• Cornelius Quabeck

    New Fall #2, 2015
    Acryl und Tusche auf Leinwand, 270 x 180 cm.
  • Smart Ass, 2013
    Acryl auf Leinwand, 110 x 80 cm.
  • Tres Amigos - Amigo, 2013
    Acryl auf Leinwand, 110 x 80 cm.
  • New Fall #1, 2015
    Acryl und Tusche auf Leinwand, 270 x 180 cm.
  • Tres Amigos - Tio, 2013
    Acryl auf Leinwand, 110 x 80 cm.
  • ID painting #9, 2016
    Acryl und Tusche auf Leinwand, 130 x 110 cm.


The painter, born in Wuppertal in 1974, studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy with Jörg Immendorff and Albert Oehlen and at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. After completing his studies, he first created large-format, figurative charcoal drawings on canvas. On the one hand, Quabeck paints his recurring monkey images, for example a chimpanzee holding on to a branch with one hand while his face screams for the viewer's attention and is distorted into a skull.

In contrast, there are star portraits of the TV and music industry. They are designed as light outline drawings and, due to their sheer size, give the impression of a personal homage. With a few strokes, Quabeck puts animal ears and scars on their faces and transforms them into hybrids. In the “Human Animal” images, Quabeck refers to role models and a tradition that extends from comics to the work of Jörg Immendorff.

The works of his most recent series “Read Animals, Eat People” from 2013 combine comedy with criticism; on the one hand, it is a parody of Jonathan Safran Foer's most recent book review “Eat Animals” (2010), in which the author criticizes factory farming. On the other hand, Quabeck adapts the banal television hype about chefs who celebrate food as a taste experience or even art. His animals are all humanized - only their heads indicate their actual nature. They read books to study how best to escape the cooking pot.

In an essay about Quabeck's abstract works, Hans-Jürgen Hafner wrote: “On the one hand, thickened into an indefinitely wavering, psychedelically ambiguous surface, on the other hand, various painterly idioms push forward from this surface and compete with one another. As if hidden behind semi-transparent curtains or streaks of fog, the most diverse motivic/semantic levels resonate. Some of this is known from the artist's previous work - especially the curious bestiary, dodos or monkeys, for which Quabeck has long had a special soft spot." (1)

The series of images “Tres Amigos” shows Quabeck’s guitar and the last issue of the Financial Times Deutschland with the black cover Final Times, both of which are draped on an armchair. The artist's accessories can be seen and an outline of his clothing, which must also have been on the chair, has been preserved. These pictures are not only compositional studies, but their subjects also refer to the absent artist.

An extinct animal, such as the dodo, takes on symbolic qualities when it appears in a painting. It is probably considered a manifestation of the belief that everything lives on somewhere. Or: that art is a good living space for those who have passed away because they enjoy new attention and are brought back into the current discourse.

(1) See Hans-Jürgen Hafner, Dicke Milch, in the catalog of the solo exhibition Cornelius Quabeck - Charcoal Frost (2011) in the Samuelis Baumgarte Gallery

(2) See Matt Hussey, Cornelius Quabeck, in: Amelia’s magazine, Issue 7, Summer 2007, p. 68f

Quabeck's pictures alternate between posing pop stars and quasi-romantic productions, including their own. Especially in his drawings, which accompany his painting work either as independent work, sketches or as a means of exchange with Paul McDevitt, you can discover some “self-portraits”.

Cornelius Quabeck, 2014 ©Foto, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie


Museum and single exhibitions (selection)


It ain\'t whatcha write, it\'s the way atcha write it, Manifesta Foundation, Amsterdam

Herz der Finsternis, verhudelt. Henrik Schrat & Gäste, Kunstsammlung Jena, Jena


Schottenrock, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam