Michael Riedel: Laws of Form and Sharing Space at the David Zwirner Gallery
The David Zwirner Gallery’s latest pair of exhibitions feature fascinating works by three very different artists. The first two floors are taken up by curious black and white collages by the versatile Michael Riedel. The show begins with artworks that, among other things, are made up of cut-up posters advertising the artist’s own exhibition space in Frankfurt. The simple thick white font of the address is repeated in piece after piece on the walls, in different configurations and sizes, and superimposed on other images.
On the first floor are hung larger canvases that in their intricate, improvised matrix of black and white triangles and circles vaguely recall the basic aesthetic of 1960s op art. One piece (all are untitled) is made up of a large reproduction of a photo of 1960s youths, streaked from top to bottom with clippings from newspapers and books that feature the word “mod” in them. An important trait of most of the artworks on display are their attempted aestheticisation of the printing process. Many feature as a basic design element the cut-off lines and colour samples seen in the angles of printed pages before they are cut to size for book-binding.
Immediately enthralling, and much more convincing, are the sculptures and installations on the third floor – works by Fred Sandback and Michael Dean. Dean’s sculptures consist of curious mouldings and cast concrete blocks that call to attention the basic aestheticism present in their textured surfaces. Two pieces – Need and Be – looking at first glance like pieces of dried insulation foam are attractive for this reason, propped plainly against the wall or standing obtrusively in the middle of the room, commanding attention and drawing the viewer to ponder, intrigued, over curious moulded faces. The pair remind one of Dean’s past concrete sculptures of tongue muscles – products of the artist’s fascination with language and form.
Fred Sandback’s dazzling minimalist installations are created using acrylic yarn suspended from wall to wall, crossing over each other from various directions, dynamically emphasising space and volume. One of the works on show consists of red yarn running column-like from the ceiling to floor.
David Zwirner’s latest show is interesting for its stimulating dialogue between three artists with three very different aesthetic outlooks. Any dissatisfaction felt on behalf of the visitor will probably come from some of the artwork’s failure to communicate.
Photos: Helle Jensen
Michael Riedel: Laws of Form is on until 31st May 2014 and Sharing Space until 17th May 2014 at the David Zwirner Gallery. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.