Galerie Martin Kudlek
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50676 Cologne

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Andreas Kocks Portrait

Outside of Sculpture, Outside of Drawing and Outside of Time

What kind of act is it to cut through a surface? Potentially savage, vicious and even violent, it could also be a kind of surgery or suture – a sign of healing and reparation to come. A cut is the way we speak of discharging someone – we cut them out or cut them deeply – a social metaphor based on a knife’s sharp line – the knife’s social sharpness that ruthlessly stabs in the back. But a cut is also a break, a release, a change, a sudden movement that is transformative – metamorphasizing from one state to another, the cut that stitches time and images in movies – the cut that binds by being the cut that releases and frees. The difference that is the remove of courage. But always the edge is central, the edge of one thing and the space that inhabits the difference between two planes, two levels. It scores, it engraves, it incises, it precises…

In contemporary art, the cut is associated primarily with the aesthetic legacy of Lucio Fontana, Italian artist and texturist par excellence (not textualist mind you). Fontana’s constant and inventive work stabs, punctures, slices and dices in its vivid attack on the modernist picture plane (and 1949 has been called the “year of the cut”, a moment of highlighting the torn, the ripped and the deliberately pierced in painting and collage). After Hiroshima, no surface capable of containing the poetry to conflate Adorno and the disillusioned European artists of that moment. But, like other avant-garde methodologies and politically aware art, its lessons are, today, played out with more nuance and less severity in their positioning.

Andreas Kocks understands these lessons from recent history and enhances both their extreme physicality and their metaphoric potential. He too cuts and marks deeply into a surface but his chosen medium is somewhat pliant, not as resistant as Fontana’s deliberately obdurate faces. Having abandoned the weight (the gravitas) of sculpture (steel, bronze, lead, cement), Kocks took to paper, the substance which sits between staid material and full elasticity – the stuff that artists return to again and again as though it is an ur substance of alchemy whether they be post-modernists or reactionaries. Together with the full exploration of the dimensional space in which his works reside, he carefully constructs a dialogue which is outside of outside of sculpture, outside of drawing and outside of time (or at least the historical time of style). This set of methods of abandoning something (a medium for instance) is the cut he performs before cutting into and through the passive, almost neutral manuscript and the benign spaces it occupies.. Incising, engraving in space, layering through the peel of the skin, Kocks manufactures an explosive image. The contradiction is observable. A careful methodology – a caring methodology even – the slowly emerging skeins are somehow now full of energy – they give off a palpable sense of movement and direction. They are optical maelstroms on the wall, on the ceiling, on the floor. Sweeping broadly away from the viewer and around at the same time, the work strangely accomplishes much more than its simple techniques would seem to promise.

I think for me what is the most improbable, and thus enjoyable and provocative, is that the actual works – made of simple cut lines and graceful negative spaces in white or black – are so emotional. They burst with a barely constrained and refined unconscious jolt. For me, Andreas Koks has somehow, in this weird and unexpected act of representation, unleashed from a history which began as resistant or even antagonistic, found a place where power can be unearthed without threat, where violence can be contemplative, where ferocious acts can be redemptive and where an image might tender the hope its process of creation offers.

Text by Bruce W. Ferguson

// Andreas Kocks / vita

1960 born in Oberhausen / D
1980 Studies at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, with Norbert Kricke, Ulrich Rückriem and Erich Reusch

1987 BFA in Integration of Fine Art and Architecture, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf / D
MA in
 Education, University of Düsseldorf / D
1989 MFA in Sculpture, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf / D

2006 Pollock-Krasner-Grant, New York/ US

Currently lives and workes in New York City, USA, and Munich, Germany.


2019-2010 Silhouettes and Shadows, Helsinki – Kerava Art Museum / FIN
2019 Solid Ether, Seattle, WA / USA
2017 Im Dickicht der Stätten, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
PLACES,Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York, NY / USA
2015 “Andreas Kocks”,Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
Here And Now, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
First Round, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
2014 The Singles Collection, Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York / USA
In Between, Galerie Wünsch, Linz / A
2012 In The Loop, Städtische Galerie, Kirchheim unter Teck / D
2011 re:paint, Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York/ US
Momentary Suspension, Pei Ling Chan Gallery, Savannah / USA
2010 Momentary Suspension, Gallery Trois, SCAD, Atlanta / US>
The Perfect Splash, Galerie Pfriem, Savannah College of Art and Design, Lacoste / F
Scattered, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
2009 eleven works, Galerie Florian Walch, Munich / D
Der Ort und sein Geschehen, Neue Galerie, Dachau / D
Current events, Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York / USA
2008 Paperworks, Neue Werkstätten, Munich / D
The Making of Paperworks, Künstlerhaus am Lenbachplatz, Munich / D
2007 Cannonball, Jeannie Freilich Fine Art, New York / USA
2005 INstallation, Papermuseum Lenningen / D
1999 Präsenz und Zurückhaltung, Diözesan Museum, Limburg / D
1998 Imaginäre Orte, Dommuseum Frankfurt a.M. / D
1995 Ostufer Galerie Berg/Starnbergersee / D
1992 Galerie Raum 1, Düsseldorf / D
1990 Objekte, Kunst im NTC, Düsseldorf / D
1989 Casanostra, with Jörg Steinmann, Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach / D
1987 Galerie Gomringer, Rehau/Bavaria / D
1986 Ohne Titel, Zollhaus, Willich/Düsseldorf / D


