Michel Majerus

Michel Majerus’s (b.1967) visual language freely samples from art history and popular culture, redeploying canonized styles and genres alongside graphics borrowed from youth subcultures and the commercial mainstream. Often combining painting with large-scale installations, Majerus’s complex pictorial worlds include quotations from artists like de Kooning, Warhol, and Basquiat, as well as song lyrics, brand logos, video games, cartoons, and magazine covers. More than any artist of his time, Majerus exemplifies what art historian Daniel Birnbaum calls “painting in the expanded field,” his prolific oeuvre reflecting the prepackaged newness and hybrid spaces of the Information Age. By incorporating the visual vocabularies of next-generation technologies and 1990s consumer culture, Majerus expands on the appropriation art of the 1980s through his pioneering use of digital methods of production, altering the very space of representation itself.

Born in Luxembourg, Michel Majerus (1967 – 2002) lived and worked in Berlin. He studied at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, and shortly before his untimely death, he spent a year in Los Angeles on a DAAD German Academic Exchange Service Fellowship. In 1996 the Kunsthalle Basel organized a mid-career retrospective and at the 1999 Venice Biennale, he covered the facade of the main Italian Pavilion with a mural he designed. For his one-person exhibition at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne in 2000, Majerus created one of the largest works of his career, a 400-square-meter skateboard ramp. Since Majerus’s death, several European museums have organized posthumous exhibitions of his work, including the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2003), the Tate Liverpool (2004), the Kunsthaus Graz (2005), and the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2011). Majerus’s work is included in many prestigious international museums, including the Tate, London, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt.

 

Education

Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, 1986-1992 

DAAD-Stipend, Los Angeles, 2000-2001

 

Solo exhibitions

2015

Matthew Marks Gallery, Los Angeles

 

2014

Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (catalogue)

 

2013 

Michel Majerus: Mace the space ace, Art Basel Unlimited

Michel Majerus: Beautiful Way, Michel Majerus Estate, Berlin

 

2011 

Michel Majerus, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany. Traveled to CAPC, Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (catalogue)

Michel Majerus. zweihundertvier sechzigmalsechzig, neugerriemschneider, Berlin 

 

2010 

Michel Majerus, Knaackstrasse 12 (former studio of Michel Majerus), Berlin

 

2009 

lost forever, neugerriemschneider, Berlin

Michel Majerus, Saarlandmuseum, Saarbrücken, Germany (catalogue)

 

2008 

yet sometimes what is read successfully, stops us with ist meaning, Nosbaum & Reding Art Contemporain, Luxembourg

 

2007 

liebt euch, neugerriemschneider, Berlin

 

2006 

Michel Majerus, Mudam, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg

 

2005 

what looks good today may not look good tomorrow, Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover

demand the best don’t accept excuses, Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Olympia 2050. Michel Majerus, Sprüth Magers Lee, London

progressive aesthetics, neugerriemschneider, Berlin

what looks good today may not look good tomorrow, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Michel Majerus. Installationen 92-02, Kunsthaus Graz Universalmuseum Joanneum, Austria. (catalogue)

 

2003 

Pop Reloaded, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin. Traveled to Tate Liverpool (catalogue)

 

2002 

Sozialpalast, Brandenburger Tor, Berlin

Leuchtland, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York

controlling the moonlight maze, neugerriemschneider, Berlin 

 

2001 

Michel Majerus, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens

 

2000 

if we are dead, so it is, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne

demand the best don‘t accept excuses, Monika Sprüth Galerie, Cologne

The space is, where you’ll find it, The Delfina Studio Trust, London 

 

1999 

Björn Dahlem – Michel Majerus, Schnitt Ausstellungsraum, Cologne

sein lieblingsthema war sicherheit, seine these - es gibt sie nicht, neugerriemschneider, Berlin

Thai-Ming, Asprey Jacques, London, GB 

Jenny Holzer – Michel Majerus, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich

as soon as possible, Gió Marconi, Milan

Stefan Hirsig – Michel Majerus, Galeria Mário Sequeira, Braga, Portugal

 

1998 

never trip alone. always use 2 player mode, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens 

 

1997 

Space Safari, Anders Tornberg Gallery, Lund, Sweden

Produce-Reduce-Reuse, Galerie Karlheinz Meyer, Karlsruhe, Germany

 

1996 

Aesthetic Standard, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria

n.n., Monika Sprüth Galerie, Cologne

fertiggestellt zur zufriedenheit aller die bedenken haben, neugerriemschneider, Berlin

Summerhits 96: Michel Majerus, The Museum of Modern Art Syros, Cyclades, Greece

Michel Majerus, Kunsthalle Basel (catalogue)

Aquarell, Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg

 

1994 

gemälde, neugerriemschneider, Berlin

 

