“His work broad¬ened mental horizons and enriched the perception of those who encountered it, because it was a proposal for emancipation. By providing a beautiful and meditative response to the specific situations he was addressing,21 Theis managed to create new places full of promise without ever relying on spec¬tacular effects. The color white, which he used as a tool to free the eyes and elevate the mind, was a philosophy of life. I am sure Vincent van Gogh would have understood.”—Enrico Lunghi
The work of Luxembourg artist Bert Theis (1952–2016), at once poetic and politically engaged, conceptual and sensitive, personal and collective, evolved from a reflection on the role that art can play in society. Its most prominent manifestations were “platforms” and “pavilions” in various cities across Europe and Asia that visitors, passersby, and locals were encouraged to use for moments of rest, contemplation, exchange, or action—spaces where the idea of a “concrete utopia” took shape. Theis was also one of the main protagonists of the Isola Art Center in Milan, a collective and transversal platform for debate and activism around issues of urban redevelopment, which he cofounded in 2001. Accompanying the first retrospective exhibition of the artist at Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, this monographic publication surveys his entire career.