Jürgen Partenheimer

Whatever we see in Partenheimer´s work, we don’t look for likeness but for a creative
correspondence between content and artistic process. One might say that in his work life
itself becomes aesthetically apparent, for only through aesthetic quality, through form
shaped by perception and by the comprehension of the senses does art come into existence.
Partenheimer´s work is a visualization of origination through recollection and by the conscious
reflection upon what has occurred and what now happens, upon history and in the present.
The work does not imply a return to mimesis but rather a creative association with life by
the envisioning and realization of origin.

Uwe Wieczorek ,Curator, Vaduz, 2009

Partenheimer perceives exhibition spaces as "centres of gravity", sites where the space
between paintings, works on paper, sculpture and sound unfolds to create a polymorphic
image. His is a philosophical investigation whereby drawing forms the basis for the poetic
articulation of his ideas. It creates new models of representation forming alternative
perceptions where the lyricism of the imagery challenges conventional interpretations of
time and space, conveying something at once essential, both condensed yet transient.

Nigel Prince , Curator, IKON Gallery, Birmingham, 2008

Jürgen Partenheimer is one of today’s most remarkable poetic and philosophical
artists. He spent the summer of 2006 at Nietzsche House, where he immersed himself
in Nietzsche’s "field of force" and created a unique and compelling sequence of 24
watercolours, which coalesce into a single and singular composition of breath-taking impact.
In the chosen setting he takes a twofold approach to his own work: his uncompromisingly
authentic creative energy interacts with a sovereign appreciation of Nietzsche’s oeuvre.

Peter André Bloch , President
Nietzsche-Haus, Sils-Maria, 2007
"The most impressive thing is the way that the rhythm according to which its compositions
were executed would appear to command their “resolution. As if in a moment of self-
reflection, Partenheimer takes a breath to prepare for what is yet to come – a marvelous
dispersion of color and lines in a larval space, all stains and lines in air! The result is
incredibly precise – the city haunts the space of the drawing. A discovery imposes itself:
Partenheimer draws the drawing of the world and, simultaneously, the world of drawing."
Catalogue: Roma - São Paulo, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 2006
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2007

Laymert Garcia dos Santos , essayist on art theory, lecturer
Campinas University, São Paulo, 2006
"In the transitory states that Partenheimer succeeds in presenting so strikingly we can
see a distinctive feature of the rich imagery of his work, which is highly valued not
only in Europe, but also in the United States and Japan. His unmistakable artistic
style – an ambivalence of strength and delicacy transposed intoa poetic state – reveals
a mastery that is at the same time a tangible demonstration of why Partenheimer has
found international recognition as an outstanding artist of his generation."
Catalogue: Roma - São Paulo | Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 2006
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2007

Klaus Schrenk , Director
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 2006
"Texts in which artists speak about their work are rare. Most artists speak only in
the language of their art. They know the difference between speaking about art,
as art critics and theorists do it, and speaking as artists, which can never be objective.
The best texts are those that speak specifically from the experience of the artistic
situation and describe the artist’s experience frankly and unsparingly. As an artist’s
text, “Copan” belongs to this rare genre. Its value lies not in any immediate compre-
hensibility for the reader, but rather in the closeness of what is spoken to what is done.
The paradox of Partenheimer’s text lies in his ability to track his ownexperiences almost
continuously and at the same time open them up for reflection."
Catalogue: Roma - São Paulo | Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 2006
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2007

Jan Thorn-Prikker, Essayist and art critic
Bonn, 2006

"The work of Jürgen Partenheimer, emerged in Germany in the 1980s, reveals to us
today, through the various art forms in which it is expressed, drawing, painting,
sculpture and poetry, the artist’s profound experience of art and life. Partenheimer
follows the great tradition of Modernity, developing his work on the foundations
of Abstraction. Although he belongs to the generation of German artists who worked
with painting to deliberately revisit the medium and its history, recycling or revision
have no place in his “aesthetic” project, nor does he use any strategies of appropriation
or deconstruction. His work fits into that segment of artistic production which invests in
maintaining artistic functionality and giving continuity to valuesand themes that have
always been present in the great works of mankind: beauty, imagination, dreams as
a way to order and interpret a reality that challenges man’s willpower."

