MIRO Gallery

Galerie miro Trebbia


14. 11. 2013 – 17. 12. 2013, for great success extended until 19. 1. 2014

prices of paintings available upon request in the MIRO Gallery




Bouquet, 2013
oil on canvas

200 x 200 cm

Sneaker, 2013

oil on canvas
80 x 250 cm

Bread basket, 2013
oil on canvas
200 x 200 cm 


Skull, 2013

oil on canvas
100 x 240 cm

Butterfly, 2009/13
oil on canvas
100 x 115 cm 

Bread, 2009/13
oil on canvas
70 x 120 cm


Apple, 2013
oil on canvas
80 x 80 cm

French horn, 2012
oil on canvas
180 x 290 cm



German painter René Wirths has chosen “Autumn” as the theme for his first solo exhibition in Prague. Whereas “Summer” is a season of opening, when all is in bloom, the sun is shining, the weather is warm and nature is at its very peak of activity, “Autumn” is the time of harvest, gathering grapes for wine, vibrantly coloured yet dying leaves, saying goodbye, rapidly passing melancholy, standing still. This exhibition does not primarily focus on these areas, however. Painter René Wirths is concerned about the subject and the view of this subject. This corresponds to the painter’s nature to point out exactly what’s what – whether a bouquet of flowers, a bread roll or an apple. For this reason, more or less regular, everyday objects are presented in their individual entirety before the person viewing the works. An apple. A bread basket. A roll. Flowers. An athletic shoe. A butterfly. A skull. The fact that these pictures subsequently extend beyond the actual depiction of the object means that they may be viewed as having not only one, but several meanings, thus telling the narrative of “Autumn”, which the viewer can find at this exhibition. What makes René Wirths’ art so special? Let’s first take a look at the artist’s working method. He applies the paint with a brush directly to the canvas without using any other tools – no photographs, negatives or any other media. Wirths is no traditionalist and has nothing against new media or modern technology. His artistic interest, however, clearly favours the world around him. And as a rule, this world is composed of the objects one encounters on a daily basis. “It’s patently clear to see the world and what’s around me as an inspiration. These things open the world for me. I often walk the world looking for a good motif that I’d depict. But many factors play a role in this…” With precise painting technique, these objects are painted in fine detail on a white canvas. While the size of the canvas does depend on the size of the object, it is always several times larger than the object itself. As a result, the painting acts as a metaphor for the actual object. When asked about artists who may have served as an example for his work, Wirths says: “Of course Gerhard Richter inspired our generation, but Franz Gertsch is much closer to me than Richter. If find the calm, the stoic calm in which he presents his art, simply superb. I’ve also always held Magritte in high regard. In terms of art history, I fall under the tradition of New Objectivity, so going back a bit further I’d say Dürer. Northern, then – definitely not Italian!” In nearly all the pictures – sometimes more, sometimes less hidden – the reflection of the window in the studio is also included because the artist solely uses the original object as the model for his work. This phenomenon recalls the Dutch and Flemish still life paintings of the 17th century, in which not only light,
but also the surrounding room is reflected in a glass of wine. In Wirths’ case there are minimal references
to the world surrounding the painting, which otherwise completely shuts out the outside world. There is
no surrounding space that may offer any direction; there is only the white canvas. The neutral space on
the painting is defined only by the object and is open to being viewed three dimensionally. The Autumn exhibition presents us with objects that remind us of the fleeting nature of life. Especially notable is the animal skull, a memento mori from the 17th century. The butterfly, or more of a moth in this case, is a symbol of death and transience. The dried flowers and torn woven basket also adapt to the context of the exhibition. The apple, bread roll and athletic shoe may be beautiful connotations for the autumn season, the cool weather outdoors and the warmth indoors. In spite of this it would be hard to find a melancholic or coloured work that would give us the sense of or preference for this time of year. All of the paintings may also be viewed absolutely differently and individually. This is up to the person viewing the works, their perception
and openness. René Wirths was born in Waldbröl, Germany, in 1967. He has exhibited in Germany, France, Switzerland
and the Netherlands, including the Kunsthalle in Rotterdam. He has lived and worked in Berlin since 1970.

Erika Költzsch, Zurich