Floorplan for "Platino. Interlacements and Centrifugal Forces", Platino, 2012
Platino, Extern 83, 1989/99, Courtesy: Platino
Platino, Extern 90.1, 1994/1999, Courtesy: Platino
Platino, Extern 110.1, 1997/2001, Courtesy: Platino
Platino, Extern 129.1, 1988/2011, Courtesy: Platino
Platino, Extern 130.2, 1988/2011, Courtesy: Platino
Platino, Extern 160.1, 1988/2012, Courtesy: Platino
Platino, External 54, 1991
Platino, Extern 56.3, 1990/2011, Courtesy: Platino
Platino, Extern 73.1, 1997, Courtesy: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Graphische Sammlung
Exhibition view, Platino. In Touch, Städtische Galerie Ostfildern im Stadthaus, 2011
Exhibition view, Platino. Nahdistanzen, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, 2000

Platino: Interlacements and Centrifugal Forces


The question is not who will patronize the arts, but what forms are possible in which artists will have control of their own means of expression, in such ways that they will have relation to a community rather than to a market or a patron.
- Raymond Williams

Red Space 1

In 1979 Platino started designing his first Space, the Red Space 1, in his abode at Olgastraße in Stuttgart. Over the following seven years, he turned this place into a private/public space for living, working, and exhibiting, while continually transforming it in the process. The project involved successively coloring all elements of this space in tones of red—walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, et cetera—as well as the everyday items found there, which were reduced to the essentials. A publicly accessible room took form, where perception and orientation are aggravated to a significant degree. During these seven years, the situation as a whole was shifted through interventions again and again. For example, objects created by Platino were added—situated between form and formlessness, utilitarian and impractical, art and non-art.

Space 2 and Space 3
In 1985, Platino took up work on Red Space 2 at a different location in Stuttgart. The project was financed by the Initiative Red Space 2, a kind of crowd-funding effort avant la lettre that made possible the opening of the new rooms, the transfer of the old Space into the new one, and the basic funding of the first more extensive production of the so-called Externs, the photographic interpretations of the Spaces. The new rooms were occupied until 2003, though as of 1991 only under the designation of Space 2, since it was then that Platino expanded his spatial repertoire to include colors other than red. Then, in 2003, he started working solely in and on Space 3.

Space 2 and Space 3 have essentially followed the open processes—equally systematic and intuitive—of exposing and newly configuring spatial structures. Building features like doors and walls, veneers covering pipes, cable trunking, and other supply components were removed in the process. The elements discovered underneath were newly covered in that, for example, open piping was swathed in multiple layers of textiles, glues, priming coats, and paint. This approach served the ends of both aesthetic reinterpretation and structure-related thermal insulation.

Apparent here is a steady, likewise archaeological and anatomical process of extricating, accentuating, safeguarding, and sealing what is encountered, as well as scrapping and reworking. Space 2 and Space 3 are circular, more so than Red Space 1, having been designed as loops of an interminable process of reformulation.

Platino’s Spaces may be understood as paintings that have been radically divested of their boundaries, ones that literally burst open the temporal and physical frame of the image. And just as literally, the beholders find themselves in the image here, moving through this image, which is a space of agency in both private and public life: a fabric in which artwork, studio, gallery, and living space overlap—but also art and non-art, order and contingency.

In their performativity and transience, the Spaces defy the conventions typical of museums and thus also exploitation through the art market—especially during the booming nineteen-eighties. But they also defy the standardized housing concepts that arose on a grand scale during the boom of new-building erection, likewise in the eighties. The Spaces are directed against the ideal of clinical purity as characterized by the White Cube, but also by modernist living units.

Platino’s Spaces are tied to the place of their creation, for they are places of perpetual coming-into-being. As of 1982 the artist started developing a method for translating the Spaces into the format of photography: the so-called Externs. These works are photographs that show strongly fragmented perspectives, bird’s- or worm’s-eye views, or lateral prospects of the Spaces. The monochromatic Externs, which in terms of core theme originate from Red Space 1, usually do not reveal spatial elements until the second glance, as if one’s eyes must first grow accustomed to the excessive redness. On the whole, the Externs are distinguished by a strong planarity, one that, however, simultaneously seems in danger of tipping into three-dimensional and sculptural extensity—and vice versa. The fragmented spatial views function not as pars pro toto, for this would reference an imaginary whole; instead, they irrevocably lead away from the Spaces.

