Christoph Steinmeyer

 

Biography

1967       Born in Düsseldorf
Lives and works in Berlin, DE

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016

Retratos sin Retratos, Galeria Saro León, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ES

2015

Transit, Cube Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin, DE

2014

Bilder für Alle und Keinen, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE
St. Moritz Art Masters, St. Moritz, CH
Richard Oelze - Christoph Steinmeyer: Surreale Wege gestern und heute, Galerie Brockstedt, Berlin, DE

2012

Trooping The Colour. Dirimart, Istanbul, TR

2010

Nocturne Drive, Galleri Van Bau, Vestfossen, NO

2009

Lavender Falls, Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève, Paris, FR

2008

Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE
The Long Goodbye, Kunstverein Heilbronn, Heilbronn, DE

2007

Chateau Fleur du Mal, Galleri K, Oslo, NO

2006

Hotel Déjàvue, Michael Janssen, Cologne, DE

2004

Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, US

2003

The Happy Lion, Leo Koenig, Inc. & Michael Janssen, Los Angeles, US
Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, US

2002

New Works. Michael Janssen, Cologne, DE

1999

Michael Janssen, Cologne, DE

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017

Young Masters at the Royal Overseas League, London, UK

2016

Der Feine Riss, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin, DE

2013

Young Masters, Sphinx Fine Art, London, UK
Richard Oelze - Christoph Steinmeyer: Surreale Wege gestern und heute, Galerie Brockstedt, Hamburg, DE

2012

Paper does not blush, Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE
Böse Blumen, Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin, DE
Die Kniende, Sphinx Denken, Galerie Next, Dresden, DE

2011

Don‘t Eat the Yellow Snow, Wiensowski & Harbord, Berlin, DE
Le Paris Bar à Paris, Suzanne Tarasiève Galerie, Paris, FR

2010

Filmschönheit, The Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, US
Filmschönheit, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, DE
Filmschönheit, curated by Albert Oehlen, Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna, AT
Memento Mori, Art Mûr, Montréal, Québec, CA

2009

dé/montage, curated by Barbara J. Scheuermann, Grusenmeyer Art Gallery, Deurle, BE
Flower Power, curated by Andrea Busto, Villa Giulia - Centro Ricerca Arte Attuale, Verbania, IT

2008

La mirada persuasiva, Galería Estudio Artizar, La Laguna, ES
Tom Allen, Kristian Burford, Christoph Steinmeyer, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE

2007

Salon Nouveau, Engholm-Engelhorn Galerie, Vienna, AT

2006

Memento Mori, with Jonathan Meese, Arnulf Rainer, Comme ci Comme ça II, Cologne, DE

2005

Dreaming of a more better future, curated by Stuart Horodner and Saul Ostrow, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, US
Idols of Perversity, curated by Thomas Woodruff and Becky Smith, Bellwether Gallery, New York, US
Blumenstück Künstlers Glück. Vom Paradiesgärtlein zur Prilblume, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, DE
Skulls. Images in the Face of Death, Schönewald Fine Arts, Xanten, DE

2004

Bernhard Kahrmann, Josephine Meckseper, Christoph Steinmeyer, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, US
The Sublime is (Still) Now, curated by Joseph R. Wolin, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, US
Back to Paint, with Prieto, Thomas Scheibitz, Charline von Heyl, C&M Arts, New York, US
Back to Paint, L&M Arts, New York, US
Now Is a Good Time, curated by Dean Valentine, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, US

2003

Torn between two Lovers, (curated by Catharina Fritsch), Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, US
Never mind your step, Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal, CH
Superreal, Primo Marella Gallery Milan, Milan, IT
Bernard Kahrmann, Josephine Meckseper and Christoph Steinmeyer, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, US

1999

Officina Europa, Galleria d‘Arte Moderna di Bologna - GAM, Bologna, IT

Press text 'Situation Suites' (2018)

Clouds gather in a forest. A ship teeters on a mountain peak. Mechanics labor among glaciers. A bedroom looks in on itself. These are already all the nearly impossible scenarios one finds in Christoph Steinmeyer’s solo exhibition Situa- tion Suites at Galerie Michael Janssen.

Steinmeyer’s paintings challenge viewers and the very act of viewing, and they have prompted curator and critic Mark Gisbourne to position them in a category located between archaic and modern-day notions of amazement. In his es- say, appropriately titled “From Wonderous Gaze To Marvellous Presence,” Gisbourne calls attention to the “distant, if not to say at times, somewhat puzzling realities” presented in Situation Suites —a quality that gives them a surrealist tinge. But as he suggests with his citations of Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, and Borges, the works are as much in con- versation with philosophy, literature, and music as they are with the history of art and the language of dreams.

