Tilted Space: Ulrich Riedel & Emre Meydan
Address: Potsdamer Str. 61, 10785 Berlin
Time: 6 pm
On entering the exhibition space, Riedel’s imposing wooden structures immediately strike the viewer. With their typically geometric appearance and undulating surfaces that create the illusion of further volumes, these works are adept experiments in the perception of texture. Their interlocking nature, based on subtle calculations and the principles of construction, reveal the complexity of these large-scale yet restrained sculptures. Oscillating between two and three dimensionality, Riedel’s minimalist pieces consciously play with spatial awareness, changing as soon as the viewer moves to a different angle with skilful agility.
Riffing off the neutral tones of Riedel’s structures, Meydan’s paintings have a subtly muted colour palette. His abstracted interior spaces experiment with depth without becoming fully three-dimensional, what the artist calls two and a half dimensions. The flat surface of the canvas is slashed and stitched back together, often extending beyond the boundaries of the frame to attach to the wall of the exhibition space. Thread is used to reconnect sections, in one work stretching across the entire wall in a bold, diagonal sweep. What Meydan seems to do in these paintings is to deconstruct the canvas as such, uncoupling the fabric from the stretcher in search of new ways to represent depth. These hybrid works of two and three dimensions, moving between the two with subtle fluidity, are rendered in tones of white and pastel shades, to the point where the picture starts to disappear, the contours blending and effacing the image as such. This is in direct conflict with the artist’s aim of creating depth, forming the central tension at the heart of Meydan’s practice, his works constantly fading in and out of focus, moving forward and receding back into the canvas.
The exhibition culminates in a collaborative artwork by Riedel and Meydan, acting as a symbiotic fusion of their two very different approaches. Typically, Riedel builds the frame, the structure, the backbone of the pieces with his rigorous geometric style whilst Meydan elaborates the interior with his subtle touch and intuitive interpretation of enclosed space.
Both the medium of sculpture and that of painting is intimately concerned with the notion of space and perception. Sculptures inhabit three-dimensional space, they are in direct contact with it and have to negotiate it from every angle and are perceived from every angle. Paintings – by definition flat surfaces – seek to create a sense of depth by two-dimensional means, by tricking the eye with optical illusions. In the case of the show Tilted Space, however, Riedel is the one that manipulates his wooden structures to create the illusion of volume whilst Meydan makes his canvases extend into three-dimensional space in a reversal of the aesthetic traditions of their respective mediums, underlining the dialogic nature of these artists’ exchange.
(Text: Katja Taylor)