Skip to content
1

MATTHIAS CONTZEN
 

ABOUT ME 

The main Inspiration and Motivation of my work as a sculptor, is the deep desire to disentangle the true nature of Form. Where does Form comes from and why does it mysteriously manifest in a certain way, following a sacred, hidden pattern, tangible in the whole UNIVERSE, both in micro and macro structures of all the elements? That is the core question, propelling my livelong artistic research.

At the beginning of my career I was very much inspired by both, nature itself and other artists inspired by nature, like Henry Moore, Max Ernst and Jean Arp. I was also fascinated by the approach used by Ernst and Arp, which is called the Free Association: By clearing the mind and looking at the chaos in a contemplative way, one is enabled to get a glimpse of the essence or “truth” beyond reality and translate it intuitively into an inspired artwork, avoiding the ratio and the planning of the mind, which could lead to “artificial” results. The theory of Plato’s Universe of Ideas says, that beyond our World of illusion, imperfection, impurities and changes, which is our material World, there is a real world of forms, were Perfection, Beauty and Truth always existed and eternally will exist as a concept. I see it as my artistic challenge to approach these eternal Qualities as much as possible and transcribe them into matter. Some 30 years ago, I first heard about the concept, that form follows Sound and Frequencies, in Joachim E. Berendt s Book “The World is Sound”. I was very impressed by his Theory, which explains, that any Form on Earth is created by sound and also that all the planets in our solar system are tuned, following the exact frequency and proportions of the 7 tones in our Music Scale.

The reasons I started with the planet series six years ago were the following:
In the first place I was tired of having a square block as a starting point to sculpture and secondly I discovered the work of Ernst Hackel about the Art Forms of the ocean, especially the Diatoms. With their exquisitely beautiful silica shells Diatoms are among the most fascinating and inspiring microfossils/ microstructures. Some rocks are formed almost entirely of fossil diatoms and curiously, not only symbolically, become my raw material to work on. As I started with the Planets and the other sculptures, using the diamond hollow drill as a main sculpting tool, my sculptures became much lighter, more transparent, and each time more intuitive. The working process is now less planned and more like an improvisation of a musician. It is also more fun. My goal now is trying to transform consciousness directly into matter. I imagine the planet sculptures as a frozen 3D Image of the Universe, microseconds after its own creation (Big Bang), driven by the force of sound. I imagine the materialization of the eternal sacred pattern, the so-called cosmic conciseness, into matter and form. “Emptiness is Form. Form is emptiness.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Matthias Contzen (b. 1964, Aschaffenburg, Germany).

Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.

Based in Portugal since 1998, Matthias Contzen is a multimedia artist who employs marble, sound and light as material. His work is represented in several continents, in both private and public collections, in New York, Germany, France, Luxemburg, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, England, China, Switzerland and India. In 2009, Contzen founded SCULPTURE.FACTORY, a multipurpose center that serves as workshop and art gallery located in Sintra, of which he is artistic director. Contzen is represented by Loo & Lou Gallery and Galerie Dutko, both in Paris, Callan Contemporary, in New Orleans LA, USA and São Mamede Gallery, in Lisbon.

EDUCATION

1998      MA in Stone Sculpture from Mayen/Koblenz Academy, Germany
1995      Object Design Arts and Crafts Guild, Saar College of Fine Arts, Saarbrucken, Germany
1991      Sculpture Apprenticeship Course, Chamber of Handicrafts, Munich, Germany
1987      BA in Sculpture, European Academy of Fine Art Trier, Germany

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2015      Universe, Galerie Lou & Loo—Haut Marais, Paris, France
              For You—Mandala, Galerie Loo & Lou—Georges V, Paris
2014      Planet, Nuit Blanche of Paris (October 4th) Commissioned by Lou & Loo Foundation, Luxembourg
2013      In Beauty We Trust, SCULPTURE.FACTORY, Sintra, Portugal
2012      My Pocket Universe, Cidadela Art District, Cascais, Portugal
2010      Berliner Liste, International Contemporary Art Fair, Berlin, Germany
2009      Além do Real, Galeria São Mamede, Lisbon, Portugal
2006      Retrospectiva, Museu da Pedra, Cantanhede, Portugal
​              Objectos de Memória, São Mamede Gallery, Lisbon
2005      Recent Works, Galeria Municipal Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal
2001      Evoluções, Galeria Art Konstant, Lisbon
​              Contzentração, Cascais Culture Centre, Cascais
2000      Recent Works, Bank of Portugal, Lisbon
1999      Pedra Viva, Fábrica das Artes, Torres Vedras, Portugal

