(Deutsch) Michel Majerus – In EUROPE everything appears more serious than in the USA
16 06 18
09 09 18
Born in Luxembourg in 1967 the painter Michel Majerus became known for his skillful ”sampling” of a rich repertoire of various painting styles and visual spheres from diverse contexts. In summer 2018 the Kunsthalle Bielefeld will present the exhibition Michel Majerus – In EUROPE Everything Appears More Serious Than in the USA, which focuses on Majerus’s early works that have never been shown before in public. These works allow us to see how early the young artist came into the self-confidence and sense of ease that came to distinguish his later works. Even the early works were executed in the usually large format that later became typical of Majerus.
Michel Majerus studied painting from 1986 to 1992 at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart (State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart) under such teachers as K.R.H. Sonderburg and Joseph Kosuth. His initially astonishing choice of professors—a painter whose work is expressive and gestural, and a Conceptual Art start—shows the freedom with which Majerus addresses an extremely wide range of artistic expressive means. On one hand, Majerus’s approach to painting is influenced by images outside of the fine arts: comics, advertising, pornography, and music videos; on the other, he is influenced by recognized artists such as Frank Stella, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, and others. His paintings feature figures from computer games, like Super Mario, as well as expressive brushwork that recalls Willem de Kooning’s painting. Majerus considers the popular iconography of the 1990s, with its logos, symbols, and codes as a signal, in the same way that he sees and makes free use of the stylistic means of art as a signal. He does not shy away from referring to stars of the New York art scenes of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Willem de Kooning, and Frank Stella.
Michel Majerus’s international breakthrough came in 1998, with his contribution to the Manifesta 2 in Luxembourg. In 1999 Harald Szeemann invited Majerus to design the outer façade of the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennial. He created a text/image collage titled Sun in 10 Different Directions. Majerus died in an airplane crash on November 6, 2002.