Universal Context

2014, Oil on canvas, 205 x 170 cm

yet untitled

2014, Oil on canvas, 235 x 200 cm

yet untitled

2014, Oil on canvas, 205 x 170 cm

Trevor´s car

2014, Oil on canvas, 135 x 115 cm

Installation view, with Signe Boe

Installation view

Installation view, with Felix Kultau

When artists decide to make monochrome paintings today, they do not do so without knowledge of their history. However, for Maximilian Rödel, born in 1984, it is not a matter of continuing a tradition that begins with Claude Monet and reaches from Kazimir Malevich to Mark Rothko, Yves Klein and Imi Knoebel. Rödel’s darkly hued visual language, with colour gradients that give the canvas a gentle and cloudy pulse, are like open thoughts: There are memories, hints and echoes of places that cannot be not clearly determined, but their DNA is mediated atmospherically by the picture. Thus Rödel doesn’t abide by monochromy as a sphere of negotiating the autonomy of art, but opens up possibilities of associative perception. Clues to this are given by single intimations of corners and edges, curvatures and horizon lines, scratches and smudges, which point towards the figurative – however, none of this functions as a clear reference or a concrete symbolism, which the viewer must decode in order to end up at private mythologies or socially relevant narrations. Unlike Luc Tuyman’s paintings, which rely on reduced pictorial means in a similarly muted way, Rödel’s work does not revolve around allegories of the abyss of human nature based on historical or cultural events.

Text by Gesine Borcherdt, taken from fiebach, minninger