Berlin-based artist Anselm Reyle explained
in a 2008 Art Review interview that he’s interested in “riding the border of tastelessness.” Unfortunately, embracing kitsch and bad taste can’t inoculate his work against being bad. When I entered his installation at Frieze last week, the fabricated wall pieces were, hands down, the worst at the fair. The glitzy, large-scale “paintings” depicted cute animals and expressionist drips and spatters using a tired paint-by-numbers strategy. Outsourcing production, Reyle, who also shows at Gagosian, fashions himself a conceptual artist concerned with notions about abstraction and consumer culture. At Frieze, however, these shallow, overproduced pieces looked like trophies for uninformed collectors who fancy themselves in on the joke. I wonder what kind of work Reyle would make if he didn’t have any financial backing.
Images: Anselm Reyle installation, Contemporary Fine Arts (Berlin), Frieze Fair, New York, 2012. The pictures were collage constructions comprising flat paint, foil, colored mirror, and plexiglass shapes. For a 2011 solo show, Reyle also designed Jetson-style couch sculptures.
Later in the week look for the Best of Frieze.
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