1993 

polish women, allgirls gallery, Berlin 

 

1992 

Mr. Proper und anderes, Zellermayer Galerie, Berlin

 

 

Group Exhibitions:

 

2015

Geh und Spiel met dem Riesen!, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich

Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, Museum Brandhorst, Munich (catalogue) 

Accrochage 3: Pop & Music, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris

I Got to Have One of Those, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich

After an Early Death, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany

Open Source: Art at the Eclipse of Capitalism, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

best students, best teachers, best school: Michel Majerus, Albert Oehlen, Laura Owens, Michel Majerus Estate, Berlin

 

2014

Gifts/New Acquisitions, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany

Thomas Bayrle / Harald Pridgar: Indian Cucumbers Dedicated to Michel Majerus, Michel Majerus Estate, Berlin

69/96, Alte Fabrik, Rapperswil, Switzerland

Traces of Modernism, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany

Art in Europe Since 1945: Beyond Boundaries, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece

 

2013 

Michel Majerus and Andreas Eriksson: Levitation, Michel Majerus Estate, Berlin

Expansion of the Combat Zone, 1968-2000. The Collection Part 3, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Auf Zeit, Wandbilder - Bildwände, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany

Das Glück kommt aus dem Nichts. Werke aus der Sammlung Wilhelm Otto Nachf, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany

Gegenwartskunst der Sammlung und der Kico Stiftung, Lenbachhaus, Munich

Contemporary German Art: Selections from the permanent collection, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis

A more perfect day - Collection of Mudam Luxembourg, Artsonje Center, Seoul

Lies about Painting, Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden

Thomas Bayrle: Dedicated to Michel Majerus, The Artist’s Institute, New York

 

2012 

Keine Zeit – Erschöpftes Selbst / Entgrenztes Können, 21er Haus, Vienna

Pink Kaviar – New Acquisitions 2009-2011, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebaek, Denmark

 

2011 

MMK 1991-2011, 20 Jahre Gegenwart, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany

 

2010 

Collision, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence

If Not In This Period of Time. Contemporary German Painting: 1989 – 2010, Museu De Arte De São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (catalogue)

 

2009 

Slow Painting, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany (catalogue)

The World is Yours – Contemporary Art, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebaek, Denmark (catalogue)

Access All Areas – a drawing exhibition, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Sammlung Reloaded, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany

Extended. Sammlung Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, ZKM / Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Germany

 

2008 

Now’s the Time, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

BlueBalls, Art Production Fund LAB, New York 

DRESSing the MESSAGE. Transformationen von Kunst und Mode, Sprengel Museum, Hanover (catalogue)

Painting; Now and Forever, Part II, Green Naftali Gallery and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

Pop! goes the weasel, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany

 

2007 

PX: Snow Falls in the Moutains without Wind, St Paul Street Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand 

Von Bill Viola bis Aernout Mik. Werke aus der Sammlung der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin 

Reality Bites: Making Avant-Garde Art in Post-Wall Germany, Opelvillen Rüsselsheim, Germany (catalogue)

Comic Abstraction: Image-Breaking, Image-Making, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (catalogue)

Reality Bites: Making Avant-Garde Art in Post-Wall Germany, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis (catalogue)

 

2006 

RADAR Selections from the Collection of Vicki & Kent Logan, Denver Art Museum (catalogue)

Open House – Casa Aberta, Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Essential Painting, The National Museum of Art, Osaka (catalogue)

 

2005 

36 x 27 x 10, White Cube Berlin

Golden Krust, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York 

10 foreign artists, Galleri K, Oslo

Atelier 5 – 9 Bauten 9 Künstler, Kunsthalle Bern

Generation X. Junge Kunst aus der Sammlung, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany 

Same Old Shoe, Gimpel Fils, London

La nouvelle peinture allemande, Carré d’Art, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Nîmes, France

EXIT. Ausstieg aus dem Bild, ZKM / Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

Willem de Kooning, Kunstforum Wien, Vienna

 

2004 

BIACS – Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, I Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, Seville, Spain (catalogue)

Kunst – ein Kinderspiel, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany 

Heißkalt. Aktuelle Malerei aus der Sammlung Scharpff, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany

was malerei heute ist, Opelvillen Rüsselsheim, Germany (catalogue)

Treasure Island, 10 Jahre Sammlung Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany 

Werke aus der Sammlung Boros, ZKM / Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Germany (catalogue)

no more reality, Nils Staerk Contemporary Art, Copenhagen

 

2003 

SUPERNOVA: Art of the 1990s from the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (catalogue)

Heißkalt. Aktuelle Malerei aus der Sammlung Scharpff, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (catalogue)

Sitings: Installation Art 1969-2002, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 

some things we like... , Asprey Jacques Gallery, London

actionbutton. Neuerwerbungen zur Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 2000 - 2002, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin

