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'Heavy Middle' by Thomas Moor at Stiftung BINZ39, Zurich

The BINZ39 Foundation is pleased to present the final exhibition of resident Thomas Moor that brings together a new body of work that engages with the topic of landscape and its re- presentation in art history and the present. Following Corporate Realism, a series of works created since 2018 of painted logos and labels of predominantly mineral water brands from around the world - represented here by Kopri and Hell, as well as by the predecessor of the series, Swiss Alchemist (Rivella red) - Thomas Moor continues to explore the purpose of a pictorial representation by means of this focus on painting.

Moor is interested in the way landscapes (as signifier) have crept into European painting over the centuries as frames for religious narratives (signified). In addition, he sees a link to the way landscape representations are appropriated by the contemporary advertising industry. Through the playful reconciliation of signifier and signified, Moor suggests the possibility of a visual culture that sets itself free of the advertising symbolism appropriation. The lack of the powerful human figure, as one would expect in a Caspar David Friedrich landscape, and the instead the presence of a stegosaur in Bigger Picture, relates precisely to these considerations.

In Thomas Moor's work, a reciprocal role reversal describes a game between the signifier and signified, mirroring a world conquered by consumerism and advertising already sin- ce the times of medieval commerce. The way this signaling is used in consumer society is playfully mirrored in works such as Vanitas (American Exit), Vanitas (European Exit), Old Spice, and Renaissance. Subsequently, Advisory adds to this theme of the corporate hymn and invites for a selfie. In Moors' artistic grammar, dinosaurs, mountains, skies, and branded paraphernalia are all part of the same semantics, where rationality and interpretation are in fact two sides of the same coin. 

The intermingling of these works through and into one another mirrors Moore's working process and allows for a non-linear and non-hierarchical overview of the paintings created over the past few years. Heavy Middle resembles a parcours through Thomas Moor's broad spectrum of recent production, offering a glimpse into the complexity and multiplicity of questions and themes that make up Moor's reflective universe. 

8.4.21 — 8.5.21

Photo by Claude Barrault

Stiftung BINZ39

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