Areal Böhler, Düsseldorf, Germany
Clay Ketter, Mike Meiré
Bartha Contemporary is delighted to announce their participation at Art Düsseldorf. The inaugural edition of Germany’s new fair for post-war and contemporary art taking place from the 17 - 19 November 2017, the preview and opening (by invitation only) is scheduled for Thursday, November 16th.

Inspired by the lasting reputation of the Rheinland as a center for both artistic creation and collecting the gallery will dedicate the entire booth to a two-person presentation featuring works by Clay Ketter and Mike Meiré.

Both artists employ varying degrees of abstraction as a means to reveal the processes that determine our perception. An essential aspect of both Clay Ketter and Mike Meiré’s practice is the use of everyday materials.

A series of new paintings combining photographic imagery with built-up structural elements by Clay Ketter combine real imagery with suggested real components. These works question our perception of time, place and artifice. Contemporary culture and the trend to segregated gated communities in particularly informed a large scale Photographic work: “Spider Woods” (2010). Compiled from high resolution satellite images stitched together using CGI technology to depict a dystopian aerial view of a gated community concentrically arranged to surround a golf course. Another large-scale photographic object from the artist’s renown Gulf Coast Slabs Series (2007), depicting traces of homes swept away by Hurricane Katrina, will complete Clay Ketter’s installation. These photographic objects are a timely and poignant reminder of our fragile existence.

Fragility and the constantly transient nature of our everyday existence play an equally important role in the works presented by Mike Meiré. A specially commissioned display, occupying the central space of the booth, features a sequence of recent ceramic-objects, sculptures, and is juxtaposed with a selection of recent wall based grid-paintings on newsprint. The works showcase the artist’s familiarity with popular culture in western societies as well as the artist’s acute awareness of the neuroses that increasingly signify our existence.

The show at Art Düsseldorf features works by two artists who have enjoyed a continuous exchange of ideas. One based in the Rheinland the other in Scandinavia, this dialogue has inspired both artists, and the presentation at Art Düsseldorf is a significant manifestation of their creative debate.

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Bartha Contemporary was founded by Swiss-German couple Niklas and Daniela von Bartha in January 2000. The gallery relocated to its current space in Fitzrovia in early 2012. The program has a strong emphasis on non-figurative and conceptual contemporary art.

Clay Ketter USA / Sweden
Born in Brunswick, Maine, 1961, lives and works in Sweden.

Combining consistency and innovation, Ketter has continued to produce works at the juncture of architecture, sculpture, and painting. The variation between media, including painting, photography, and sculpture, establishes layers of complexity but the terse composition of his works are always visually arresting. He falls within an American painterly tradition that started in abstract expressionism and developed into minimalism.

Although the formal aspects are central in Ketter's work, social and human issues are equally important. In his recent series, these have become more visual. In Gulf Coast Slabs (2007) photographic objects show traces of homes swept away by the hurricane Katrina that hit the American Gulf Coast in 2006. The series develops in his aesthetic somewhere between abstraction and realism or even fake readymades, both brutal and poetic. The traces of architecture are this time also loaded with morally more difficult content than in his earlier works.

Mike Meiré Germany
Born in Darmstadt, 1964, lives and works in Cologne, Germany.

Central to all of Meiré's work is a delicate interplay between highly refined against mundane everyday materials. The intriguing juxtaposition of organic often sexually explicit or gender-orientated objects with anodyne geometric elements play an increasingly important role in Meiré's work and evoke a sense of ambivalence towards modernity.

Within Meiré's continuing work as a creative director, he has for many years navigated and in some cases deliberately trespassed the borders between Advertising, Design and Fine Art. Within this capacity as a designer, Meiré's has worked on several installation-based projects, which were commissioned by a variety of commercial companies as subversive means of product placement. However more recently Meiré has defined his practice as an independent artist. As one line of work continues to inform the other, Meiré's art-works reveal a profound understanding of popular culture. It is this knowledge, which allows the artist to explore the deep-rooted neuroses that inhibit today's societies and in turn challenge these through his work.

Clay Ketter

Buena Vista Neighbors (Gulf Coast Slabs Series)

Mike Meiré