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Michael Raedecker, enter exit, 2014, acrylic and thread on fabric, 75 × 61 3/4".

Michael Raedecker

Galerie Max Hetzler | Goethestrasse

Michael Raedecker, enter exit, 2014, acrylic and thread on fabric, 75 × 61 3/4".

When a painter embroiders a canvas, it is hard not to wonder what this technique—in a sense, drawing with a needle—means in terms of content. In the case of Michael Raedecker, it seems to have been a radical gesture against tradition, at least initially. When he started out as a painter in the 1990s, Raedecker developed an almost obstinate way of working, penetrating the canvas with a needle, mixing paint with thread. This was partly to tease the audience, by overstating the allegedly corny character of painting, but also to create space for himself in a medium that was surrounded by reflections on failure and fatigue. More than twenty years later, sewing and stitching have simply become part of Raedecker’s signature and hardly seem recalcitrant. There are other factors to decide whether a work has “edge” or not.

If Raedecker’s paintings had to be described in one word,

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