Sul quadrato

Christian Megert

From 12 December 2013 to 14 February 2014

Almost fifty years on from his last important solo show in Italy (in 1967 at the Galleria Vismara, Milan), the MAAB Gallery is presenting a show by Christian Megert (Berne 1936; in 1973 he moved to Dusseldorf), organized together with the artist himself.

The exhibition, held in the two Milanese venues of the MAAB Gallery, is the occasion for presenting, through a careful selection of twenty historical and recent works, the evolution of Megert’s art language from the second half of the 1950s onwards.

He and his activity are closely linked to his active participation in the Gruppo Zero. He came into contact with this group in 1960 and, together with it, he was to take part in various important exhibitions (he will also be part of the New York Guggenheim’s large-scale travelling show ZERO: COUNTDOWN TO TOMORROW, planned to start in October 2014). However, he developed both together with and beyond the Zero group, which was officially disbanded in 1966. From then on all the Zero artists followed their own path though the characteristics of Zero philosophy were to remain in evidence. For instance, Megert’s contribution to the “galaxy” of the neo-avant-gardes at the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the following decade was concretized in an important manifesto published in 1961 on the occasion of an exhibition held in the Köpcke gallery, Copenhagen: Ein neuer Raum (A New Space). In this manifesto he stated that he wanted to create a limitless, immobile space which, at the same time, was also in movement. And so his search for new spaces led him to the use of mirrors which became characteristic elements  of Megert’s works and installations. Mirrors were employed with the use of many techniques and formal modes – until halfway through the 1970s they were accompanied by lights and motors – while later on “reflections” (in its two etymological definitions as an image reflected by a mirror, and thoughts conjured up by a stimulus) were entrusted more to the viewer’s conceptual abilities than to real kinetic stimuli.

The twenty works personally chosen by the artist for his show in Italy allow both older and newer generations to see Megert’s refined aesthetics; these, having begun from an intuition, have developed along a line of thought and action lasting well over fifty years: minimum and minimal elements (all the works on show are concerned with the square while another aspect of them develops through circles), apparently tied to the concept of abstract form, interact with the reality of the public, the gaze, and the surroundings, to allow us a glimpse inside these elements (often as the result  of the presence of mirroring elements), thus establishing that necessary link between the ideal platonic world of forms and the immediate contingency of daily reality.

Press release

Christian Megert