André Thomkins

Hauser & Wirth London | Savile Row

André Thomkins must have been one of those on whom nothing is lost. The origin of the technique he used to make his “Lackskins,” which he began in the mid-1950s, can be ascribed to chance or to observation as you please: While painting a crib for his child, he noticed that the enamel he’d washed off his brush formed a thin, cohesive skin on top of the water; he liked the look of it, and realized that if he could slide a sheet of paper under the floating paint and then lift it, he’d be able to skim off and preserve the colorful shape.

Thomkins, a Swiss artist who lived much of his life in Germany, was only fifty-five years old when he died in Berlin in 1985; he was at heart less a painter than a sculptor, draftsman, and conceptualist, and he often collaborated with other artists, including George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Dieter Roth, and Daniel Spoerri. Among the most charming of his extremely

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