Artist biography

Dutch painter active in England. He first trained as a fashion designer, studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (1985–90) and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (1993–4) before retraining as an artist at Goldsmiths College in London (1996–7). After serving an apprenticeship with radical designer Martin Margiela, he eventually came to unite his interest in textiles and paintings by making pictures which incorporate embroidery. Many of his large canvases depict pristine Modernist interiors that seem to have become dirty with age, their clean forms and smooth planes upset by the addition of wools and threads that make the places depicted look worn and ragged. Raedecker's landscapes also seem melancholic and slightly comic, like darkened and impoverished versions of old Romantic subjects. Often, as in Phantom (1999; see 1999–2000 exh. cat., p. 33), these views are centred on log-cabin retreats suggestive of a hopeless modern dream of returning to nature. In 1998 Raedecker also began a series of Tronies, intricately stitched heads of old men named after the Dutch 17th-century genre (particularly associated with Rembrandt and Jan Lievens), intended as a study of social types and sensibilities. In 1999 his picture Mirage (acrylic thread and sequins on lined canvas, 0.7×1.9 m, 1999; Liverpool, Walker A.G.) won first prize in the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition. He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2000.

Bibliography
E. Ashton: ‘Michael Raedecker', Untitled, 17 (Autumn 1998)
S. Morrisey: ‘Yesterday's Tomorrow', Contemp. Visual A., 20 (1998), pp. 59–61
Michael Raedecker: Extract (exh. cat., essays P. Ellis and E. Ashton, Eindhoven, Stedel. Van Abbemus., 1999–2000)

MORGAN FALCONER
10 December 2000

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