Olaf Metzel


04 June - 31 July, 2019

Galerie Klüser

In addition to new aluminium sculptures, Olaf Metzel (* 1952 in Berlin) will also be showing the installation "Noch Fragen?" (Any More Questions?, 1998) in the exhibition 'shopping', granting opportunity for reflection with this ensemble. As he was 20 years ago, today the artist is still concerned with political and social themes whose fresh, continuing, or resurgent relevance is reflected in his work.

“Noch Fragen?”, an installation made from baseball bats fixed onto lengths of camouflage fabric, was first shown in December 1998; this was actually the first exhibition of work by Olaf Metzel at Galerie Klüser. After several museum presentations, including in Israel, Brazil and Duisburg, where an exhibition of the same name was shown in 2010, the installation now returns to its first public venue. This extended perspective on Metzel’s œuvre demonstrates its enduring validity – in terms of both time and content. The installation is associated with differing forms of violence, depending on the presentation context and the realities of viewers’ lives.
The same applies to the two works made of corrugated metal, which were originally components of the ensemble “Sammelstelle” (Collection Point, 1992), and formed a spatial installation reminiscent of collection points for refugees from former Yugoslavia. At the Istanbul Biennial in 2017, the work had lost none of its topicality – only the context had altered.

The interplay with new wall sculptures made of aluminium – a material Metzel has used increasingly in recent years and continuously developed within this complex of works – results in a multifaceted show with enduring sociopolitical relevance, no matter when the individual works were created. They speak for themselves: the works’ visual impulses leave room for interpretation while employing a clear language, nevertheless. Social, political, religious, and also pop-cultural themes provide the vocabulary. Thus Metzel’s artworks not only enter space as forms, but also extend across the sphere of contemporary discourse.
In this way, ‘shopping’ leads us through a broad spectrum of current topics. Not least, the title of the exhibition – simultaneously providing the name for Metzel’s latest series – opens up a wide range of possible associations. The collaged motifs of the two works shown here come from fashion and lifestyle magazines, and in formal terms they are part of the group of wall sculptures which appear to be paper. While newspapers offer us a reflection of current events, magazines bear witness to the prevailing norms of society – or at least its façade which is also deliberately maintained at many a cocktail party.

With the current exhibition, once again Olaf Metzel devotes himself to the complexities of current affairs and calls for an active dialogue between viewer and artwork: for ultimately, it is the sum of subjective perceptions that will result in a society’s collective image.

Olaf Metzel

About the artist

Galerie Klüser has been representing the Berlin-born (1952) sculptor and object artist Olaf Metzel since 1998. Based in Munich, he teaches as a professor of sculpture at the local Academy of Fine Arts. As an artist he became famous for space-oriented installations. Erected in public spaces and alluding to political and social circumstances, his works caused a lot sensation. Metzel uses objects that are symbolically charged within their specific context such as scrap, crowd barriers and stadium seats. Apart from monumental sculpture the artist also creates wall pieces that contain of imprinted and deformed aluminium plates.

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