Untitled (For Otto Freundlich), 2007


Anselm Reyle

Metal, acrylic glass
9.50 x 4.10 x 0.20 m

© 2006, Anselm Reyle

Image copyright Stefan Altenburger

I try to see if I can really add something to it… taking a stereotype in order to breathe new life into it.

A kaleidoscopic array of bright blocks of differently-shaped colours jostle for attention in this large scale celebration of abstraction. On a mission to make abstract art popular, Reyle is well known for his large scale paintings and sculptures that have never been afraid to use trashy, glitzy materials such as silver foil, neon colours, mirrors and Day-Glo paints. He says: "I'm interested in riding the border of tastlessness".

This more calmly coloured Plexiglass piece is connected to a series of works that Reyle has dedicated in homage to Otto Freundlich (1878-1943), a German painter, stained-glass designer and sculptor of Jewish origin, whose abstract paintings Reyle has enjoyed since a child. And in Untitled (for Otto Freundlich) Reyle’s develops Freundlich's abstraction to resemble a beautiful stained glass window. The effect is both decorative (which Reyle unabashedly aims for) and contemplative.

Reyle likes to re-work aspects of art history for a contemporary age, and has also borrowed from other abstracts such as Jackson Pollock and Kenneth Noland. "Many parts of art history interest me", says Reyle. "I try to see if I can really add something to it...taking a stereotype in order to breathe new life into it."