Spotlight: How Seagulls Inspired a New Show of German Artist Pius Fox’s Work in Cologne

"The Seagull Constellation" is Fox's second solo show with Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne.

Installation view of "Pius Fox: The Seagull Constellation" (2023). Photo: Luisa Stricker. Courtesy of Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne.

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What You Need to Know: Opening this Friday, September 1, Galerie Christian Lethert in Cologne is presenting German artist Pius Fox’s solo exhibition “The Seagull Constellation.” The artist’s second solo show with the gallery features a materially diverse collection of recent work, including paintings on canvas, wood, and aluminum, as well as works on paper, photographs, and glass. Traversing the realms of both abstraction and figuration, the collection of works illustrates the artist’s creative line of inquiry and inspiration—from the sounds of herring gulls calling outside his studio in Berlin (despite being far from any coastline) to the Seagull Nebula constellation that hangs high up in the night sky. Fox’s experimentation with scale and proximity further highlights his wide-ranging artistic endeavors; the installation of works in the show sees small-format works hung variously together and alone, evoking the idea of stars and constellations.

Pius Fox. Photo: Gabriel Braun. Courtesy of Galerie Christian Lethert.

About the Artist: Originally from and currently based in Berlin, multidisciplinary artist Pius Fox (b. 1983) has a practice recognized for its simultaneously experimental yet art historically grounded work. Fox graduated from the Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK) at both the undergraduate and graduate level, studying under Frank Badur and Pia Fries respectively. Focusing on the core tenets of visual art, such as composition, color, and medium—even trialing rarer, historical materials such as egg tempera—Fox continually toes the line between figurative and abstract, monochrome and polychrome, historical and avant-garde.

With influences traceable to such modern movements as Minimalism, Surrealism, and geometric abstraction, Fox’s work nevertheless remains unique from them. The artist has had numerous solo shows across Europe as well as shows in New York and Tokyo, with the present exhibition at Galerie Christian Lethert his sophomore outing with the gallery.

Why We Like It: Pius Fox’s artistic trajectory is refreshingly boundary-less. Moving between mediums and ideas, Fox’s work brings viewers on a creative journey that offers new perspectives on reality, experiences, and internal worlds. Using the humble seagull as a thematic touchstone, the artist’s work becomes itself an interconnected constellation of ideas made visual. This is expounded upon in the installation of the show, which sees works hung in a variety of constellation-like arrangements, offering further opportunity to reflect on the ways juxtaposition and viewpoint can affect our own understanding both of the work and of the world around us. “The Seagull Constellation” on the whole also emphasizes the artist’s preoccupation with the formal elements of art making, with his particular use of line, shape, and color acting both as a foundation for and extension of the ideas he explores in his work.

See inside the exhibition below.—

Installation view of “Pius Fox: The Seagull Constellation” (2023). Photo: Luisa Stricker. Courtesy of Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne.

Installation view of “Pius Fox: The Seagull Constellation” (2023). Photo: Luisa Stricker. Courtesy of Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne.

Pius Fox, Flirt with the Sea (2023). Photo: Luisa Stricker. Courtesy of Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne.

Pius Fox: The Seagull Constellation” is on view at Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne, September 1–October 21, 2023.


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