Framing the Narrative

Uniqueness and Multiplicity in the work of Reinhard Mucha

This work provides a rare opportunity to acquire a stunning diptych by one of Europe’s pre-eminent artists. Mucha’s constructions are in the collections of numerous museums in Europe where he is seen as a successor to Joseph Beuys and Anselm Kiefer. This diptych displays, on a smaller scale, all the elements of Mucha’s larger works in both subject and materials.

Central to Reinhard Mucha’s practice are the ideas of transivity and interconnectedness. His works are often assemblages, objects of his own creation melded with elements of mass production, high-end craft, stark modernity and always dense in their construction. On its own, the materiality speaks for itself, weighty, rich and rooted in historical traditions. Mucha uses these implications to frame the conceptual and intangible and bridge the gap between observer and idea. 

The present lot, BBK Edition is comprised of two posters advertising Mucha’s exhibitions from the past. One exhibition, aptly titled Kopfidktate (which roughly translates to You Copycat), was staged first in 1980 and then ten years later in 1990 and illustrates a child observing a mighty steam engine. The other, Kasse beim Faher (Buy ticket from the operator) was held at Kunsthalle Bern and Kunsthalle Basel in 1987 and depicts a pastoral scene. As is the case in his practice, the frames are very much a part of the work and bear Mucha’s signature engraved lines signifying train tracks—a reoccurring theme in his work, referencing industrialism offset by nature and the indeterminate symbolic network that connects us all. These heavy, intricate, oak constructions elevate the posters to unique works of art that are both institutionalizing and commemorative. While redundant in their very nature (printed multiples) and in subject matter (reoccurring exhibitions), Mucha literally and figuratively transforms the work in such a way that they become inherently unique, embedded within the complex network of the observer’s own personal experience and the grand narrative.