At the MMCA Seoul 2019
These art carpets, first produced in 2020, are the creation of the graphic and media designer Michael Wruck (*1975), who is based in Brandenburg and Berlin. Wruck has used his own unique style of graphic design to reinterpret the visual world of the painter Sebastian Heiner. Drawing from the range of densely packed figurative compositions painted by Heiner since 2012, Wruck has extracted individual figures which now appear on the carpets alone or as a pair. Sometimes he has obverted a figure to make it fit into a new context, added motifs such as a mechanical moon or a spaceship, and streamlined Heiner‘s multiple layered, crystalline-cubist landscapes into geometrically structured backgrounds.
The resulting precisely defined, high-contrast colour surfaces stand out clearly and recall, in their open arrangement, the abstract compositions of Robert Delaunay from the early 1930s. Clearly visible is Wruck‘s affinity for illustration and narrative graphics such as comics and animation – the areas in which he specialised during his studies in media informatics and realised here in applied design. Wruck’s enthusiasm for stained glass and coloured leaded glass windows, a product of his previous training as a leaded glass glazier and stained glass artist, has also influenced his work. Some of his early experiments involving the design of pictorial scenes comprising clearly defined, complementary coloured areas, such as those produced by Marc Chagall or Sergio de Castro in their world-famous stained glass windows, were undoubtedly a factor in exciting his interest in Heiner‘s repertoire of form and has inspired the new compositions.
The basis for his carpet design are computer graphics – one of Wruck‘s core competences. After graduation, he extended his design skills at the Art.Lebedev agency in Moscow, the world‘s most respected and largest design studio in Russia. Even during his school years in the final years of East Germany, training on the computers available at that time was part of his tuition. He also made his first contact with the litany of great Russian writers, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, Tolstoy and Gogol, who have inspired him ever since.
His collaborative work with the thematic world of Heiner has also more recently awoken his interest in the best Soviet representatives of fantastic literature, such as Arkady and Boris Strugazki, and the Polish science fiction author Stanisław Lem. Since 2007 Wruck has run his own agency for graphic and advertising design, photography and film, based in Berlin, and in 2012 commenced as a lecturer at the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences. Study trips and longer stays have taken him to India, Russia, Cuba, China, South Korea and Mongolia.
In Berlin, he met the painter Sebastian Heiner, for whom he designed his catalogues published by Kerber-Verlag in 2016 and 2018. Since 2017, Wruck has accompanied Heiner as a photographer during his artist residences of several months in Shanghai, Seoul and Moscow. In all of those cities Wruck continued work he began as a student, taking carefully composed street photographs and creating expansive portraits of the cities and their inhabitants.
In recent years, the intellectual and artistic exchange between Heiner and Wruck has led to a number of innovative projects, culminating in the most recent series of carpets.
Axel Feuß, 2021