Max Diel

Agenda, 2002

About the object

Most of Max Diel's works are based on photographic material he has found - illustrations from advertising brochures or postcards. In this instance, however, his own pocket diary provides the template for his painting, whereby what we see is just the trigger and the picture is only complete when combined with experiences and memories that a diary of this kind embodies.
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For Max Diel, a visual impression is always the starting point for a painting. He often uses photographs, postcards or advertisements as templates, but in this instance he has had recourse to a pocket diary. However, the immediate visual aspect is merely a trigger in the act of translating these impressions into the painting. What is far more important are the pictorial considerations. His paintings are intended to surprise and perplex the viewer; they raise questions and provoke ideas. The narrow portrait format, the dominant black of the book’s cover, the flowing outline of the object, the grey-white tones of the pages, the flatness of the cut edges and the monochrome background lend Agenda an air of uncertainty. It is neither standing up nor lying flat. Instead, it seems to be floating in front of a mint-coloured background. The diary with its torn corners is at once a compelling image of the passage of time: Agenda becomes thus a metaphor for Diel’s own daily activity as an artist.

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