For close to 60 years, Galerie Thomas has played an important role as one of the leading galleries dealing with German Expressionist and Classic Modern Art. Another focus is on American and German Post-War art as well as contemporary art. Galerie Thomas has been committed to placing important works in collections, helping to establish a vital dialogue among artists, collectors and institutions internationally.
Raimund Thomas and Silke Thomas value
maintaining personal contact with clients through face to face
conversations - at the gallery, art fairs, or collectors' homes.
Clients appreciate not only the expertise and access to industry contacts, but even more so the commitment to confidentiality, quality and trust that defines the relationship.
Comprehensive art consultation is a matter of trust. By working with an extensive network of experts and services, Galerie Thomas offers clients expert guidance when it comes to buying and selling works of art.
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Raimund Thomas, born in Krefeld, opened his first gallery space on the third floor of Maximilianstrasse 25 in Munich in 1964. 26 years old at the time, his ambition was to create a space "for people who think outside the box", led by his core belief that a gallery should be a sales room as well as a space for conversation.
The gallery established itself as a premier space for Modern Art and is now one of the world's leading art dealerships in the fields of German Expressionism and Classic Modernism. Since 1996, Raimund Thomas co-manages the gallery with his daughter, the trained art historian Silke Thomas.
The gallery programme was centred on avant-garde art, with exhibitions of works by Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Josef Albers, Cy Twombly, Eduardo Chillida, but also Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Dieter Roth, Horst Antes and Gotthard Graubner.
Raimund Thomas also explored new avenues during this period: in 1967, Raimund and a small group of dealers founded the Kölner Kunstmarkt, the precursor of today's Art Cologne.
In the mid-1970s, Galerie Thomas shifted its focus to Classic Modernism and German Expressionism, with exhibitions of works by Max Pechstein, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff or Emil Nolde.
Landmark moments include the Oskar Schlemmer exhibition in 1975 as well as the 1978 exhibition of 100 works by Alexej von Jawlensky that had never been shown before.
In early 1981, Raimund Thomas purchased the collection 'Sammlung Rheingarten'. Referring to one of the most prizes and comprehensive collections of German Expressionist Art, including works by Max Beckmann, Heinrich Campendonk, Lovis Corinth, Adolf Erbslöh, Lyonel Feininger, George Grosz, Erich Heckel, Alexej von Jawlensky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Henry Moore, Otto Mueller, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. The marketing of this collection consolidated Thomas' reputation in the field of German Expressionism and Classic Modernism.
Another high-profile project was an exhibition with the main players of the New York graffiti scene in 1984. Raimund Thomas invited the New York graffiti artists Daze, Noc, Lady Pink, Toxic, Crash, Seen and Zephyr – as well as their frontman A-One to Munich. Outside the gallery on Maximilianstrasse and among some of the most coveted commercial real estate, a public spraying stunt took place.
A11 Art Forum was also founded in the 1980s. With more than 2000 square metres, it was conceived as a private art space and was opened in March 1987 with the exhibition 'Sammlung Thomas - Kunst aus den achtziger Jahren' ['The Thomas Collection - Art from the Eighties']. Numerous exhibitions followed ranging from the complete lithographic work of Pablo Picasso to the paintings of the Italian Transavanguardia movement (Enzo Cucchi, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Nicola de Maria, Mimmo Paladino). The group 'Neue Wilde' such as Rainer Fetting, Helmut Middendorf, Salomé, Bernd Zimmer, and others were represented alongside Rupprecht Geiger, Otto Piene, Victor Vasarely, as well as young artists from China. Joseph Beuys, who died in 1986, was honoured with an homage exhibition at the A11 Art Forum. Buchheim's watercolours 'Die Tropen von Feldafing' were also presented in the rooms in Adelgundenstrasse. For financial reasons, the A11 Art Forum was closed down in the summer of 1990.
Against the backdrop of the difficult economic situation and the collapse of the art market in 1989/1990, the exhibition programme recalibrated its focus to German Expressionism and Classic Modernism.
To mark the millennium, two exhibitions took a look back at 20th century Modernism - highlights in the exhibition 'Meisterwerke II' ['Masterpieces II'] and the themed exhibition 'Abstraktion nach 1945' ['Abstraction After 1945']. Other important exhibitions of that decade include presentations of colour painters such as Henri Matisse, Sam Francis or Ernst Wilhelm Nay. Moreover, there were themed exhibitions with sculptures by Joan Miró, William Turnbull, Markus Lüpertz, and others. More 'space-consuming' projects were also initiated by Galerie Thomas during these years, for instance the 2007 presentation of Fernando Botero's sensual monumental sculptures on the Berlin Museum Island. A high-profile Chaim Soutine exhibition was held in spring 2009. Another highly-praised solo exhibition at Galerie Thomas presented the sculptures of Alexander Archipenko in autumn that same year.
In 2009, Raimund Thomas and Silke Thomas decided to open a second gallery, focused on presenting established Contemporary Art. At Tuerkenstrasse 16, opposite to the Pinakothek der Moderne, Tuerkenturm and the Brandhorst Collection, new and larger rooms were rented. In October 2009, Galerie Thomas Modern opened, with works by Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer and Cy Twombly.
At Maximilianstrasse 25, leading artists such as Fernando Botero, Hans Arp, Eduardo Chillida, Max Beckmann and Pablo Picasso were presented from 2009 on. Importance was attached to juxtaposing artist personalities, as comparisons deepen the viewers' understanding. In 2010, the works of Alexander Calder and Joan Miró were shown side by side. In 2012, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Willem de Kooning followed, and in 2013, works by Edvard Munch and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner were shown alongside each other. In 2014, there was an homage to the artist group 'Die Blaue Vier' which was founded in 1924 by Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger and Alexej von Jawlensky.
In the year 2014, Galerie Thomas celebrated its 50th anniversary as well as the fifth anniversary of Galerie Thomas Modern. A retrospective exhibition in Maximilianstrasse 25 as well as Tuerkenstrasse 16 portrayed the history of the gallery, and a great celebration in early September completed the anniversary programme.
In 2015, the works of the Expressionists and of the proponents of Classic Modernism were transferred from Maximilianstrasse to the now well-established art quarter in Tuerkenstrasse. Since then, both core areas of the gallery's programme are united in the same space.