Till Megerle, Untitled (Fight Harm), 2017/18

Till Megerle

November 20, 2020 – February 7, 2021

Till Megerle’s drawings, photographs, and films attest to his sustained interest in the specificity of codes and their manifold resonance in bodies and gestures. His visual studies in the social characteristics and standing of figures take inspiration from historic works of art like the paintings of Pieter Bruegel and Matthias Grünewald, but also from pop-cultural references such as skateboarding and hip-hop videos. His pictures insistently point up the protean, alien, and psychedelic facets of the quotidian. Pervasive psychological overtones distort the familiar so as to render it unreal and uncover what was repressed or thought to have been overcome.

Megerle’s figurative drawings show scenes involving oddly convoluted and deformed bodies. His figures find themselves in literal or figurative strangleholds that they often seem to inflict on themselves. Their physical intensity derives from moments of playfulness and grotesquerie laced with barely contained violence. The characters in his compositions are distinguished by an ambivalence that makes them seem both comedic and tragic, both intimate and aloof. A conspicuous feature of his art is the mixture of styles and techniques. Working with charcoal and ink, but also with crayons and ballpoint pens, he layers dense aggregates of subtle hatching and graduated shading in compositions whose apparent homogeneity gives way to complex internal contradictions as discontinuities of perspective and sometimes caricatural exaggerations come into view. The result is an interplay between rigorous form and a semblance of amateurishness that is also discernible in the idiom of his photographs and films and unmistakably anchors his work in the here and now.

Till Megerle was born in Bayreuth in 1979 and lives and works in Vienna and Berlin.