The galleries Meyer Riegger and Nordenhake are proud to present their first joint exhibition of the artist Meuser in their respective Berlin locations. “Herr Ober, zwei Doppelte” points to the long-standing history both galleries have with the artist. Claes Nordenhake has been working with Meuser for 24 years and presented the first solo exhibition of the artist in Stockholm in 1990. Meyer Rieggers affiliation with Meuser dates back to 1998, when Jochen Meyer and Thomas Riegger …
The galleries Meyer Riegger and Nordenhake are proud to present their first joint exhibition of the artist Meuser in their respective Berlin locations. “Herr Ober, zwei Doppelte” points to the long-standing history both galleries have with the artist. Claes Nordenhake has been working with Meuser for 24 years and presented the first solo exhibition of the artist in Stockholm in 1990. Meyer Rieggers affiliation with Meuser dates back to 1998, when Jochen Meyer and Thomas Riegger first exhibited his work in their gallery in Karlsruhe.
The joint exhibition facilitates an extensive overview of the artists work while focusing primarily on his sculptural output from 1990 onwards. It is also presents an opportunity to mark the affiliation between the two galleries, which have themselves been cordially cooperating for a number years.
The connections and juxtapositions of language and material are fundamental to the understanding of Meusers practice and as such his sculptural works can almost appear like manifested synonyms of thoughts and ideas. One might imagine a scene, at night-time, in which an observer peeks into an illuminated room, whose content stubbornly refuses to divulge itself: When viewing works such as “Die Bar war schon zu” (2014), internalised images are almost intuitively connected to the physicality of the metal form-in this case woven into a textile-like structure, rolled into a tubular shape, placed on a three-legged pedestal and illuminated, as if a lamp, with a light bulb from the inside. While the objects shape prompts instantaneous associations, the title of the work resists any intrinsic, contextual classification and instead leads ones reading towards a perpetually shifting sphere of correlation.
Meuser often sources the metal used for his sculptures from junkyards and imbues the various discarded barrels, I-Beams, racks and surfaces – what could be called leftovers of industrial production-with abstract, yet always minimal and concrete forms and shapes. “Der Mond von Wanne-Eickel” (1986), for instance, is composed of four geometrical surfaces. The variations of upended rectangles and circles are affixed to the wall in a row, appearing like an allegorical landscape (of the Ruhrgebiet) in rusty red. While Meuser herewith outlines the silhouette of these twin-cities heavily marked by the mining industry, he also points towards a regional idiom and a famous Schlager song from Wanne Eickel referring to it. And with that manages to keep everything open-ended again.
Through his titles Meuser creates autonomous narratives about people, situations, places and actions: they stem from everyday life and almost appear to lean onto the metallic structures they designate, lending them sharp outlines as well as an identity. The work “Erwin Rommel II” (1990), for instance, is explicit in its suggesting of a portrait while “Kleine Dickmadame” (2014) opens up a broader range of associations relating to personification and allegory. Meusers works result from a conceptual positing. While their source is rendered in pure material shape, they become dialogically differentiated within just these posited structures. “Herr Ober, zwei Doppelte!” (1990), the piece which lends the exhibition its title, points toward this dialogical aspect quite directly: next to a rust-brown steel object hangs a transparent sheet of glass, revealing the structure of the wall behind and with it those imagined inner monologues, which encompass and extend these visual elements within all their vehemence and fragility.
Text: Christina Irrgang