Catalogue: Suave Locoura - Gentle Madness | Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2004

Marcelo Mattos Araújo, Direktor
Pinacoteca Do Estado, São Paulo, 2004
"Like the poet who plays with the resonance of words, with the mere echoes of what
they mean, Partenheimer approaches his subject matter at the very boundary of its
corporeality, at the verypoint of transition between its materiality and its immateriality.
We find the same profound experience of art and the world, which he employs in his
drawings with the utmost subtlety in his sculptures, too. They are themselves the occasion
and place of his poetical expression: the individual attributes of every form, their relationship
to each other, the various levels at which colour and line operate. In spite of their architec-
tonic order and its formalizing influence, Parten-heimer's sculptures are distinguished by an
abstract poetical quality. Like a musical composition, they vibrate with the rhythm, repetition
and juxtaposition of forms; they seem to express a state of uncertainty and inconsistency,
seductively calling in question the viewer's own preconceived certainties."
Catalogue: Suave Locoura - Gentle Madness | Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2004

Ivo Mesquita , Chief curator
Pinacoteca Do Estado, São Paulo, 2004
"Partenheimer redefines the museum space as a dynamic place. Precisely because
the museum can be stripped of any predominant identity, Partenheimer manages to
lend the same space ever-new meanings. Thus he not only suc-ceeded in causing
wonder and drawing attention: he also managed to impose a new identity on the
museum space.With extreme effectiveness Partenheimer succeeds in creating a
new universe, in which works of art are signs and signals that open the gates of
a metaphysical, spiritual reality."
Inroduction to the exhibition „La robe des choses“ S.M.A.K.
Stedelijk Museum voor Aktuele Kunst, Ghent | Belgium, 2002

Jan Hoet, Director
S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Aktuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium, 2002
"There is something, which I should like to emphasize: one of the preconditions for
Partenheimer's successful development of abstraction is his strong imagination.
Indeed, it is precisely this precondition, which motivates his exploratory quest
for form. Indeed, the true talent of Partenheimer lies in his ability to find the most
suitable image for expressing his inner spiritual world and to create an abstract
form in which resides true spiritual meaning."
Catalogue: CrossMapping, The National Museum of Fine Art | Beijing 2001
Nanjing Museum of Art | Nanjing, 2001

Zhou Guoping, Professor of Philosophy
Academy of Science, Beijing, 2001

"What impresses me immediately is Partenheimer's masterly use of line, which,
in conjunction with areas of color, organizes the painting in a most sublime way.
Just one or two lines, hardly thicker than a hair, can dominate the entire surface of
the painting and guide the viewer's eye to its every part, however small. The mono-
chrome areas of color are richly nuanced and seem, at times, to constitute the funda-
mental structure of the painting, whilst the emotional component finds expression
purely in Partenheimer's handling of the line. It is precisely in this combination of line
and surface that the extraordinary and impressive quality of Partenheimer's art lays."

Catalogue: CrossMapping, The National Museum of Fine Art | Beijing 2001
Nanjing Museum of Art | Nanjing, 2001

Yuan Yunsheng, Professor of Art
Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, 2001
"The extraordinary, enigmatic quality common to all of Partenheimer's works may not be
immediately recognizable to the Chinese viewer, but the latter can nevertheless relate to
his works through that intuitive feeling which reaches beyond cultural differences.
The very fact that "World Axis" is a three-dimensional column created from two-dimen-
sional surfaces reflects the philosophical aspect of Partenheimer's art. It visualizes the
translation of his philosophical way of thinking into a poetical dimension. Indeed,
the Chinese visitors to Partenheimer's exhibition were able to accept the artist purely
emotionally and not by reason of reports and reviews in the media. Never before has
any Western artist achieved such a high degree of acceptance in China."

Catalogue: CrossMapping, The National Museum of Fine Art, Beijing,
Nanjing Museum of Art | Nanjing, 2001

Li Jianguo, Chief editor
Jiangsu Art Monthly, Nanjing, 2001

"Jürgen Partenheimer, who has held numerous exhibitions in international museumsis
one of the most important and singular artists in the current German scene. Why is
Partenheimer unique? In my opinion, it is because of his distance towards any type
of expressionism, his resolutiuon on keeping off the beaten track and his capability of
reconciling a formal project with a constructive and postminimalist background and
a poetic intensity that makes him prefer the light to the verbose and the subtle
to the obvious."
Catalogue: Cantos y otras mentiras, IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez | Valencia, 1999

Juan Manuel Bonet, Director
IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain, 1999
"The most outstanding characteristic of Partenheimer´s work is the coexistence of
order and passion. A composing order which is also a subtle, thin weft: flexible,
but determinant; a passion present from the beginning, uniquely unveiled in the
course of a visit to one of his exhibitions, in the contemplation of each work, -
sculpture, painting or drawing. Partenheimer affords us an insight into the act of
creation, somewhat in the style of Mondrian in his New York years. But much more
magical, and always able to go one step further. Partenheimer forever performs a
balancing act, pushing subtlety and fragility to their very limits, but never going
too far. His imagery expresses the delicacy and coherence of his balance."
Catalogue: Escultura, pintura y dibujo, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea
Santiago de Compostela | Spain, 1999

Miguel Fernandez-Cid, Director
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, 1999
"Partenheimer´s familiarity and affection for the cultures and literatures both west
and east of the Atlantic is a defining element of his personal and aesthetic relationships.
Writers on Partenheimer´s work invariably dwell on the salient qualities of his lines,
which are not the periphery of volumes but singular forms themselves. They inhabit
the evanescent margin between what they are – dark, quavering and changeable –
and whatthey propose. The most arduous work of an artist is the organization of the
images of the imagination, the giving of context, both aesthetic and social, for the
profoundest of one’s expression. Partenheimer is an outstanding artist who has built
this context eloquently and most convincingly."
Catalogue: Leaf Spine Word Sign, Hank Hine Limestone Press | Kunstmuseum Bonn 1998
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 1999

