Daniel Reich

Birgit Megerle

10 Feb - 03 Mar 2007

Birgit Megerle
February 10th - March 3rd, 2007

Daniel Reich Gallery is very pleased to present the New York solo debut of Berlin-based artist Birgit Megerle.

Central to Megerle’s practice is a fictional realism. Within inert architectural environs imbued with a sense of disconnect, distilled affectless figures seem preoccupied with social relations transpiring in magic stillness. In previous works, strong women stare boldly at the viewer relegating foppish men and their tea time quibbles to entirely different canvases. In this body of work, Megerle portrays an ambiguous architectural landscape. As a friend writes as to the oddity of these landscapes: they “have an unperceivable right to be seen...” and in recalling an antiquated egalitarian persistent “right,” this interpretation makes sense. We are allowed to see what Megerle pleases. For instance, we look through a window rendered like a modernist grid or halt before a red door, stolid in its magnificent quietude, or in front of a warmly colored wall with a sensual pattern. Here and there, Napolese policemen go in impressive finery like jocular birds perched or impulsively meandering, consulting, quibbling.

Details evoking the logical aspects of modernism: the grid, architecturally planned utopias and their progressive impulse, complexly point to the illogical intractable nature of autonomous experience so that we have the feeling of glimpsing something far away or of an elemental experience enacted in a dream. Consequently these perceptions coincide with Megerle’s use of photographic source material assembled with the illogic of collage: scale is not quite regular and planes exist in imperfect tension. The tension and non sequitur of collage and Megerle’s penchant for exceptional yet shy figures points to a dislike of the machinery of conformity as marked by the failed utopian aspirations of public spaces through which people funnel. Yet viewing the old stones of these structures rendered in Megerle’s varied palette, one feels a receding hope. Essential to this body of work is the complexity of urban planning in relation to the pedestrian and the pleasure that ornament was thought to provide in one period as opposed to the coherence of clean functional spaces in another. In Megerle’s work, planned spaces are inhabited by a lively human intelligence negotiating progressive machine age structures of monumental thirties style replete with the implied power of gold, luxury and size. Amid grand outdoor family arcades overshadowed by claustrophobic monuments evoking beauty and fear, this lively intelligence unravels facades crossing into the space of imagination leading persistently to the impending flexibility of the question mark.

Megerle has shown at Galerie Neu in Berlin, Galleria Fonti in Naples as well as “Jigsaw: Jeu de Société” in Edinburgh with Lucile Desamory, Lucy McKenzie and Birgit Megerle and in “Malerei 2003”, Kunstverein, Frankfurt. For further information, please contact Daniel Reich Gallery at 212 924 4949 open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am ­ 6pm.

Tags: Lucile Desamory, Lucy McKenzie, Birgit Megerle