michel majerus "what looks good today may not look good tomorrow"
24 Jun - 16 Oct 2005
When Michel Majerus passed away in 2002, at the age of 35, he left behind an impressive oeuvre.
He did not limit himself to two-dimensional surfaces, but created dynamic, painted installations which surround the viewer. From June 24 through October 16 a number of these large scale, three-dimensional installations, wall paintings and video sculptures, and a selection of his paintings from the period 1994-2002 will be seen at Stedelijk Museum CS.
Majerus, who spent his working life primarily between Berlin and Los Angeles, had his breakthrough in the mid 1990s as one of the most striking and talented painters of his generation. The title of the exhibition, ‘what looks good today may not look good tomorrow’, is borrowed from one of his works, and refers to the world of advertising, corporate design, comic strips and computer games, from which he drew considerable inspiration.
Majerus’ oeuvre consists of an accumulation of citations, styles and visual motifs, not just from popular culture but also from art history, particularly from Minimal and Pop Art. He made no distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’; for him, Super Mario and Toy Story were just as important as Warhol, Richter, Basquiat and De Kooning. In his eyes all visual media were equal, and should be shown in relationship with each other.
Traditional artistic concepts such as authenticity and originality did little for Majerus. ‘My work functions precisely around the fact that every claim to “authentic” culture and ways of living is an illusion,’ he himself once commented with regard to his work, which can be situated in the popular culture of the 1990s.
The exhibition ‘what looks good today may not look good tomorrow’ is Majerus’s first retrospective show in The Netherlands, and brings together his most important works, including the early painted installation gemälde, from 1994 (neugerriemschneider, Berlin), the installation the space is where you’ll find it with its monumental computer prints (originally made for Delfina, London, 2000), and the paintings in billboard format he made during his stay in Los Angeles in 2001.
A catalogue has appeared to accompany the exhibition, with texts by Robert Fleck, Veit Loers, Peter Pakesch, Raimar Stange and others (Ger/Eng).
Publisher: Verlag de Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne (312 pp, ISBN: 3-88375-930-9, Stedelijk Museum Catalogue number 883).
Stedelijk Museum Bulletin 3, 2005, will also be devoting attention to Majerus, with an article by Günther Holler-Schuster.
The bulletin (Ned/Eng) can be purchased in the Museum Shop for € 5,00.
The exhibition at Stedelijk Museum CS is part of a series with changing exhibitions of Majerus in 2005-2007:
Kunsthaus, Graz (February 12 – May 16, 2005)
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (June 24 – October 16, 2005)
Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (November 18, 2005 – February 5, 2006)
Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (November 19, 2005 – February 26, 2006)
Musée d’Art moderne Grand Duc Jean, Luxembourg (December 13, 2006 – April 16, 2007).