JOSEPHINE MECKSEPER. Josephine Meckseper. 24.09.2016 – 04.11.2016

Press Release
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english / deutsch

Galerie Reinhard Hauff is delighted to announce Josephine Meckseper’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition opens on September 24th – fifteen years after her first solo show at the gallery in 2001. Over the last two decades, Josephine Meckseper has developed a practice that melds the aesthetics of modernism with the formal language of commercial display forms, using vitrines, display stands, shelves, magazines, and film, confronted by images and artifacts of historical and political events.

Four identical pigment prints on linen titled
Perhaps Strange, 2016, show reproductions of Post-War German modular chairs by noted architects of the German reconstruction including Hans Schwippert and Johannes Krahn, who also designed the chairs for the post-war government building in Bonn (Bundestag). In Meckseper’s prints, these chairs, constructed to be easily transported then assembled at home or office of the consumer, are combined with an 1980s advertising image of a female figure, alluding to the domestic and civic processes of re-constructing a democratic society, and bring to mind the design philosophy of the Bauhaus school.

The spirit of Dadaist subversive anti-aesthetic and Bauhaus democratic functionalism is echoed in Meckseper’s new works. The extensive use of metal, glass, transparency and light as seen in the vitrine
A.M., and the shelf Gesang an die Welt, both 2016, point to the way our consumer culture has historically shaped cultural production and how early Modernism and the avant-garde developed into a form of political and aesthetic resistance to classism and capitalism. The four mirrored slat wall pieces in the show, Sechs Fünf Vier Drei Zwei, Zwei Drei Vier Fünf Sechs, Fünf Vier Drei Zwei Eins, Eins Zwei Drei Vier Fünf – all 2016 – are titled after Dadaist’s poems such as Kurt Schwitter’s Zwölf and the shelf after George Grosz’s Gesang an die Welt.

The overall use of abstract paintings or collages, bring a notion of the personal to the anonymous, mass-produced objects, lending something indispensably intimate to each work. "One of the more curious, least discussed aspects of Josephine Meckseper’s work is the role occupied within it by painting" says Domenick Ammirati in his catalogue contribution in
Josephine Meckseper. 10 Minutes after recently published by Sternberg Press and Timothy Taylor, London. "[…] abstract paintings; nestled in so many vitrines and perched on so many shelves, sometimes bearing motives of ersatz high modernism and sometimes slashy, thin brushwork that might almost have been made with one of the feather dusters or toilet brushes that recur in her oeuvre, collaged with print advertising or assuming a plain Mondrian-like grid, […]".

In her current show, the paintings, both in vitrines, shelves, large-scale diptychs or individual compositions, function in unusual, challenging ways and methods. The application of paint with bathroom plungers and brushes dipped in red or black, bring to mind a Dadaist "Cut-up" collage methodology that continues to play out in Meckseper’s conceptual practice.

Josephine Meckseper’s large-scale installations and films have been exhibited in various international biennials and museum shows worldwide. Her works are in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum, New York and the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. The artist lives and works in New York.

To celebrate Josephine Meckseper and her show, the Galerie Reinhard Hauff invites you to join us on Saturday September 24
th from 11 am to 8 pm for Gin and Tonic – generously offered by Edelbrand Stauffenberg Dry Gin.