Tobias Donat / Schönes Neues Wohnen
March 19 – April 30, 2016
Schönes Neues Wohnen inhabits the interior and exterior of Full Haus, as well as the
gallerists’ cars, parked nearby. The exhibition’s name is inspired by a line of paints from
Alpina, a German paint manufacturer. The company’s promotional booklet organizes its
household paints into “color recipes.” Whether for food or for color, recipes provide the
democratizing promise that a person need not have prior specialized knowledge in order
to make something. Recipes are the antecedent of maker culture.
The promise of “Beautiful New Living” feels appropriate for this building, which is at once
an embodiment of the aspirations for egalitarian, communal living, and at the same time
a fashionable, expensive testament to the eventual failures of that egalitarianism. Tobias
Donat’s gestures—a mural, a phrase, a carpet, a slogan—resist commentary or cynicism
about these contradictions, instead offering everyday materials and design choices as a
way to ask: how do we live?