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Obituary: Michel Majerus

On November 6, the artist Michel Majerus died in the crash of a Luxair plane in Luxembourg. His painting “was absolutely fearless. He himself was of an unshakable friendliness. Both broke with the cliche of the painter who suffers in front of his canvas and otherwise blusters sullenly about the art world. Instead of timidly approaching the ‘Greats,’ he treated them – apparently – without respect,” wrote Jörg Heiser in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The curator Klara Wallner explained in her obituary in the taz: “His emotionally overwhelming images appear as samplings.

They always assert themselves on the square and wall-high formats intrinsic to modernism, often culminating in a peculiar conglomeration of a whole-room installation. With a quick, characteristic style, Michel developed a kind of utilitarian aesthetic that allowed him to create intelligent and provocative images. Moved by an ironic impulse, they dared interpret Frank Stella, Adidas, Ellsworth Kelly, Nike, or Andy Warhol as well as the rest of the art commodity world.” Deutsche Bank Kunst held the artist from Luxembourg in high esteem, as well. As early as 1995, ten of his works on paper were acquired as part of the bank’s collection. Michel Majerus was only 35 years old.