Home Architect Michèle Pagel at MEYER*KAINER – Artforum International

Michèle Pagel at MEYER*KAINER – Artforum International

by godlove4241
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It’s a well-worn truism that art can be anything on the pedestal. At this signal, Michèle Pagel adopts a broad approach. Its bulky cast concrete caryatids, resembling archaeological finds, bear tokens and symbols of world culture and civilization, allegories of lightness of spirit and weight of body. She does not distinguish the significant from the trivial, applying a clenched fist – a gesture of solidarity and resistance – as willingly as a Rolls-Royce hood ornament.

For Pagel’s personal exhibition “Rats, Roaches, Pigeons, People”, the contrast between the elegant design of the historic Boltenstern Bar and the concrete And raw brick in Galerie Meyer Kainer’s en-suite exhibition space, it couldn’t be sharper: pastry meets lumberyard. Pagel’s production method avoids the application of soft materials. Instead, she likes to cut (unfired) bricks, align the pieces and glue them together, then cut them with saws, paint and glaze them, and apply decorative mosaics and, if necessary, a hint of platinum. .

Pagel draws deeply from modernist inventory, returning with surrealist readymades and found objects. Most of them are low-value items, like the post-GDR tile table: bric-a-brac unearthed during dedicated dives into thrift stores. Among these heaps of remains of life are bits of wrought iron fence, an aviary (which inevitably brings the work of Duchamp Why not sneeze? Rose Selavy, 1921, in mind), a sticky vase in the shape of a police uniform, and the heavy monogrammed bronze doorknobs familiar from Sparkasse bank branches. The result is a repertoire as powerful and subversive as it is picturesque and funny: uncompromising, anarchist, cool and, dare we say, avant-garde.

Translated from German by Gerrit Jackson.

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