2018 WEISS, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
Schnittstelle, August Macke Haus, Bonn / D
SCHWARZ, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
2016 Splotch, Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York City, NY / USA
2015 Die Heiterkeit der Seele, Galerie König, Hanau / D
reliefreduktiv 4, KunstLANDing, Aschaffenburg / D
Accrochage, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
Accrochage – Künstler der Galerie und Neuentdeckungen, Galerie Linde Hollinger, Ladenburg / D
2014 SFMOMA, San Fransisco / USA
Weiss inspiriert, Galerie Linde Hollinger, Ladenburg / D
reliefreduktiv, Kunstverein Speyer / D
Final Cut, Horst-Janssen-Museum, Oldenburg / D
2013 The First Cut, Djanology Art Gallery, Nottingham / UK
The First Cut, SeaCity Museum, Southampton / UK
2012 The First Cut, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester / UK
Kunst und Religion-Stille Zeichen, Kunstverein Villa Streccius, Landau / D
reliefreduktiv, Künstlerverein Walkmühle, Wiesbaden / D
Paper Art // Interaction, Campredon Centre D’Art, L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue / F
2011 re:paint, Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York / USA
im Blütenschimmer, Galerie Kränzl, Gaienhofen-Horn / D
2010 Neue Münchner Malerei, Galerie Vogdt, München / D
Position , Galerie Bob Gysin, Zürich / CH
Auf:Bruch, Museum Biedermann, Donaueschingen / D
LichtSchatten, Sebastian Fath Contemporary, Mannheim / D
2009 Slash: Paper under The Knife, Museum of Art and Design, New York / USA
2008 On/Off Paper, Galerie K4, Munich / D
2007 9, Jeannie Freilich Fine Art, New York / USA
In The Beginning…, DG-Deutsche Gesellschaft für Christliche Kunst, München / D
Galerie Kränzl, Göppingen / D
2006 Galerie Gisele Linder, Basel / CH
Cut It Out, The Roger Smith Gallery, New York / USA
100 Artists – 100 Watercolors, Jeannie Freilich Fine Art, New York / USA
White, Anya Tish Gallery, Houston / USA
2005 Sculpture, Haus der Kunst, Munich / D
Papierkunst, Galerie Kränzl, Göppinge n/ D
Over the Top- Under the Rug, Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Branch / USA
Remixed-PaperArt 9, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren / D
2004 Große Kunstausstellung, Haus der Kunst, München / D
2003 Fresh:Works on Paper, James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe / USA
2002 Große Kunstausstellung, Haus der Kunst, München / D
2001 Kunstverein Schenefeld/Hamburg / D
2000 Konrad Bosman Museum, Rees/Kleve / D
Zu Gast in der…, Galerie Prisma, Bolzano / I
1999 Ostufer Galerie, Berg/Starnbergersee / D
Junge Kunst, Haus der Kunst, Munich / D
Imaginäre Orte, Skulpturenkabinett, Freiburg / D
1997 Erinnerungen, Kunstpreis 97, Amtshausgalerie Freudenberg/Hessen / D
1996 Kompositionen in Stahl/Skulpturen im Stadtraum, Aichach/Bavaria / D
Landesschau, Kunsthalle Kiel / D
Bildhauerzeichnungen, Kunstpreis 96, Kunstverein Mainz / D
1994 Ostufer Galerie, Berg/Starnbergersee / D
1993 Gebundene Form-Befreite Farbe, Kunstpreis 93, Sparkasse Karlsruhe / D
buntes büdchen, Galerie Raum 1, Düsseldorf / D
1992 Galerie Christian Fochem, Krefeld / D
Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt / D
1990 Kunst im Park, Schloß Edla, Amstetten / A
Objekte, Kunst, Skulpturen im Stadtpark, Landsberg / D
1989 Gastspiele, Städtische Galerie Oberhausen / D


Mannheimer Versicherung AG, Mannheim
 // Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt
 // Städtische Kunstsammlungen, Rehau/Bavaria
 // Museum Schloß Moyland, Kleve
 // Städtische Kunstsammlungen, Aichach/Bavaria
 // Bayrische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München // 
Papiermuseum, Lenningen
 // Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art, Michigan // Museum Biedermann, Donaueschingen

Andreas Kocks