Ralf Ziervogel

born in 1975 in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
lives and works in Berlin

Ralf Ziervogel has made a name for himself with his obsessively detailed drawings of human bodies exposed to apocalyptic cruelties. By committing himself to a monochromatic palette and by choosing to depict his drawings in extreme detail, the mapped out sceneries, spreading over several sheets of paper as ornamental patterns, function as caricatures and pseudo-realist fantasies of violence. In his words, it is a “game of systems” that acts as a continuous artistic test run. His so-called “declinations on the human body” have allowed Ziervogel to develop a technique to test certain systems in order to push them towards an unknown territory.
His recent work continues the systematic approach of declinations. However, the theme of brutalities executed on human bodies seems to be abandoned or exposed to a process of abstraction. Composed of reduced mathematical formulas or – in the case of his new work, “A+B+Z (infinite+infinite)” (2009), a simplified code of letters – the graphic systems gradually dissolve into legible constellations. Using non-hierarchical orders based on numbers, dice dots, letters and figures, Ziervogel’s art has some parallels with the conceptual art Sol LeWitt pioneered in the late 1960s, with its serial processes and formulae.
Solo shows were dedicated to him by the Watermill Center, New York City (2009), the Sammlung Südhausbau & PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V., Munich (2009), the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2008), and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2007), among others. Besides further solo shows in galleries in Germany, Austria, Israel and the United States, he has participated in many national and international exhibitions including “Paul Thek. Werkschau im Kontext zeitgenössischer Kunst”, Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg (2008), “Traum und Trauma”, MUMOK–Kunsthalle Vienna, “Made in Germany”, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, the 52nd Venice Biennial (all three 2007), Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens (2006).

EXHIBITIONS:

10.12. 2010 - 12.02.2011
Ralf Ziervogel
Solo presentation at ARNDT Berlin

29.4. - 30.5.2010
“Changing The World”
Group exhibition with works by Erik Bulatov, Sophie Calle, William Cordova, Wim Delvoye, Anton Henning, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ilya und Emilia Kabakov, Jitish Kallat, Jon Kessler, Karsten Konrad, Julije Knifer, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Josephine Meckseper, Vik Muniz, Muntean Rosenblum, Julian Rosefeldt, Charles Sandison, Dennis Scholl, Nedko Solakov, Hiroshi Sugito, Ena Swansea, Mathilde Ter Heijne, Keith Tyson, Ralf Ziervogel, (ARNDT, Berlin)

02.05.–13.06.2009
Ralf Ziervogel
Young German Art
Solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Berlin

Ralf Ziervogel, 42_OT, from the series: Every Adidas Got Its Story, 2010, ink on paper+ envelope with back-side embossing (EVERY ADIDAS GOT ITS STORY) , 23,9 x 21,6 cm | 9.41 x 8.5 in Ralf Ziervogel, 42_OT, from the series: Every Adidas Got Its Story, 2010, ink on paper+ envelope with back-side embossing (EVERY ADIDAS GOT ITS STORY) , 23,9 x 21,6 cm | 9.41 x 8.5 in
Feb 13, 2011

Ralf Ziervogel - group show: Kunsthalle Emden

16 April to 17. July 2011
Zwischen Film und Kunst
Storyboards von Hitchcock bis Spielberg
Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Quentin Tarrantino, Ralf Ziervogel u.a.
Kunsthalle Emden

Feb 13, 2011

Ralf Ziervogel Prestel KUNSTWERKSTATT releases catalogue

Kunstwerkstatt Ralf Ziervogel
hard cover, 72 pages, 22,5 x 26 cm
60 colour plates
ISBN: 978-3-7913-4295-5
€ 25,00 [D] 
Publisher: Prestel

Feb 13, 2011

RALF ZIERVOGEL - group show „Tous cannibales“ at La Maison Rouge in Paris

RALF ZIERVOGEL will be part of the group show „Tous cannibales“ at La Maison Rouge in Paris from 12 February until 15 May. The show will be travelling to Berlin and on view at the ‘me Collectors Room’ from 28 May until 18 September.

Apr 20, 2010

Black Pam Pan XX (loose fit) at the Landesgartenschau

On the occasion the Landesgartenschau in Sachsen-Anhalt, Ralf Ziervogel created his public sculpture „Black Pam Pan XX (loose fit)“, 2010, curated by Peter Lang
Location: DB HBF, Aschersleben (Sachsen-Anhalt)
Opening: 24.04.2010, 2 p.m. at the main station
Duration: 25.04.2010 - 10.10.2010

Exhibitions

10.12. 2010 - 12.02.2011
Ralf Ziervogel
Solo presentation at ARNDT Berlin

List of exhibited works.

