Thomas Zipp / Sources of Variability in Magnitude Estimates

Oct 30 – Dec 13, 2014

Sommer Contemporary Art is pleased to present the third solo-exhibition of German artist Thomas Zipp, Sources of variability in magnitude estimates.


Closed institutions, psychiatric hospitals, monasteries and boarding schools, electrotherapy and anxiety, are used as raw materials by Zipp, whose installations confronting cultural and social conventions. The main themes in Zipp’s practice rely on information from the religious world, history, science and medicine, all colliding with values related to traditions in art. By questioning the borderline between common sense and insanity he asks to investigate the dark side of humanity, using various materials and mixed media, and combining scientific approach with Dadaistic principles. Black & white photos that contain delicate drawings next to large scale dark paintings, chaotic performances and ready-made objects, appear as a backstage theater set, seem as a moment between static to functional.








Zipp wishes to create unrestrained and random space, taken from restricted and castrated world. With a principal component of combining opposing values – good vs. evil, God vs. Satan, physicality vs. spirituality, Zipp wishes to create a unique experience by suspending the tension of the viewer’s impression.


The exhibition’s title is taken from an article published in 1974 by D.M. Green, W. Jesteadt and R.D. Luce. The article summarizes the comparison between two scientific experiments that deal with magnitude estimates and refer to a method confronting individuals with a variety of stimulations; the article examines the way these individuals react to it.


For the opening night of this current exhibition, Zipp and 10 other participants performed as a marching band, assembled from the installation’s elements such as the outfits, masks and instruments, and changing its static condition to dynamic by marching out of the gallery into the boulevard.


Thomas Zipp (b. 1966), lives and works in Berlin. He is one of the most prominent artists that work in Europe today. He participated in numerous solo shows, including: Tate Modern London; PS1 Center for Contemporary Art, New York and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.