The artist activist Bert Theis has died at the age of 64. Theis, who was based between Berlin and Milan, had been a proponent of urban welfare for the last 20 years – his work often engaging with themes of ecological policies, urbanisation and gentrification. His most recent solo exhibition Aggloville (2015) was held at Parco Arte Vivente, Turin, and included maquettes, projects, videos and digital prints on canvas. Theis was mostly known for his large site-specific urban installations in densely populated areas based on public platforms and pavilions in parks. For more than a decade he worked with Isola Art Centre, founded Office for Urban Transformation (both in Milan), and organised and directed long-term projects looking into the ‘conflict opposing the inhabitants of the Isola district, Milan city government and an American multinational company.’ His works have been featured at various international biennials including Venice Biennale (1995), Manifesta 2, Gwangju Biennial (2002), Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997) and the Taipei Biennial (2008). The news of his death was confirmed over social media by Turkish curator Vasif Kortun.
16 September 2016