ANSELM REYLE
MAGIC SHINE RAY 800

XIE ZILONG PHOTOGRAPHY MUSEUM, HUNAN, CHINA
22 JUNE – 3 NOVEMBER 2024

Curated by Xie Jiaqi, the executive director of the Xie Zilong Photography Museum, and Wang Xi, Ph.D. in the History of Photography, the exhibition MAGIC SHINE RAY 800 showcases more than 20 works by leading German contemporary artist Anselm Reyle from the past 12 years. It comprehensively covers different aspects of his oeuvre, from the iconic neon installations, foil paintings, straw bale sculptures, and Fat Lava-styled vases to a recent body of abstract photography.

Installation view, “Anselm Reyle: Magic Shine Ray 800”, Xie Zilong Photography Museum, Changsha, 2024. Image courtesy of Xie Zilong Photography Museum, photo: Chen Siwei.

Among the highlights are the artist’s largest ever site-specific neon installation as well as the giant WINDSPIEL (CURVED RHOMBUS), 2020, recently acquired by the museum as part of the permanent collection. This “kinetic” sculpture changes the light and shadow of the space constantly, inviting the audience into an ever-flowing world. Just as the Chinese title of the exhibition suggests—“The flux of light is like the footprint of time, asking us to ponder our existence situated between briefness and eternity.”

Installation view, “Anselm Reyle: Magic Shine Ray 800”, Xie Zilong Photography Museum, Changsha, 2024. Image courtesy of Xie Zilong Photography Museum, photo: Chen Siwei.

The immersive site-specific neon installation demonstrates the artist’s masterful use of light. It consists of over 800 neon lights—hence the English title of the exhibition. For the artist, installing neon lights is like drawing with them in three dimensions. These seemingly abstract "strokes" are, in fact, all based on or even from fragments of some real advertisements that once shined in a city at night. The shimmering floor of the space adds another layer to the work. Visitors are invited to walk through the installation and upon its reflection, as if floating in the dreamy air.

Installation view, “Anselm Reyle: Magic Shine Ray 800”, Xie Zilong Photography Museum, Changsha, 2024. Image courtesy of Xie Zilong Photography Museum, photo: Chen Siwei.

FEATURED ARTIST

ANSELM REYLE

Anselm Reyle (b. 1970 in Tübingen, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe. Since 2009 the artist has held a position as a professor of Painting/Drawing at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg.

Anselm Reyle’s best-known works include his foil and stripe paintings as well as his sculptures. The characteristic of his artistic work is the use of various found objects that have been removed from their original function, altered visually, and recontextualized. Remnants of consumer society, discarded materials, symbols of urbanity, and industrial change play a centra...
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