20th anniversary show, Monika Sprüth – Philomene Magers, Cologne

PERFECT TIMELESS REPETITION, c/o Atle Gerhardsen, Berlin 

 

2002 

Reality Check: painting in the Exploded Field, Works from the Vicki and Kent Logan Collection, CCAC Institute, Oliver Center, Oakland, California

The Starting Line, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich 

Hossa. Arte Alemán del 2000, Centro Cultural Andratx, Mallorca, Spain

Kunst nach Kunst, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, Germany (catalogue)

Lila, weiß und andere Farben. A Summer Group Show, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Painting on the Move, Kunsthalle und Kunstmuseum Basel (catalogue)

Flamm – Heinzmann – Majerus – Majewski – Nader, Asprey Jacques Gallery, London

Exposition collective, Palais de Tokyo, Paris

 

2001 

Wiedervorlage D5 – Eine Befragung des Documenta-Archivs zur Documenta 1972, Documenta-Archiv, Kassel, Germany (catalogue)

Casino 2001, S.M.A.K., Gent, Belgium 

gravures de peintres, Niels Borch Jensen Verlag und Druck, Berlin

Poetry in Motion, MindBar, Lund, Sweden

Update #3. What looks good today..., Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany

Viel Spaß, Espace Paul Ricard, Paris

M Art In(n), n.n., Helsingborg, Sweden

Oh Pardon, sind sie der Graf von Luxemburg?, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

Freestyle. Werke aus der Sammlung Boros, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany

 

2000 

Pflummi, Brix-Kunstraum, Berlin

Salon, Delfina Project Space, London

Malkunst – Aktuelle Malerei in Berlin, Fondazione Mudima, Milan

The Sky is the Limit, Taipei Biennale

CN Négociations, Centre Régional d ́Art Contemporain Languedoc

Roussillon, Sète, France (catalogue)

at your service, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna

mission impossible, Charim Klocker, Vienna

Colour Me Blind! Painting in the age of computer games and comics, Dundee Contemporary Arts, United Kingdom

hausschau - das haus in der kunst, Deichtorhallen Hamburg 

at your service, Gasser & Grunert, New York 

Colour Me Blind! Painting in the age of computer games and comics, Städtische Ausstellungshalle am Hawerkamp, Munich

 

1999 

Colour Me Blind! Malerei in Zeiten von Computergame und Comic, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany (catalogue)

German Open. Gegenwartskunst in Deutschland, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (catalogue)

Die Schule von Athen, Municipality of Athens - Technopolis, Athens 

kraftwerk BERLIN, Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark (catalogue)

Originale echt/falsch, Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, Germany (catalogue)

Le Capital: tableaux, diagrammes, bureaux d’études, Centre Régional d ́Art Contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon, Sète, France (catalogue)

d’APERTutto, 48th Venice Biennale (catalogue)

objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Nach-Bild, Kunsthalle Basel (catalogue)

zoom. Ansichten zur deutschen Gegenwartskunst, Sammlung Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany

Lè Grand Præmière Opénïng Shöw, Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen

de coraz(i)ón, Tecla Scala, Barcelona (catalogue)

expanded design, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria 

Made in Berlin, House of Cyprus, Athens

 

1998 

Made in Berlin, Rethymnon Centre for Contemporary Art, Crete (catalogue)

10 Jahre Open Art München, n.n., Munich (catalogue)

Manifesta 2, European Biennial for Contemporary Art, Luxembourg (catalogue)

Malerei, Galerie Karlheinz Meyer, Karlsruhe, Germany

Das Jahrhundert der künstlerischen Freiheit. 100 Jahre Wiener Secession, Secession, Vienna (catalogue)

Tell Me a Story: Narration in Contemporary Painting and Photography, Magasin, Centre National d‘Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France (catalogue)

 

1997 

Topping Out, Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, Germany (catalogue)

Franz Ackermann: 5%, Michel Majerus: Qualified, Tobias Rehberger: Water-colour, Giò Marconi, Milan

Faustrecht der Freiheit, Sammlung Volkmann, Gera, Germany

Fiat, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany

 

1996 

Alle Neune, ACC Galerie, Weimar, Germany

Wunderbar, Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg

something changed, Helga Maria Klosterfelde, Hamburg

Malerei III, Monika Sprüth Galerie, Cologne

Wunderbar, Kunstraum Wien, Vienna

 

1992 

3K-NH, Ausstellungsraum von J. Kosuth, Stuttgart, Germany

Under Thirty, Galerie Metropol, Vienna

 

1991 

Ausstellungsreihe zwei, Kunstinstitut Stuttgart, Germany 

 

1990 

und wieder kommt kein Schwein, Klinik, Stuttgart, Germany