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Catalogues on Display! Bert Theis

The work of Luxembourg artist Bert Theis (1952–2016), at once poetic and politically engaged, conceptual and sensitive, personal and collective, evolved from a reflection on the role that art can play in society. Its most prominent manifestations were “platforms” and “pavilions” in various cities across Europe and Asia that visitors, passersby and locals were encouraged to use for moments of rest, contemplation, exchange or action – spaces where the idea of a “concrete utopia” took shape. Theis was also one of the main protagonists of the Isola Art Center in Milan, a collective and transversal platform for debate and activism around issues of urban redevelopment, which he co-founded in 2001.

Accompanying the first retrospective of the artist at Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, this monographic publication surveys his entire career, from his early collages and conceptual pieces on painting, language and the status of images to his large-scale installations for the public realm. It offers new insights into his practice through four specially-commissioned essays by curators, art historians and theorists who were close to the artist, as well as through an iconographic section that provides a comprehensive overview of his work.


Bert Theis

Bert Theis (b.1952, Luxembourg; d. 2016, Luxembourg) has held major exhibitions at Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2019); AVTO, Istanbul, Turkey (2018); PAV Parco d’Arte Vivente, Turin, Italy (2015); 2551913 Paris, France (permanent installation, 2012); The Outdoor Gallery, Gdańsk, Poland (2011); Galleria Contemporaneo, Mestre-Venice, Italy (2010); MAMCO – Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; European Pentagon, Safe & Sorry Pavilion, Place de l’Europe, Luxembourg (permanent installation, 2007). In 1995 he represented Luxembourg at the 46th Venice Biennale. His works can be found in major public collections including those of MNHA – Musée national d’histoire et d’art Luxembourg, Luxembourg; FMAC – Fonds municipal d’art contemporain, Paris, France; FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France; MAMCO – Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; and Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg. He lived and worked in Milan and Luxembourg.

Enrico Lunghi

Enrico Lunghi is an art historian. He was a senior research assistant at the National Museum of History and Art in Luxembourg, from 1991 to 1995, then artistic director at the Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain from 1996 to 2008. He was General Director of Mudam Luxembourg from 2009 to 2016 and commissioner for Luxembourg’s presentation at the Venice Biennale in 1995 (Bert Theis, Potemkin Lock), 1999 (Simone Decker, Chewing and Folding Projects) and 2007 (Jill Mercedes, Endless Lust). From 2005 to 2011 he was President of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT). Since 2017 he is a research fellow at the Ministry of National Education’s SCRIPT, Department for the Coordination of Educational and Technological Research and Innovation, and at the University of Luxembourg.

Bibliographic notice

Title: Bert Theis: Building Philosophy - Cultivating Utopia
Complete title: Bert Theis : building philosophy - cultivating utopia / [Enrico Lunghi ... [et al.]]
Contributor(s): Lunghi, Enrico, 1962-
Publisher Luxembourg: Mudam
Creation date: 2019
Format: 208 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Language: English / French
Identifier ISBN: 978-88-6749-361-6
Note: Exhibition from 30 March – 25 August 2019 at Mudam Luxembourg - Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Bibliography notes: Bibliogr.
Subjects: Bert Theis
Bert Theis, Criticism and interpretation
Artists, Luxembourg, Exhibitions
Bibliographie nationale: Arts. Applied arts. Photography
Dewey classification: The arts; fine & decorative arts
Dewey category: 700.92


Bert Theis. Building Philosophy – Cultivating Utopia


Christophe Gallois (Commissaire / Mudam) à propos de la rétrospective de Bert Theis au Mudam