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2019      XIIth Triennale-India, New Delhi
2018      Inaugural Exhibition, Town Museum, Cascais
​              Paris Art Fair, Grand Pallais Paris. In partnership with Loo & Lou Gallery
​              PAD, Paris Art and Design Fair, Paris. In partnership with Gallery Dutko
​              Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London. In partnership with Gallery Dutko
2017      Scope Art Fair, Callan Contemporary, Miami, USA
2016      Scope Art Fair, Callan Contemporary, Miami, USA
​              BRAFA Art Fair, Galerie Dutko, Brussels, Belgium
2015      BRAFA Art Fair, Galerie Dutko
​              Ombres & Lumières, Galerie Dutko Bonaparte, Paris
2014      Infiniment Art, Galerie Dutko Bonaparte, Paris
​              The Essence of Human Being, Batalha Monastery, Batalha, Portugal
​              Art Breda, Continuum Gallery, Breda, The Netherlands
2013      Uttarayan Art Foundation II International Sculpture Symposium, Boroda, India
​              Art.Fair Cologne, Continuum Gallery, Köln, Germany
​              In the Heat of the Night, Continuum Gallery, Königswinter, Germany
2012      Reloaded, Sculpture.Factory, Sintra
​              Escultura de Matthias Contzen, Rui Matos e Vitor Ribeiro, Galeria São Mamede, Lisbon
​              Colectiva de Escultura, Centro Cultural São Lourenço, Almancil, Portugal
2011      Welcome to my Soul, Art|Form, Estoril, Portugal
​              1st International Sculpture Exposition, Sculpture.Factory, Sintra
2010      Artelisboa 10, Galeria São Mamede, Lisbon
​              Colectiva de Verão, Centro Cultural São Lourenço, Almancil
​              Escultura de Ar Livre’10, Amadora, Portugal
​              Sculpture Exposition, Continuum Gallery, Königswinter
2009      ARTEMAR 2009, Denis Oppenheim International Public Sculpture Award, Estoril
​              ArteLivre (public art exhibition), Town Library, Amadora, Portugal
2008      ARTEMAR 2008, International Sculpture Exhibition, Estoril
​              Exposição Colectiva, Galeria São Mamede, Porto
​              Escultura Livre, Loures City Museum, Loures, Portugal
​              Acervo, works from the Centro Cultural São Lourenço Collection, Almancil
2007      Exposição Colectiva, Galeria São Mamede, Porto and Lisbon
​              ARTE LISBOA International Contemporary Art Fair, Centro de Congressos de Lisboa, Lisbon
​              VI Prémio Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Amarante, Portugal
2007      III EMAAR International Sculpture Symposium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
​              II International Sculpture Symposium, Paço de Mariña, La Coruña, Spain
2006      ARTE LISBOA International Contemporary Art Fair, Lisbon
​              Lapidea VIII, International Sculpture Symposium, Mayen, Germany
2005      I International Stone Sculpture Symposium Ontario, Toronto, Canada
2004      IV Simpósio Internacional de Escultura, Museu da Pedra de Cantanhede, Portugal
​              SINEP 2004, Câmara de Lobos, Funchal, Portugal
2003      II Simpósio Internacional de Escultura, Sernancelhe, Portugal
2002      II Encontro de Escultura em Pedra, Mafra, Portugal
2001      I Simpósio de Escultura, S. João da Madeira, Portugal
1999      I Simpósio Internacional de Escultura, Cantanhede 
​              I Simpósio Internacional de Escultura, Viseu, Portugal
2005      ArteEstoril, Seteais Palace, Sintra, Portugal
​              Made in Portugal, Groeneveld Sculpture Park, Almelo, Nehterlands
​              V Prémio Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Amarante
2004      Objectos de Memória, Galeria São Mamede, Lisbon
​              International Sculpture Exhibition, Echo Research Institute, Toronto, Canada
​              Exposição Colectiva, Galeria Domus Varius, Lisbon
​              ArteEstoril, Galeria São Mamede, Lisbon
​              Colectiva de Escultura, Casa da Cultura, Funchal
​              Recent Works by International Artists, Valley Art Gallery, Toronto
2003      Toyamura International Sculpture Biennale, Hokkaido, Japan
​              IV Prémio Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Amarante
​              III Prémio de Escultura City Desk, Cascais
​              ArteEstoril, Centro de Congressos, Estoril
​              Sculpture Park, ISCAC, Coimbra
​              Exposição Colectiva, Galeria Valbon, Lisbon
​              Colectiva de Escultura, Galeria São Mamede, Lisbon
​              Porto Arte, EXPONOR, Porto
​              Sintra Arte Pública II, Sintra, Portugal
2002      O Voo das Pedras, Domus Varius Gallery, Lisbon
​              II Sculpture Award “City Desk”, Cascais Culture Centre
​              Colectiva de Escultura, Espaço Ilimitado Gallery, Porto
​              Sintra Arte Pública I, Sintra
​              Colectiva de Artistas, International Sculpture Centre, Sintra
2001      Maus-Hábitos Inaugural Show, Maus-Hábitos Gallery, Porto
​              Di-Visões, Espaço T Gallery, Porto 2001 Capital Europeia da Cultura, Porto
​              Arte Santander, Santander, Spain
​              Colectiva de Escultura, Fábrica das Artes, Torres Vedras, Portugal
2000      Erótica 2000, Fábrica das Artes, Torres Vedras
​              ArtHouse, Temporary Gallery, Cascais
​              1st Sculpture Exhibition, Casa da Guia, Cascais
​              Sculpture Works, Amadora-Sintra Hospital, Amadora, Portugal
1999      Raquel Prates Gallery, Cascais
1987      Graduation Show, European Academy of Fine Art Trier, Germany

PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS
2016      “Light of Humanity,” Changsha University, Changsha, China
2013      “Match Box Universe,” Uttarayan Art Foundation, Boroda, India

AWARDS
2014      1st Sculpture Award, VIII VERA World Fine Art Festival, Lisbon, Portugal
2008      Acquisition Award, ARTEMAR ESTORIL, International Sculpture Exhibition, Portugal
2007      Nomination, VI Prémio Amadeo de Sousa Cardoso, Portugal
2006      Lapidea VIII, International Sculpture Symposium, Germany
2005      Nomination, V Prémio Amadeo de Sousa Cardoso, Portugal
2003      Nomination, Toyamura International Sculpture Biennial, Japan
​              Nomination, IV Prémio Amadeo de Sousa Cardoso, Portugal
2002      1st Sculpture Award, II Sculpture Award City Desk, Portugal
1995      3rd Object Design Award, International Design Competition “Cultures & Matiéres”, Sarrbruecken, Germany and Nancy, France

COMISSIONS
2016      Light of Humanity, Changsha Sculpture Park, Changsha, China
2007      III EMAAR International Sculpture Symposium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
​              II International Sculpture Symposium, Paço de Mariña, La Coruña, Spain
2006      ArteLisboa International Contemporary Art Fair, Lisbon, Portugal
2005      I International Stone Sculpture Symposium Ontario, Toronto, Canada
2004      IV Simpósio Internacional de Escultura de Cantanhede
​              SINEP 2004, Ilha da Madeira
2003      II Simpósio Internacional de Escultura de Sernancelhe
2002      II Encontro de Escultura em Pedra, Mafra
2001      I Simpósio de Escultura de S. João da Madeira
1999      I Simpósio Internacional de Escultura de Cantanhede
​              I Simpósio Internacional de Escultura de Viseu

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Changsha Sculpture Park, Changsha, China
Hurun Report, Shanghai, China
Echo Research Institute, Toronto, Canada
Burj Khalifa, Emaar Art Projects, Dubai, United Emirates
Uttarayan Art Foundation, Baroda, India
La Corunha Royal Palace, La Corunha, Spain
Lapidea Sculpture Park, Mayen, Germany
Volksbank Rhein Ahr Eifel, Mayen
Banco de Portugal, Lisbon
Fundação António Prates, Lisbon
Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Lisbon
Amadora-Sintra Hospital, Lisbon
Vila de Cascais, Cascais
Farol Design Hotel, Cascais
Centro Cultural de Cascais, Cascais
Fundação Dom Luís I, Cascais
Estoril Congress Centre, Estoril
Quinta do Pomar, Funchal, Madeira
Câmara Municipal de Câmara de Lobos, Madeira
Museu da Pedra, Cantanhede, Portugal
Oliveira de Frades, Portugal
Hilton Vilamoura, Vilamoura, Portugal

Back To Top