Biography of Olaf Metzel
Olaf Metzel (born in 1952 in Berlin, Germany) is no stranger to controversy. After abandoning figural work in the early 80s, the artist rose to fame in 1987 following the installation of his sculpture 13.4.27 on Berlin's Kurfürstendamm. Consisting of a tower of piled-up police barriers, the name of the public installation references the date on which violent protests erupted in Germany. The Berlin Senate promptly dismantled the installation after its construction. Since, Metzel has focused-in on the complexities of German history and culture resulting in works that personify frustration, provocation, and perhaps even aggression in their explicitly physical gesture. However, behind the veneer of destruction that personifies his works there is the distinct evidence of controlled calculation, subtle composition, and site specificity that comment on the socio-political issues of interest whilst simultaneously engaging in a discussion on how these are portrayed in the media.
Since his first solo show in 1982 in West Berlin, Olaf Metzel has been widely exhibited both in Germany and abroad. In 1987 he was a participant in documenta 8 and, in 2006, was the curator of the Berlin Biennale project exhibition YBA–Young Bavarian Art at Gagosian Gallery Berlin. His works appear in the collections of Deutsche Bank; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Bayrische Staatsgemäldesammlung, Munich; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Sammlung Falckenberg and Sammlung Ackermans.