* 1960 in Ebingen, DE
lives and works in Stuttgart
Thomas Ruppel could be called a color-field painter. He relies on the physical power of color as well as on its psychological effect. In his oil paintings, he explores within a composition of horizontal stripes the effect of colors on one another and on the viewer. In an arduous process, subtle changes of individual color nuances produce highly differentiated relationships among the colors. His works are quick to evoke associations with landscapes, with horizon lines that simultaneously separate and connect.
These horizons or dividing lines between the color fields turn out to be a distinctive feature of Thomas Ruppel’s painting. From a distance, the color fields seem to be sharply contrasted, with a peculiar shimmering in the transitions. On closer inspection, however it becomes clear that this dividing line does really existing. Like sfumato in Renaissance painting, one color gradually transitions into another. The wafer-thin interim hues that occur on this color threshold thus combine the seemingly separated fields into an atmospheric whole, supported by the velvety soft gleam alkyd resin mixed into oil paint.
In his most recent paintings Ruppel has moved away from strictly horizontal composition and dedicated himself to the painting within a painting, in a sense. The “passe-partout” and the surface of the painting form a composition of two delicate shades of color that barely contrast and once again begin to shimmer before our eyes at the dividing line. Technically perfect. Optically vexing. Artistically extremely fascinating.