Ralf Ziervogel at ARNDT Berlin 2010 Ralf Ziervogel at ARNDT Berlin 2010
Ralf Ziervogel at ARNDT Berlin 2010  Ralf Ziervogel at ARNDT Berlin 2010

Art Forum Berlin: Ralf Ziervogel

ARNDT is pleased to present a solo presentation by RALF ZIERVOGEL at the art forum berlin from 7 - 10 October 2010. You will find us in hall 18, booth 127.

Ralf Ziervogel, Every Adidas Got Its Story (Installation View), 2005-2008, Ink on Paper, each 23,9 cm x 10,4 cm Ralf Ziervogel, Every Adidas Got Its Story (Installation View), 2005-2008, Ink on Paper, each 23,9 cm x 10,4 cm
Ralf Ziervogel, Every Adidas Got Its Story (Installation View), ), 2005-2010, ink on paper, each 23,9 cm x 10,4 cm  Ralf Ziervogel, Every Adidas Got Its Story (Installation View), ), 2005-2010, ink on paper, each 23,9 cm x 10,4 cm

02.05.–13.06.2009
Ralf Ziervogel
"lititi (infinite + infinite)"
Solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Berlin

Ralf Ziervogel "lititi (infinite + infinite)" solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Berlin Ralf Ziervogel "lititi (infinite + infinite)" solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Berlin


PRESS RELEASE
Ralf Ziervogel’s obsessively detailed drawings of human bodies exposed to apocalyptic cruelties are well known. In his words, it is a “game of systems” that acts as a continuous artistic test run. By choosing to depict his monochromatic drawings in extreme detail, the mapped out sceneries function as caricatures and pseudo-realist fantasies of violence spreading over the layers of paper as ornamental patterns. His so-called “declinations on the human body” allowed Ziervogel to develop a technique to test certain systems in order to push them towards an unknown territory.
For his solo show at Arndt & Partner, Young German Art, Ziervogel created a three-dimensional installation that continues the systematic approach of declinations. However, the theme of brutalities executed on human bodies seems to be abandoned or exposed to a process of abstraction. Juxtaposed out of reduced mathematical formulas or, in the case of his new work, A+B+Z (infinite+infinite) (2009), a simplified code of letters, each system completely dissolves into a legible constellation composed out of fragments.
Using non-hierarchical orders based on numbers, dice dots, letters and figures, Ziervogel’s art has some parallels with the conceptual art Sol LeWitt pioneered in the late 1960s, with its serial processes and formulae. However, Ziervogel deliberately undermines all the mystic auras these conceptual artists associated themselves with, and breaks the system with its own means. In infinite+infinite (2009), an installation that consists of over 60 drawings on a black background, a seemingly random succession of letters suddenly forms complete sentences like “If you read this, your second child will die of cancer.” These sentences are not intended to shock, but rather to expose the semantic import separate letters acquire when put together in words and sen-tences. The sentences target the associations inherent in particular constellations of letters and the thoughts they conjure up in our minds; the rational system of the alphabetical order thus serves to activate the irrational power of our superstitions.
Untitled (2009) also works with the “declination on the human body”. Black and white figures and skeletons are playfully combined in one big composition of black dots sprayed on paper. The gesture of spraying intervenes in the system of figures while also imposing an order upon them. The physical nature of this intervention is central to Ziervogel’s work, whose compressed inten-sity should always be understood as an act of physical labor. The figures he draws on paper confront us as forceful gestures, gestures that invariably lead us back to the body as our basis.
Ziervogel has appropriated the medium of drawing to channel his artistic explosions of pseudo systems and fantasies, which he elaborates and perfects to the tiniest detail. He plays on the visual appeal of his work to draw us in, only to seize on the connotative associations that populate our thoughts. At first glance, his drawings seem familiar and pleasingly aesthetic. In formal terms, their appeal is heightened by the focus on black and white contrasts. But as a closer look quickly tells us this is nothing more than an elegantly designed trap.
The title of the exhibition bears special mention. By calling his exhibition Young German Art, Ziervogel takes aim at the clichés that have attached themselves to discussions on contemporary art. Similar to the YBAs of the 1990s (Young British Artists), the term Young German Art has come to stand for the institutionalization of an art form that the two adjectives Young and German supposedly suffice to define.
Born in 1975 in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany, Ralf Ziervogel lives and works in Berlin. In addi-tion to solo shows at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2007), the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2008) and galleries in Germany, Austria, Israel and the United States, his work has been shown at many national and international group exhibitions including panic room, Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens (2006), the 52nd Venice Biennial (2007) and Made in Germany, Sprengel Museum, Kunstverein Hannover and the Hanover kestnergesellschaft (2007). His most recent solo exhibition was at the Kunstverein Ulm.