Matthias Dornfeld




A piece of paper, a canvas, a piece of linoleum – a line incised, or in charcoal, graphite, biro or oil paint. The line becomes a woman, a flower, a vase, a bunch of flowers, a suggestion of a room, a landscape, a face, many faces.

A new piece of paper, a new canvas, a new linoleum: a new line, another woman, another flower, another vase, another face. Or did the colour come first? Cinnabar green and madder lake, caput mortuum, ivory black, cadmium yellow, cobalt violet, ultramarine… planes of colour collide with one another, are layered on top of one another, removed again, applied again – until, out of the colours and lines, a picture has emerged on the canvas.

These paintings are distinguished by a sensual directness and an attitude of openness, equally the linocuts and the drawings on paper.

The dissolution of forms produces new forms – but this dissolution, unlike the abstractions of post-war modernism, is not first and foremost an expression of doubt. There is room for doubt in Matthias Dornfeld‘s pictures, but at the same time one also sees in them a great love of things and of life itself. They are at once vigorous and direct, tender and delicate. The dark and the uncanny encounter beauty, lightness and sensuality. Abstraction and empathy: lines and colours become ever new figures, faces, bunches of flowers, both prototypical and individual. They are timeless, but with a presence that is absolutely contemporary. A new piece of paper, a new canvas, a new piece of linoleum, a new line.

Text by Christine Heidemann



Matthias Dornfeld is born in Esslingen

(lives and works in Berlin)


Guest professor at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, in replacement of Günther Förg

Selected Solo Shows


Matthias Dornfeld – MPF-TATA, Zwitschermaschine, Berlin


Cox Orange – bürobasel., Basel


Cinzano – Jahn und Jahn, Munich


Quadrupede – Soy Capitán, Berlin

Armory Show – Solo booth, Waldburger Wouters, New York


Karussell – Helsinki Contemporary, Helsinki

A loose tooth in the booth – Bruce Haines, Mayfair, London


Donnerstag – Galerie Jahn Baaderstrasse, Munich

Reliability of Recognition – Bolte Lang, Zurich


Die Schönheit der Frau des Bäckers – Waldburger Wouters, Brussels

over the loo and far away – Macke Prinz, Berlin

Haderlump – Jagla Ausstellungsraum, Cologne

Visiting – Akademie der Bildenden Künste München, Munich


VIELE GRÜSSE! – Reception, Berlin

ALLES GUTE! – Soy capitàn, Berlin

XX776 – Galerie Jahn Baaderstrasse, Munich


Galerie Waldburger, Brussels

Hoba! – Jacky Strenz Galerie, Frankfurt a. M.

Soy capitàn, Berlin


No Deleuze – No Flip-Flops, San Juan

hallo hepp! – Kunstverein Heppenheim, Heppenheim

Casado Santapau, Madrid


Galerie Patrick Waldburger, Brussels

Crisis Line – Blanket Gallery, Vancouver

Selig wer geliebt sich weiss – Autocenter, Berlin

Galerie Ben Kaufmann, Berlin


Harris Lieberman, New York

Ancient&Modern, London

Galerie Ben Kaufmann, Berlin

Oh my Goodness – Blanket Gallery, Vancouver

Rowley Kennerk Gallery, Chicago

Galerie Ben Kaufmann, Berlin

Galerie Ben Kaufmann, Munich

Galerie Patrick Waldburger, Berlin

Selected Group Shows


Cubiculum offers shelter for some superdealers (curated by Matthias Dornfed) – Cubiculum, Berlin

Salon d'O – Waldburger Wouters, Thermae Palace Hotel, Ostend

Charme Brut – Waldburger Wouters, Brussels

Ein Museum auf Probe – Esslinger Kunstverein, Esslingen


Nine To Know, curated by Jenny Brosinski – Ruttowski;68, Paris

Your Mask (Part III: Don’t Forget Your Mask) – Jahn und Jahn, Munich


Out For A Stroll – Soy Capitán, Berlin


40+10+1 – Jahn und Jahn, München

Cocktails and Horses – Gerhard Hofland, Amsterdam

Old Guys / New Stuff – Susanne Neuerburg, Hennef

Faces – a co-production between PAK, (platform voor actuele kunsten) and Museum Dr. Guilain, Bruges, Belgium


Admist – China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles

Berlin, Berlin – Kosmetiksalon Babette, Berlin


Still – Produzentengalerie, Hamburg

Künstler der Galerie – Bildnis und Figur, Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich


animal friends – rstr4, Munich

German Promises – Amsterdam

Last Exit Painting / Die dritte Hand – Salon Dahlmann, Berlin

Gastspiel – Schönewald Fine Arts, Düsseldorf

Mai im Januar – SCHAU FENSTER by JAN KAGE, Berlin


Suite 16.4 – Lindner Hotel & Residence Main Plaza, Frankfurt a. M.

Paintings Sweet Paintings (with Billy Childish) – NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen

A Poem for Raoul and Agnes (selected by Sherman Sam) – Ancient Modern, London


UND ES GEHT – Katharina Daxenberger, Munich

Imaginäre Lösungen. In diesem Sinne1 – Munikat, Munich

Tra di noi – Caffe e CioccoLata, Berlin

Imaginäre Lösungen. In diesem Sinne1 – Kosmetiksalon Babette, Berlin

Why Painting Now? – Krobath, Vienna

Psycosexual: an exploration of the abstracted gesture – Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago

The Art Of Escaping By A Hairsbreadth – Soy capitàn, Berlin

Die Alte Sau Seele – The Wand, Berlin


Groupshow – Galerie Jahn Baaderstrasse, Munich

60,70,88 – Galerie Pohl, Munich

ICONS – Raum 58, Munich

Namalovala – Kunsthaus, Hamburg

Feierabend – HP Zimmer Reception, Berlin


Monotonie – Melancholie, Berlin

Viele Köpfe – Produzentengalerie, Hamburg

abc Artfair, Berlin

Herbei ein Licht! – Lismore Castle Arts: St Carthage HAll, Lismore

Monumental Privacy – Galerie Royal, Munich

Dorothea Ancient&Modern, London

the Cannibal’s Muse II – Autocenter, Berlin

CAPTAIN PAMPHILE – Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg

PSYCHOLOGIE & ABSRAKTION – Ballhaus Ost , Berlin



CAPTAIN PAMPHILE – Städtische Galerie, Waldkraiburg

Brand New You’re – Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna

Moraltarantula 4 – Elektrohaus, Hamburg

Abschüssige Heiterkeit – Jacky Strenz Galerie, Frankfurt a. M.

TRANSZENDENZ INC. – Autocenter, Berlin

Paranoia – Cacaofabriek, Helmond

Ghosting the cities Vol. 2 – Instituttanzschule, Vienna


Footloose – Galerie Waldburger, Brussels

Am Anfang war das Ende – Ballhaus Ost, Berlin

Festival Chabarovsk, Chabarovsk

Implikation des Portraits – Galerie Ben Kaufmann, Berlin

Galerie Francoise Heitsch, Munich

Underclass Atavism – Galleria Gentili, Prato


Meisterwerke des 21. Jahrhunderts – Galerie Ben Kaufmann, Berlin

Galeria Casado Santapau, Madrid

5000 Jahre Malerei – Villa Merkel, Esslingen

Kommando Giotto di Bondone – Gió Marconi, Milan

Painted Objects – Harris Lieberman, New York

La Bomba IV – Rowley Kennerk Gallery, Chicago

La Boum III – Warsaw

Rental Shows – Trudi Rental-Gallery, New York