30. 11. 2013 – 11. 1. 2014
Opening 29. 11. 2013
Oil on canvas, 120 x 80 cm
SVPERFLAX is the first solo exhibition by Berthold Reiß at Galerie Christine Mayer. The title of the show SVPERFLAX indirectly traces back to the British artist John Flaxman (1755-1826). As part of the series “Kunst um 1800”, curated by Werner Hofmann, the Hamburger Kunsthalle presented the exhibition “John Flaxman. Mythologie und Industrie” in 1979. On this occasion, “the booklet Superflax, conceived and designed by Achim Lipp for younger visitors of the exhibition” was published in addition to the catalogue. Presented in the form of a comic strip, the production of this booklet was sponsored by Deutsche BP Aktiengesellschaft.
This transition into comic can today be regarded as of equal value to John Flaxman´s functions as a mediator of “Mythologie” in his illustrations and a partner of “Industrie” in his cooperation with Josiah Wegdwood.
Already in the 1979 catalogue however this ending in mainstream culture is confronted with a new beginning: rich in content but at the same time economical in their form, Flaxman´s drawings suggest he made them available for a plethora of different personal interpretations. In fact artists like Blake, Goya and Ingres have used his work as a reference point in completely distinct ways.
To look at works of art from an economic perspective not least includes abstracting from the life they emerged from. According to Werner Hofmann John Flaxman meets this relationship with economy on eye level: “Formal economy depends on the artistic means of abstraction.” In this series of oil paintings presented by Galerie Christine Mayer Berthold Reiß traces this line, not leading from life to death but from death to life.