Christian Megert is renowned for his installation based practice, an artistic journey now spanning several decades. His origins as a member of the ZERO group formed and continue to influence his art. Active from late 1950's until 1967, ZERO's visionary ideas consisted of promoting new perceptions using industrial material, light and movement as their foundation to break beyond the constraining values of autonomous, representational artistic traditions.
At the heart of Megert's artistic practice is the use of mirrors, which actively reflect light and movement. In his authored manifesto of 1961, A New Space, Megert encapsulates his primary vision which would ultimately became the defining thread of his career. 'Try to find a space without a beginning or end, without limits. If you hold up a mirror to a mirror, you will find a space without end, without limits – a space of endless possibilities, a new metaphysical space.' It was through this theoretic reflection on a new art which evolved into the important achievements he would make to advance this aesthetic perspective. Notable early exhibitions showcasing Megert's reflective methods include documenta 4, 1968, where he displayed one of his most well known works, Spiegel Raum, 1964. Taking inspiration from a childhood visit to a baroque chapel where he seemingly entered another 'dimension', Megert created a 30 square metre room with mirrors from the floor to the ceiling. 'It's like science fiction when you land on a strange planet with a rocket and suddenly something completely strange is there.' Viewers to the exhibition expressed a sense of bewilderment and awe. This ruminative environment was a complete realisation of Megert's beliefs that art should not only be seen on a wall but actually encompass the viewer.
For Farbräume, Megert presents works which are the accumulation of decades of experimentation. Featured in this exhibition will be a recent series of architectural forms which radically alter the space they occupy. Visceral planes of colour reverberate with inner luminosity and refract angular energies off slices of Megert's signature mirror, cunningly arranged within their length. Evoking the antiquity of the palisade, the viewer encounters this series of columns as both environment and object. Encircled by recent works in panel, whose own mirror aspects reflect slivers of colour from behind diagonal folds, the walls speak to these architectural sculptures and reverberate with pure sensual chromatism. These work's ask to be walked around and experienced, realising ever new arrangements of form and tint. Megert's art enables this participation and activate the gallery as a place of experiential contemplation.
In concert with this environment, Megert presents works which are Farbräume of their own, magic boxes that are worlds of focused aesthetic revelry. Here he shows his hand for masterful coloration through surprising juxtapositions which spring to life as the observer manoeuvres in and around their captivating depths. Each box world plays a different tone of emotional effect, rarefied artifices endowed with abstract planes of emotional resonance. Like the environmental proposals of the artist, both historic and in our exhibition, they provide a multidimensional encounter through colour, light and movement.
The dedication to exploring the fusion of mirrors, light, and spatial organisation serves as a testament to Christian Megert's commitment to interactive ideals. Through their use, he invites viewers to transcend conventional artistic paradigms, encouraging them to explore the infinite possibilities that lie within the realms of perception and self-discovery. Mirrors, being industrially manufactured materials, serve as Megert's preferred medium for reshaping, fragmenting, and multiplying forms, ultimately generating new spatial dimensions that serve as a distortion of reality. Now decades in development, his new art continues to reimagine how installations promote a physicality or active cultural relationship between the artist, the art and the viewer. Achieved through panels of colour, light and the surrounding space refracting in mirror, viewers are allowed to transcend conventional artistic encounters. By generating these optical sensations, the installation becomes an immersive environment, where one's own presence and movement become integral to the overall experience.
Press release courtesy SETAREH.