Magazine article Artforum International

Reinhard Mucha: VAN HORN

Magazine article Artforum International

Reinhard Mucha: VAN HORN

Article excerpt

Reinhard Mucha's first solo show since his appearance at Luhring Augustine in New York in 1998--and his first show in Dusseldorf in twenty-three years--was both familiar and unfamiliar. He is still recycling traces of the past: Entering the gallery, one saw to one's left a tall stack of twelve gray wooden crates containing (but also part of) unsold copies of the artist's Edition 1991-Kreuzstuck (Edition 1991-Cross Piece), 2004, and right next to them a vitrine titled Before the. Wall Came Down, 2008; to the right, on the side wall, were a series of untitled oil paintings from 1986 by Mucha's friend Helmut Dorner, and behind them, on the back wall, nine of Mucha's exhibition posters. We read, for instance, XLIV BIENNALE, VENEDIG (Venice), 1990, KOPFDIKTATE (Head Dictations), and KASSE BEIM FAHRER (Pay the Driver), titles spelled out in clear typography on top of old black-and-white images. All are encased in glass and secured by heavy, oak-colored wooden frames that clasp the prints with disorienting forcefulness. The exhibition title "Mucha Zuhause" (Mucha at Home) was ambiguous: Were we here to see works of art? Or rather a person, born in Dusseldorf in 1950 and still living there?

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Perhaps indicating the latter scenario, the next room felt like the hallway of an apartment. The walls were completely covered with prints, drawings, and photographs, many with handwritten dedications. These really did come from the home and studio of the artist. Here, too, in a regular rhythm, hung the circular, glass-covered panels of The Wirtschaftswunder, to the People of Pittsburgh, 1991, 2009, a work whose title refers to the "economic miracle" Germany experienced in the postwar era; Mucha made use of leftover brochures from the railroad supply firm Dusseldorfer Eisenbahnbedarf AG, which had once occupied the building where his studio is located. …

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