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  • Provenance

    Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    Anselm Reyle’s artistic output encompasses many different media, including ready-made and original cast sculptures, colourful neon light installations and glossy mixed-media paintings. A common theme running through his work is commodification and, just as the modernists of the early and mid-20th century addressed this subject in relation to contemporary society, Reyle does likewise in his own time. Conveyed through bright, garish and shiny surfaces, his artwork fully embraces formalism and abstraction, recycling such a dialogue through a new pictorial language.
     
    Reyle’s studio factory employs 25 staff that produce up to 150 works a year. Such a high volume of paintings immediately commodifies the artwork but his meticulously high quality standards are an answer to the art industry’s demand for high-end art such as Reyle’s. His re-contextualisation of the techniques of abstraction (dripping, pouring and staining, for example) developed during the 1950s and 1960s has liberated ‘abstract’ art, setting up a new exchange of formal dialogue between cranked-up colours and distorted reflections. Opposing contemporary ‘good’ taste, Reyle’s work has often been criticized for being excessively decorative, but this is something that he has exploited in further response to the idiom of abstraction.
     
    Referencing the Africanism of Brancusi yet dramatically more fetishized in a bright purple and reflective chrome finish, this sculpture adopts a well known motif that has become something of a modernist art cliché and reworks it with new meaning and context. This is kitsch at its most intense, re-addressing modernism from a more exotic and extravagant perspective. The glossy chrome finish and gestural shape of this sculpture contextualises the art historical values of Pop Art and Primitivism within the language of contemporary visual culture.
     
    “I like the idea of clichés. To me it means that people found common sense in a certain matter. So I see it as an inspiration, and not negative.” (The artist, in an interview with Alexander Tovborg, during the exhibition, Anselm Reyle: Valley of the Snake Ladies, Andersen’s Contemporary, Copenhagen, 27 May – 24 June 2006)
     
    “Surface and colours refer to things we relate to. I like the idea that kids as well as people who have nothing to do with art can also find their own access to my work. It’s as simple as standing and waiting to cross the road, when a truck drives by and you’re fascinated by the appearance of the hood. It’s easy.” (The artist, interview as above)

Berlin Zeitgeist! A selection from the Adam Lindemann collection of contemporary German art

27

Untitled

2006
Bronze, chrome enamel varnish and veneered makassa wood plinth.
Overall: 165.1 x 52.1 x 50.2 cm (65 x 20 1/2 x 19 3/4 in).
This work is unique from a series of 8 differently coloured works. There are also two artist's proofs.

Estimate
£100,000 - 150,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £115,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

13 October 2010
London