These connections are explicit in Robert Browning Ouvertüre C. Ives (2018) and Clout, Save Me (2018). The former pays tribute to an early 20th-century overture by the American composer Charles Ives, which was, in turn, a tribute to the Victorian-era poet Robert Browning. The latter title references a ‘70s South African rock band, whose name (Clout) is the source of Steinmeyer’s pun. Both depict a cumulonimbus cloud amassed in the heart of a dark woods. At a glance they look identical except for differences in scale and tone. Despite their shared content, they are discreet artworks, which independently came into being during separate painterly actions. It is the artist’s mark—the evident hand—that diverts these works from being mere hyper/photorealistic duplicates. Significantly, they are known by dif- ferent names linking them to different external influences—a conceptual gambit on the part of the artist, which deflects twinning and confounds the pictorial traditions to which they contribute.

Similar strategies are used elsewhere in the exhibition, albeit with a twist or flip. For example, the sailing ship in Das Dokument (2014) is reiterated in the smaller 22.03.2022 (2018). The vessel is still perched on a mountain peak and is still being (ironically) photographed by a mariner, but the images mirror each other, further layering the complexities already in play. This mutual inversion also occurs in the set Das Rennen (Start) (2015 - 2018) and Das Rennen (Stop) (2018). Although their titles lead one to think the paintings might be depicting the same scene, the parenthetical “stop” truncates this thought. Halt those assumptions! It says. Not all pit stops are the same, even if they appear to be. Just as not all paintings of pit stops are the same, even if they tease the viewer into thinking they are.

Perhaps the most mind-bending element of the show is the namesake Situation Suite (2018). According to Gisbourne, the piece provides “a key to the other paintings in the exhibition,” in that it opens “onto a world that appears elo- quently plausible in the first instance, but when closely scrutinised reveals an unfolding conundrum of visual contra- dictions.” Here Steinmeyer has compounded his formal and conceptual antics into a single image: a mutely colored bedroom. From outside the frame, it seems possible the room is sandwiched between mirrors, yet not even a simple mise en abîme is spared the artist’s sabotage, for the reflections do not correlate to their context. And even if they did accurately repeat the interior design, they would do nothing to explain the liquesent downward pull occurring in the foreground—a proverbial slippery slope, which takes us into a mysterious world where causal relationships no longer abide by common expectation. Instead, the uncanny prevails.

Text: Patrick J. Reed

Press text 'Bilder für Alle und Keinen' (2014)

Michael Janssen is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Christoph Steinmeyer entitled Bilder für Alle und Keinen. On view is a series of new paintings that gives the exhibition its title; and that was part of the St. Moritz Art Masters earlier this year in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Macrocosm and Microcosm: The Body and the Void

"The heightened realities of the paintings of Christoph Steinmeyer seem to avoid all the now historically belaboured terms that sought to imprison paint-based reproductive forms of realism in the late twentieth century. In the world of our current far reaching reproductive technologies the usefulness of defining images in terms of Photorealism, Super-Realism or more latterly post-Baudrillard ‘hyperrealism’, seems somehow irrelevant and intellectually out of date. Yet undoubtedly, and it is not denied, the painter Steinmeyer uses found resources derived from within photography, mass media and the internet, but nonetheless in the process of their subsequent translation they are removed from their original context and meaning. In fact rather than speak of the translated (which is simply to convert or move something from one context or meaning to another) they might be better described as having been transmuted—that is to say changed in their form or nature and subject—into a new understanding and visually redirected sense of reality. Hence they are less about realism, but rather inscapes of another heightened and vividly imagined personal reality."

"....The paintings currently exhibited are part of a series of supercharged cosmological engagements with their human organic opposites. In these paintings such as Troy and Augenblick (Moment), the heart and the eye are superimposed upon the infinitude of a variable cosmological space. And while Steinmeyer often refers to them as an extension of his recent investigations into landscape, they are in fact better described as cosmological inscapes. The denial of an actual assertive realism—regardless of their meticulous execution—is predicated on the fact that as synthesised images, analogue source materials passed through a computer in filtered stages of integration in a manner of a digital collage, and after this reprocessed into their newly reconceived analogue form. In this way a sort of artist- generated and sublimated set of images emerges that serve as the basis for the imaginative paintings that are subsequently executed....."

Text by Mark Gisbourne

Press text 'The Long Goodbye' (2008)