Exhibition at Galerie Michael Janssen presents a series of works from Margret Eicher's extensive oeuvre

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Exhibition at Galerie Michael Janssen presents a series of works from Margret Eicher's extensive oeuvre
Margret Eicher, The Neo Baroque Furor Show, Installation views, 2021, Galerie Michael Janssen Berlin.

BERLIN.- Galerie Michael Janssen announced the opening of its new space with a solo exhibition by Margret Eicher. This is the first exhibition with Eicher, who is freshly represented by the gallery, which just re-located to a two floor maison in Bleibtreustrasse 1, in the borough of Charlottenburg.

“The Neo Baroque Furor Show” opened its doors during Berlin gallery weekend on Friday April 30th. Six single edition Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) are being auctioned under a pseudonym Mae B. on the Open Sea Platform. 5 unique versions are available of Shining Boys, Naked Joker, Then We Take Berlin, Heroes, Masked Girls, and VR Space that exemplify Eicher’s singular depiction of pop-stars and media icons enmeshed and layered with symbols from art history. These works integrate fully with the most up-to-date digital technology, which presents a new avenue for digital art.

Eicher’s solo exhibition with Janssen comes on the heels of her duo-solo exhibition “Lob der Malkunst” that was presented at Haus am Lützowplatz in Berlin this winter and Museum Villa Stuck in Munich last fall. The presentation at Galerie Michael Janssen extends the artists’ examination of the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction that Eicher explores through tapestry. Her woven works and digital collages glance back towards iconographic historical forms ushered in the 17th century and comments on the splendor and misery of our neo-baroque epoch.

Titled “The Neo Baroque Furor Show,” the exhibition presents a series of works from Eicher’s extensive oeuvre that together push the limits of representation of our content-addicted present. Meditating on the political function of images, namely tapestries created in the 16th and 17th centuries, Eicher’s works capture the down-sampling, uploading, and faux glamor made possible by the digital. In the absence of a court, Eicher examines personas and celebrities that emerge as icons from cinema and the music industry that have since taken root within our collective unconscious. Eicher’s large scale, multi-color or black and white tapestries, are created digitally and, rather than hand woven, have been printed in an industrial manner befitting a token or an item from a gift shop. Eicher, thus, also comments through the materiality on the nature of commodities and their means of production. She likewise reflects on the institution of art itself such as in Lob der Malkunst Kunst 2 (2018) — an uncanny work that lent its name to Eicher’s last eponymous solo show. In it, hashtags such as #genrepainting, #abstractpainting, #digitalpainting, and #allegoricalpainting surface. In other works, such as It’s a Digital World 1 (2014), a warning logo draws attention to the caustic nature of simulations. These tongue and cheek markings, reminiscent of Instagram displays, poke fun at how all images can easily enter into the art historical canon with the right prowess.

Many of Eicher’s works show figures in the “guise of.” In Lob der Malkunst Kunst 2 (2018), Scarlett Johansen is foregrounded in her award-winning role, Girl with a Pearl Earring where she played Johannes Vermeer’s muse that he immortalized in his 17th century masterpiece. In the consumer imagination, the actress now is as much part of the canon of painting as the Vermeer original. How does media culture repurpose art history, and how do we reflect on the amorphous nature of the sign today? Satirically, Eicher’s works posits that Beyoncé can stand regally in the guise of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus before an industrial gateway in an underground U-Bahn station and still dazzle unabashedly.

Auction Ends on May 6, 2021, 12:00 am ET. To showcase the NFTs Galerie Michael Janssen is partnering with ARTLAND for the first VR exhibition on their platform.

Text: Vanessa Gravenor

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