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Ruben Brückel
Ruben Brückel, Trainyard no.2, 2020, tempera, oil paint, spray paint on canvas, 50x40cm
Ruben Brückel, Trainyard no.2, 2020, tempera, oil paint, spray paint on canvas, 50x40cm
Ruben Brückel

In the group show Ruben Brückel gives insight into his current work.

His pictorial spaces, created with tempera, oil and spray paint, seem at first glance, to be like abstract compositions of blue, read, purple or mint coloured, matt or shimmering colour surfaces, partially geometrical, partially abstract forms and airily sprayed, squiggly lines. Only on closer inspection does it become apparent that they refer to the urban space and its architecture in many ways.

For quite some time now the artist has dealt with the phenomena of the urban space and its architecture intensively and transfers them into painting. By wandering around aimlessly the artist initially sets out on a search for traces in the urban exterior with its backyards, advertising spaces, weathered walls, scribbles, soiling and signs of decay. In his case it is not about finding a motif, but rather collecting impressions. In the studio these impressions flow into the then emerging works.

Thus, details of architecture, or rather, architectural fragments reappear in the imaginary pictorial spaces of Ruben Brückel again and again, for example in the work “Concrete Steps“, in which the steps of a staircase that appears as dark red in large parts are hinted at in the lower right-hand corner. In another work entitled “Loon Shelter“, a halfway completed layout of a room kept in turquoise can be seen in perspectival foreshortening.

Thereby, the colorfulness of the motifs, which unleash an entirely, unexpected aesthetic of their own, stands in contrast with the familiar concreteness that is so rarely found in architectural reality. The supposed abstraction of his paintings is primarily based on this break between motif and colour.

Nevertheless, Ruben Brückels works are able to convey memories and impressions of certain localities without, however, by depicting a concrete location or space. On the contrary: the artist completely foregoes any concrete reference to recognizable and localizable localities in his pictures, like Mainz or Frankfurt perhaps, which nonetheless serve as sheet for his imagination.

Other works to be seen in the exhibition are characterized by a more monochrome and reduced colour scheme with a partially relief-like structure, interrupted by coloured lines or streaks. Not without reason they bring to mind facades and walls, trains, train tracks or underground stations, that are marked by dirt and abrasion but also sprayed with graffiti. The frequent use of spray paint supports this impression and moreover bestows a certain volatility to the paintings. All things considered reference to urban space in these works is significantly more subtle and cautious. Instead, dealing with the effect of form and colour is paramount here.

Characteristic for his working method is that Ruben Brückel works the canvas with various techniques and painting utensils: He paints, scrapes, wipes and sprays. The often multi-layered, thick application of paint and the typical splattering effect of spray paint, as well as the sometimes more rich-in-contrast and intense, sometimes more subdued colourfulness, also create a spatial mood and partially atmospheric effect. The creation process of a painting, which can be very complex and at the beginning of which the outcome can be completely open, is always still the attempt to approach an inner image, an idea or memory of previously roamed urban spaces and their architectures.

Curriculum vitae

*1996 in Zürich, CH
lives and works in Mainz, DE


  • seit 2018 Freie Bildende Kunst, Kunsthochschule Mainz, Klasse für Malerei Prof. Winfried Virnich, DEE

  • 2016-2018 Bildende Kunst und Malerei/Grafik, Hochschule der Bildenden Künste (HBK) Essen (Prof. Nicola Stäglich und Prof. Stephan Paul Schneider), DE

Solo and Two-Person Shows


Group Shows (Selection)

2020 „Theresa Lawrenz, Ruben Brückel, Thomas Newman Pound“, Emde Gallery, Mainz, DE
2019 „Schwer verletzt auf dem Sofa“, Schloss Freudenberg, Wiesbaden, DE
„Not far from the Park“, Schloss Freudenberg, Wiesbaden, DE
2018 „Der Schein trügt“, Oststern, Frankfurt am Main, DE
„Auf Hoher See (s)“, Kraftwerk Schaffhausen, DE
2017 Clear Prospect, Toscana Halle, Berlin, DE
Selected Works

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