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New York City


Anselm Reyle

    Reyle’s art looks like the wrong work, a marriage of Jeff Koons’ kitsch, Isa Genzken's tawdry monuments, and the most decadent formalist painting of the 1980s. It is rather as if Reyle has supplied a series of intriguing backdrops without objects to put before them.


    At his last show in Chelsea, the viewer, stepping around to the front, is presented with one of the show’s five matte black monochromes, which look to be painted with a rake, in a substance that resembles cake frosting made from old tires. These paintings are matched with some other wall-bound inventions in foil paper, aluminium and in one case, internal lighting, and a few sculptures in concrete, steel and black mirror.


    Reyle is a neo-minimalist, instead of a neo-expressionist. Decadent times seem to open the door to these “neo” movements. It’s tacky and political in its hedonistic way.


    Anselm Reyle, who has been declared as one of the best investments of the moment, was unknown in 2003. You could have picked up one of his stripe paintings for 14,000 euros. Now he has a studio with 60 assistants turning them out for about 200,000 euros each.


    The work is pleasing, non-threatening, and eye-catching. But non-objective geometric painting, around since the early 20th century, is too common to be exciting. And particularly because the work was completed sometime in the past couple of years, it’s just not anything to scream about.

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