In the framework of exhibitions, the Externs are arranged according to certain criteria, which may include the existing spatial situation or dialogic and also conflicting considerations: at times the photographs hang in varying rhythms on the wall, while at other times they are only leaning against the wall, or they may be resting on the floor, placed along transitions between the rooms, or even hidden behind banisters. What is more, this arrangement of photographic works is supplemented by monochrome paintings or murals, which foster a connective air or, alternately, incorporate fractures in the entire setting. By contrast, the Externs were placed in dialogue with (while also embodying a disturbing factor for) the permanent collection of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, where a solo exhibition of Platino’s work was presented in 2000.

Since the Externs—all of which are Cibachrome prints behind acrylic glass—demonstrate highly reflective surfaces, the beholders and their spatial surroundings are, without fail, mirrored by each picture. As in the Spaces, they literally enter the picture—or, more specifically, into an interstitial space where pictorial space and mirrored space become superimposed. It is almost as if one were walking through the mirror like Alice in Wonderland.

The Externs, which externalize fragments and moments from the Spaces, are woven into ever new and only ever temporary fabrics with each exhibition. Between the “original” and “externalized” on-site location, as well as from the external to the external place a constant process of de- and re-contextualization—or de- and re-territorialization—is put into motion.


Platino, 1948 born in Öhringen, DE
1967–1969 Studies of philosophy, Universität Tübingen
1970–1976 Studies of painting and sculpture, Staatliche Akademie der Schönen Künste, Stuttgart
1979–1986 lives and works at / on RED SPACE 1, Stuttgart
1980–1982 Color-spaces in private and public buildings
1982 First EXTERNs
1984 Visitors of the RED SPACE 1 form the initiative RED SPACE 2 to support the work
1985 First solo exhibition of EXTERNs, ARCO Madrid, Galerie Mayer & Mayer, Stuttgart
1986–2003 lives and works at / on RED SPACE 2, Stuttgart
since 1989 Installations of EXTERNs in exhibition contexts
since 1994 Color interventions and wall paintings in public and private buildings
since 2003 lives and works at / on SPACE 3, Stuttgart
since 2004 EXTERNs from SPACE 3
2007–2009 Color design of train station in Horgen, CH

Solo exhibitions (selection)

Extern at Villa Arson, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Nice [Catalogue]
Platino, Zuger Kunstgesellschaft, Kunsthaus Zug [Catalogue]
Platino, Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster [Catalogue]
Platino Nahdistanzen, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart [Catalogue]
Externs: Photographs by Platino, Goethe-Institut New York
Platino: Inside Up. Raum / Malerei, Sammlung Domnick, Nürtingen [Catalogue]
Platino … aus dem Raum für den Raum, Malerwerkstätten Heinrich Schmid GmbH & Co.KG, Schloß Monrepos, Ludwigsburg [Catalogue]
Platino: Au-Delà, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut, Essen
Platino: Y, Zeppelin Museum und Kunstverein Friedrichshafen [Catalogue]
Platino: In Touch, Städtische Galerie Ostfildern im Stadthaus
Platino, Galerie der Stadt Tuttlingen [Catalogue]

Group exhibitions (selection)
Variations of Art World Hype II: The Artist/Family, Felluss Gallery, Washington D.C.
Junge Kunst aus Westdeutschland '81, Galerie Max Ulrich Hetzler, Stuttgart [Catalogue]
Le magasin l’école l’exposition, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble [Catalogue]
Photo. Kunst. Arbeiten aus 150 Jahren, Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart [Catalogue]
Skulpturen, Fragmente: Internationale Fotoarbeiten der 90er Jahre, Wiener Sezession [Catalogue]
Carambolage: Biennale der Partnerregionen I, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden [Catalogue]
Kunst um Kunst, Kunsthalle Bielefeld [Catalogue]
Das Abenteuer der Malerei, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf [Catalogue]
2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle: L’hypothèse du tableau volé, MAMCO, Geneva
Photographie: Ready, Mate, Kunstverein Arnsberg
Wollust: The presence of absence, Columbus Art Foundation, Leipzig
CELLA: Strukturen der Ausgrenzung und Disziplinierung, Complesso Monumentale di San Michele a Ripa, Ex Casa di Correzione di Carlo Fontana, Rom
CRACKED. WHITE. OPEN, Galerie Jochen Hempel, Berlin

Schlossplatz 2
D-70173 Stuttgart
Fon: +49 (0)711 - 22 33 70
Fax: +49 (0)711-22 33 791
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart