The artist's work deals with the cultural artifact of the matchbox on both a conceptual and painterly level. Starting from his matchbox collection, Thomas Wachholz deals with the found image and color worlds and their compositions. He develops them further to a point where they become independent from the original templates and turn into independent painterly subjects. In the process, a new, abstract repertoire of colors and forms emerges, which the artist repeatedly samples and condenses into new compositions.
The artist breaks down the motif of the matchbox into its essential components: A square or transverse rectangular shape (the box), a motif on it (the label), and a monochromatic – occasionally honeycomb or diamond-patterned – russet bar (the rubbing surface). The overall composition becomes a universal matchbox form that is recognizable to the viewer only through the functional striker. Over the years, the striker has detached itself from the block-like design feature located next to the motif to mix with the pictorial elements in the new works and take on its own geometric-abstract forms.
Thomas Wachholz (*1984, Germany) lives and works in Cologne. He studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy.
Thomas Wachholz has had solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Heppenheim; Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles; Galerie Lange + Pult, Zurich; Ung5, Cologne; Nymphius Projekte, Berlin; RaebervonStenglin, Zurich.
Wachholz has been part of group exhibitions at Eduardo Secci Contemporary, Florence; Kölnischer Kunstverein; Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles; Neuer Aachener Kunstverein and Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn.
Works by Thomas Wachholz are represented in the collections of the Bächler Foundation, Zurich; Collection La Luxembourgeoise SA d'́Assurances, Luxembourg; Fotomuseum Winterthur; FRAC Nord de Palais, Dunkerque; Kunsthaus Zurich; Kunstmuseum Bern; Kunstsammlung Chemnitz; Lumas Collection; Migros Museum, Zurich; Museum Bellpark Kriens; Rosenblum Collection Paris and Singapore; Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf; The Pizutti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus.