Since the late 1960s, Meuser has been developing sculptures made of solid materials such as steel and iron, but full of lightness, humour and poetry. Grids, metal beams and peculiar formations, which he mostly sourced from scrapyards and whose function is no longer visible, are painted and welded to new shapes at the studio. Being mostly three-dimensional, his objects have more of a pictorial character and exist somewhere between sculpture and painting. Meuser himself does not see his findings as ready-mades:
Meuser: “The ready-made is something industrially produced to perfection, I never use objects that still have a function. I would never take a fridge, that would be much too real. I am interested in the language of form only if I can translate it into something else. If I discover shapes that are not familiar to me, but which have a specific singularity, then they interest me. These forms would probably never come into my mind if I had to invent them. In found objects there is always something entirely different that someone else has thought of .”
With their relatively simple shapes and their abstract language of form, his sculptures are reminiscent of Minimal Art’s objecthood. Meuser, however, puts forth a clear reference to the ordinary world with their quotidian things and experiences, while also considering his work open to various other associations and connections.
Carefree as he deals with industrially produced objects that are removed from their original function and presented within a new context, the exact positioning of the work inside a room or on the walls is of great importance to him. Meuser arranges his works to perfection within the exhibition space, much like painters would examine the composition within their images.
The humorous, idiosyncratic or often irreverent titles are taken from newspaper headlines, figures of speech, song titles or phrases from the Ruhr area. Just like the found objects they were already established and have been torn from their original context.
Meuser was born in 1947 in Essen and lives in Düsseldorf and Karlsruhe. Since 1992, Meuser is a professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. His solo exhibitions include Kopfkissen ohne Bettdecke, Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe (2013); Meuser, Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt (2012); und Erich mittendrin, Gallery Weekend Berlin, Galerie Claes Nordenhake, Berlin (2012); KNAUTSCH – Neue Plastiken und Zeichnungen, Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe (2011); Wo ist oben?, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Köln (2009); Die Frau reitet und das Pferd geht zu Fuß, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2008); Meuser mit Pinsel ohne Farbe, Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe (2007); Tout va bien – Alles in Butter, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris (2007); Meuser, Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt (2006). His group exhibitions include PRÄSENTation. Geschenke für die Sammlung des ZKM, Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe (2012); Black Hole,CCA Andratx, Mallorca (2009); Blick nach vorn. Ankäufe der Sammlung Zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1998-2008, Marin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2008); Ruinöse Abstraktion: „Es gibt Dinge, die kann man nicht erklären“, Kunstverein Bonn (2007).