The exhibition Michel Majerus – Early Works at KW Institute for Contemporary Art seeks to uncover the earliest layers of Michel Majerus’ (1967-2002, LUX) artistic practice by showing works he produced between 1990 and 1996. Many of these pieces are on public view for the first time.
The exhibition is dedicated to the beginnings of Majerus’ nationally and internationally celebrated work. Majerus’ artistic approach is already apparent in the early works created during his studies. These explore visual culture, time, speed and seriality as well as virtual and physical space.
The artist’s continuous observations of surface and space as well as his inquiries into materials and techniques were essential to his methodological way of illuminating how images are produced. This investigation formed the foundations of his reflections on the meaning and power of visual culture.
On its ground floor and main hall KW will show over 80 pieces from the artist’s early works set in a site-specific exhibition architecture.
Fragments of scaffolding will recall Majerus’ first institutional solo show at the Kunsthalle Basel in 1996, wherein the artist created a scenography that integrated viewers into its visual space. This practice allowed Majerus to initiate a new and critical confrontation with the continuous hybridization of visual culture, and simultaneously disclosed the impossibility to escape the ever growing, pervasive presence of images and virtual space in the fabric of our daily life.
Besides the exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Kunstverein in Hamburg, Michel Majerus Estate, and the gallery neugerriemschneider in Berlin, will further explore Michel Majerus’ oeuvre in all its complexity, in order to honor it on an unprecedented scale. Loans from the artist’s estate, as well as from public and private collections, will offer new insights into Michel Majerus’ early work as well as topical questions posed throughout his larger body of work.
In parallel with these exhibitions in Berlin and Hamburg, thirteen museums throughout Germany will show works by Michel Majerus from their collections.
Opening twenty years after the death of Michel Majerus (1967-2002), the exhibition series Michel Majerus 2022, which unfolds across Germany, is dedicated to various phases and aspects of the artist’s extraordinary oeuvre. His body of work has continued to influence subsequent generations of artists.
In 2023, a comprehensive publication regarding this series of exhibitions will be released.
Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen
Assistant curator: Léon Kruijswijk