make sure that the detail not only represents a concrete situation, but something general. With human figures, for example, I am usually concerned with the role that this figure fulfills in a crisis situation. The fragments used, in contrast to pictorial elements not depicted, create a field of tension for thematic as well as spatial interpretations, both in terms of content and form.Exceptional situations, in their dramatic nature, often also represent a change, from one state to another. This change, this moment of emergence from something old fascinates me. In my works, this tension between dissolving, disappearing and creating plays the central role, both in the choice of my motifs, as well as in the way of representation."

Achim Riethmann