Having already presented the Berlin artist Peer Kriesel at fairs in Berlin and Amsterdam since 2020, we are now showing this versatile work for the first time in a solo exhibition at the gallery.
His work is mainly focused on drawings, but he also deals with sculptures and objects. One of the groups of works includes drawings/overpaintings on historical papers, such as geographical and nautical maps and postcards, which in the past had certain functions and in some cases a high value for the users. It is also about the change in the appreciation and valuation of printed papers as communication and information media. While nautical maps were extremely important and valuable until the 19th and 20th centuries and were a very useful source of information, in the age of GPS and Google they have largely lost their function and thus their value. They have only a graphic value. By painting over them, Kriesel gives them a new life and a new value in a different context. For his drawings, Kriesel draws inspiration from the structures, markings, dates, and colors of the historical image carriers and populates them with an unfathomable universe of grimaces, mythical creatures, and figures drawn with the finest of strokes.
His entire oeuvre is strongly influenced by the age of digitalization. It is about values, the acceleration of communication, the change in perception as well as the inflationary consumption of art and media. Symbolically, the work of the overpainted maps deals with one’s orientation in an age of abundance data, influences, impressions, and messages that can no longer be grasped and classified in an unstructured way today.
The “Achim” group represents a special position in Kriesel’s work. This series of works includes overpaintings of old postcards, writings, and papers from the estate of his great-uncle Achim. They tell a personal, but also forgotten story – on old, aesthetically exciting under- and backgrounds, new figures and a world from the present time emerge in contrast.
In addition to old postcards from the family, the papers and documents also date back to a period of captivity during and after World War II. The analog short messages from the field postcards try to convey emotions on weeks of uncertain mail and strongly contrast today’s Twitter or Messenger messages.
We also show examples of his “Wimmelbilder”, in which Kriesel immerses the viewer in a fairy-tale, almost fabulous world. At the same time, he confronts the viewer with the absurd real world of data flow, stimulus as well as information overload – a world full of violence and frustration, but also absurdities and humorous weirdness. In his pictures, the viewer can lose himself and often look at a multitude of different sceneries. These “Wimmelbilder” are not to be deciphered at first sight – so the viewer can always discover new themes and things. In addition to the geometric forms, Peer Kriesel attempts to bring order to the teeming mass in the series of works of Lines, Essences. and The Blocks.
In the ME SO SMALL installations in combination with the wall or with objects such as rare car models, the artist supposedly becomes a vandal. He draws a grimace drawing on the wall or the model with a gestural stroke. This action devalues or even damages the valuable object on the one hand, but at the same time enhances its value and promotes it to the status of an art object. This contradiction particularly appeals to the artist, because in a time in which the production and consumption of creative works or “merely” beautiful things are becoming almost inflationary, the general concepts of value are also shifting. In the interaction with the wall on site, Kriesel sets the fast-moving times against something different: the fixed installation.