David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Michael Riedel, on view at 533 West 19th Street in New York. This will be the artist's sixth solo show with the gallery.
For more than fifteen years, Riedel has advanced a self-sustaining artistic system whereby new work is generated from existing material in seemingly endless loops and permutations. While his practice–which incorporates painting, text, audio, video, photography, publishing, architecture, and performance–may at first glance seem to share a conceptual affinity with Pop and appropriation art, it represents a departure from the issues of mechanical reproduction and simulacra that preoccupied these earlier generations. More specifically, it engages with the aesthetic possibilities derived from the basic principles of recording, labeling, and playback, and uses the idea of the transfer as new content in its own right.
In this exhibition, the gallery will be wallpapered with posters whose text derives from a website selling fine art supplies. In so doing, Riedel subverts the intended use of the products being offered for sale and uses the information as undefined art material. Layered almost illegibly, he transforms the white-cube walls into white walls made out of text.
Also included are life-size prints with book reproductions of animal skeletons, some of which are rotated to suggest a closed system of possibilities, with the creatures seemingly chasing their own tails. Vinyl stickers affixed to the surfaces feature an image of a scanned plastic bag from the art supply store.
Curator and writer Luca Cerizza has commented on Riedel's practice that his 'use of appropriation strategies combine deadpan humour and a renewed form of institutional critique....repeating and copying does not necessarily involve iconic moments of art or highbrow cultural production....language is treated more as a visual material than as a carrier of meaningful messages. Words–at times barely readable, cut and pasted, blanked out, shifted from one context to another–become verbal (black and) white noise, visual poetry for the digital age, monuments in the constant twittering in our mediascape.'¹
Michael Riedel was born in 1972 and currently lives and works in Frankfurt, where he received a Meisterschüler at the Städelschule in 2000. Since joining David Zwirner in 2004, Riedel has had four solo exhibitions at the gallery in New York: Neo (2005), Filmed Film (2008), The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog (2011), and PowerPoint (2013). His first solo presentation at the gallery's space in London, Laws of Form, was on view in 2014.
Over the past decade, Riedel has participated widely in solo and group exhibitions at prominent venues throughout the United States and Europe. In 2012, his work was the subject of a major survey, Kunste zur Text, at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. From 2013 through 2015, Riedel presented three site-specific installations at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, where he used speech recognition to create text from audio recordings of the deinstallments of major museum shows: Jacques comité [Giacometti] (2013), Dual air [Dürer] (2014), and EFFJ KNOOS [JEFF KOONS] (2015). In 2014, an installation of his Poster Paintings, an ongoing body of work, was presented by the Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst (MAK) in Vienna, and in 2015, Le Box–Fonds M–ARCO in Marseille also hosted a solo exhibition of the Poster Paintings.
Other venues which have hosted recent solo exhibitions include The Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (2015); Kunstverein Hamburg (2010); Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2009 and 2008); and the Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria (2007). Group shows include those organized by the Sprengel Museum Hannover (2012); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2011); Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAM), Turin (2010); Tate Modern, London (2009); Kunsthalle Bern (2008 and 2006); Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art, France (2007); Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2005); and the Secession, Vienna (2003).
In 2017, major museum solo exhibitions of the artist's work will be presented at the Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt and the Kunsthalle Zürich.
Coinciding with his 2014 exhibition at David Zwirner in London, this book Michael Riedel: Oskar, originally published in 2003, was revised and expanded to include an account of Oskar-von-Miller Strasse 16, the experimental artist space opened by Riedel in Frankfurt in 2000 where cultural events held at other locations throughout the city were restaged–book readings, film screenings, art exhibitions, and music concerts. In the publication, he notes that 'With the call of 'record, label, play back,' a group of young artists reiterated the language of a city's cultural offerings–often without a full understanding of what they were reciting, but always with an acute aesthetic interest in the faults of transmission and transference. This book itself is a product of such practices. Scores of audio and visual materials, partly in the form of transcripts from two 'Conferences of Anecdotes,' chronicle the group's eleven years of Trojan activities: a natural force uncontrived amidst the staging of innumerable cultural endeavours.'²
On the occasion of the present exhibition, Michael Riedel: Poster-Painting-Presentation, a comprehensive book on the artist's recent work, will be published by David Zwirner Books, New York, created in close collaboration with Riedel. Included is an essay by Tina Kukielski, curator and Executive Director of ART21, who has commented on the artist's practice, 'Riedel's art is based in text and its production, not its reading and interpretation. And despite my best assumption that the system must and will collapse, it self-perpetuates.'3
¹ Luca Cerizza, "Digital Dandy," frieze d/e (Summer 2012).
² Michael Riedel, "Re-entry," in Michael Riedel: Oskar (New York: David Zwirner, 2014), inside cover.
3 Tina Kukielski, "Fade Through Black," in Michael Riedel: Poster—Painting—Presentation (New York: David Zwirner Books, 2016), p. 9 (forthcoming).
Press release courtesy David Zwirner.