Anselm Reyle creates large-scale abstract paintings and found-object sculptures using trashy, glitzy materials and colours. His use of silver foil, neon colours, mirrors, glitter and ‘Day-Glo’ paints gives his essentially abstract works a seductive edge.
Working with a studio of assistants and using a limited set of painting processes and compositions, Reyle meticulously produces a high volume of paintings. Each composition, whether a stripe painting or crumpled foil piece, can be made in any number of sizes ranging in scale from the domestic to the monumental. Reyle evaluates every work according to his own exacting standards - those canvases that fail to live up to his ideal never make it out of the studio.
Reyle ‘samples’ familiar motifs from art history – particularly Modernist painting and Abstract Expressionism – and brings them up to date; as he puts it, ‘taking a stereotype in order to breathe new life into it’. Reyle’s paintings echo various (and sometimes contrary) abstract painting styles of the past: gestural smears, hard-edge stripes or poured and dripped paint, bringing to mind the work of artists such as Karl Otto Götz, Kenneth Noland, Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman. In particular, Reyle is fascinated by the work of Otto Freundlich, one of the earliest abstract painters.
In his sculptural works, Reyle takes objects like wagon wheels, haycarts or 1970s ceramic vases and lamps and imbues them with new life – giving them shiny surfaces, startling neon shades or coloured lighting. In Harmony 2007, he has used a small African soapstone carving as a starting point, dramatically increasing the scale, casting it in bronze and then coating it in a high-gloss chrome-plate, creating a work that resembles a high-tech manufacturing prototype. As in his paintings, he often adopts a sculptural motif that has become a modernist art cliché and reworks it in order to invest it with new meaning and context.
Anselm Reyle was born in 1970 in Tübingen, Germany and lives and works in Berlin