Anselm Reyle (1970, Tübingen, Germany).
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
“Originally I started to do gestural painting, but at the same time I was always interested in experimenting with different materials. For me, in both cases, coincidence plays an important role as well as the requirement to work with the unexpected. After my work had become increasingly conceptual and technically perfect in the past years, I started to open up my artistic practice again to a more free and gestural approach recently. In the end, I guess it’s these two poles that determine my work.” – Anselm Reyle
Anselm Reyle studied at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe. Following his graduation, he relocated to Berlin, where he immersed himself in the vibrant city art life that profoundly influenced his artistic practice.
Through the analysis and reinterpretation of various artistic styles, genres, and concepts from past periods of art history – ranging from early Abstraction (Otto Freundlich) to American minimalism and expressionism of the 1950s and 1960s (Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Jackson Pollock), as well as the bold monochromes of Yves Klein and Marcel Duchamp’s ready-made objects – Reyle creates series of large-scale abstract paintings, sculptures, and installations. These artworks feature fluorescent colors, neon lights, and found objects that have been stripped of their original function. By employing unconventional shiny materials such as foil, glitter, mirrors, and special-effect pastes, the artist continually redefines and explores the definition of painting.
During the 1990s, Reyle began incorporating foil from shop window displays into his artwork, transforming material typically used for decorative purposes in consumer society into abstract art. Reyle’s “foil paintings” have granted him a distinctive presence in the art world. The foil enclosed within colored Perspex boxes emanates a shimmering glow, inviting viewers to engage in a tactile experience that is simultaneously denied to them.
The artist’s fascination with high-gloss effects and decorative materials sourced from the merchandising realm forms the framework for his critique of kitsch. Reyle’s art centers around the clash between low culture and high art, confronting viewers with the fine line that connects these two realms.
Through the juxtaposition of precious materials and refuse, Reyle creates artwork that serves as a testament to our contemporary era. His creations provoke contemplation of the prevailing values in today’s consumer culture with its superficiality and the dominance of brands and glamour — a world where the obsession with beauty and the perfection of external appearances has become all-encompassing, a social fetish.
Since 2009, Reyle has held a professorship at the Fine Arts Academy in Hamburg. His work has been showcased in both solo and group exhibitions, including notable shows at Albertina Modern (Vienna, Austria), Royal Academy of Arts (London, UK), Tate Modern (London, UK), Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Latvian National Museum of Art (Riga, Latvia), the Centre National d’Art Contemporain (Grenoble, France), Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin, Germany), Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst (Ishøj, Denmark), Cobra Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Palazzo Grassi (Venice, Italy) and Kunsthalle Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland).
Selected public and private collections:
Centre Pompidou (Paris, France)
Pinault Collection (Venice, Italy)
Daimler Contemporary (Berlin, Germany)
Sammlung Boros (Berlin, Germany)
Arken Museum of Modern Art (Ishøj, Denmark)
Saatchi Gallery (London, UK)
Rubell Family Collection (Miami, FL, USA)