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.”
Right after finishing his studies at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, Anselm Reyle moved to Berlin. There he immersed himself in the vibrant, cosmopolitan city life that invariably had a significant bearing on his work.
In the 1990s, he started incorporating foil from shop window displays into his works, turning material that is made and used for decoration in our consumer society into abstract art.
Through analysis and reconsideration of the different styles, genres and concepts from past eras of art history – from early Abstraction (Otto Freundlich) to American minimalism and expressionism of the 1950s and 1960s (Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Jackson Pollock) and the shrill monochromes of Yves Klein to ready-made objects by Marcel Duchamp – Reyle creates series of large-scale abstract paintings, sculptures and installations made with fluorescent colors, neon lights and found objects that have been removed from their original function. Using unusual shiny materials like foil, glitter, mirrors and special-effects pastes, the artist persistently remakes and explores the definition of painting.
Reyle’s “foil paintings” have given him a distinct identity in the art world. The foil enclosed in colored Perspex boxes emits a shimmering glow and invites the viewer to engage in a tactile experience, which the viewer is denied at the same time.
The artist’s fascination with high gloss effects and decorative material taken from the merchandising world frames his critique of kitsch. The clash of low culture and high art is the focal point of Reyle’s art, confronting the viewer with the thin line at which these two categories meet.
By juxtaposing precious materials and trash, Reyle creates work that is a witness to our time. It prompts reflection on the prevailing values of contemporary world consumer culture with its superficiality and the triumph of brands and glamour – a world where beauty and the perfection of external facades has become a total obsession, a social fetish.
Since 2009, Reyle has held been a professor at the Fine Arts Academy in Hamburg.
The artist’s past solo and group exhibitions include shows at Albertina Modern (Vienna, Austria), Royal Academy of Arts (London, UK), Tate Modern (London, UK), MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art (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)