Hank Hine, Director
Institute for Research in Art, Universitiy of South Florida, Tampa, 1998
"Throughout his career, Partenheimer has explored the potentials of formal invention
and visual narrativethrough an exceptionally diverse range of books. As essential
as his related paintings, prints, and particularly, his drawings, Partenheimer´s unique,
reworked and editioned books have served to condense the essence of his art
so frequently exhibited."
Catalogue: Leaf Spine Word Sign, Hank Hine Limestone Press | Kunstmuseum Bonn
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 1999

Robert Rainwater, Chief curator
Prints and illustrated books, New York Public Library, New York, 1998
"One cannot help thinking of René Magritte when talking about Jürgen Partenheimer.
Whilst in their art they are worlds apart, their minds are alike. It is in their minds that
they develop their respective concepts of painting. Both of them take words and images
“literally” and “at their face value”. The content is controlled and determined by the
intellect with the utmost precision… What are we trying to say?..Poetry does not forget
the mystery of the world: it is not just a means of escaping in our imagination, or a question
of taste; it is the very presence of mind."
Catalogue: Fragmente | Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 1998

Klaus Gallwitz, Director
Staedelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, 1993
"Partenheimer has not only thoroughly entangled the figure/ground relationship,
but he has also subverted the relationship between what we might designate as
solid and transparent planes. We begin to recognize that his works are rigorously
thought-out tereatises on the very nature of sight and ist changing relationship
to knowledge. By b ringing us both visually and philosophically to this brink,
Partenheimer engages us with deeper questions. What is the nature of imagination?"
Catalogue: Fragmente | Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 1998

John Yau
, Poet and art critic
New York, 1998
"Partenheimer´s drawings grope for forms because he does not want to draw some-
thing that is already a definition; he prefers to wait and see whether he can be lured
in other directions while he is drawing. That is how Kandinsky worked, with an
abstract morphology - just like Partenheimer - which advanced instinctively, gropingly.
His drawings seem to be whispering to us, as do the paintings, like watercolors."

Catalogue: Cantos | Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1997

Rudi Fuchs, Director
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Holland, 1997

"La pintura, los dibujos de Partenheimer, como destellos de serenidad. Toko no ma:
lugares en los que experimentamos el sentimiento de que el aire encierra una espesura
de silencio, que en esa oscuridad reina una serenidad eternamente inalterable. „Entonces –
escribe Tanizaki – dónde reside la clave del misterio? Pues bien, voy a traicionar el secreto:
mirándolo bien no es sino la magia de la sombra; expulsad esa sombra producia por todos
esos recovecos y el toko no ma enseguida recuperará su realidad trivial de espac io vacío
y desnudo.“ Partenheimer crea desde ese misterio, pero drigiendo la voluntad hacia
el maelstrom."
Inroduction to the exhibition at Elba Benitez Galeria | Madrid, 1995

Fernando Castro Flórez
, essayist, art critc, lecturer
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid,1995

“A point in space is a place for an argument“, said Wittgenstein. Here the conversation
twists and turns with self-reflective, defining intelligence, seeking the edges of proposal
itself, the characteristic „where“ of geometry’s thoughtful condition. Jürgen Partenheimer
moves space in a multiplicity of gestures, shakes of scale, of densities, surfaces, depths of
immanent positions, and rounds and squares of the enduring circle. The either / or of the
monochromatic echoes in shades and shiftings, tones sounding tones upon tones.
The measure is all one can reach at last."

Giant Wall, Hine Editions – Limestone Press | San Francisco, 1991

Robert Creeley
, Poet
Buffalo, New York, 1991
"Partenheimer has a philosophical mind capable of visualizing intellectual positions
and counter positions - his inventiveness operates on many different levels of meaning
and he affords us a wide scope of possibilities operating on two levels of perception:
a NOT YET level and a NOT ANY MORE level. These two levels may be made to
work either separately or together with the aid of the same formula used by Alain
Robbe-Grillet to overcome the traditional antinomies of reason resulting from the
dualityof construction and destruction.We speak of non-objective forms and overlook
the fact that they are themselves a new kind of objectivity: the form of things unknown
(Shakespeare). Partenheimer’s art plays a part in this, too. It does so through its basso
continuo, its hoveringquality, which causes uncertainty, indeed it revokes all factual
certainties and in this way bestows upon them an astonishing and strong raison d’être."
Catalogue: Vasts apart – Bereiche des Ordnens | Hamburger Kunsthalle, 1990

Werner Hofmann, Director
Hamburger Kunsthalle, 1990