Michel Majerus studied painting from 1986 to 1992 at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart (State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart) under such teachers as K.R.H. Sonderburg and Joseph Kosuth. His initially astonishing choice of professors – a painter whose work is expressive and gestural, and a Conceptual Art start – shows the freedom with which Majerus addresses an extremely wide range of artistic expressive means.
On one hand, Majerus’s approach to painting is influenced by images outside of the fine arts: comics, advertising, pornography, and music videos; on the other, he is influenced by recognized artists such as Frank Stella, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, and others. His paintings feature figures from computer games, like Super Mario, as well as expressive brushwork that recalls Willem de Kooning’spainting. Majerus considers the popular iconography of the 1990s, with its logos, symbols, and codes as a signal, in the same way that he sees and makes free use of the stylistic means of art as a signal. He does not shy away from referring to stars of the New York art scenes of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Willem de Kooning, and Frank Stella.
Michel Majerus’s international breakthrough came in 1998, with his contribution to Manifesta, 2nd Edition in Luxembourg. In 1999 Harald Szeemann invited Majerus to design the outer façade of the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He created a text/image collage titled Sun in 10 Different Directions. Majerus died in an airplane crash on November 6, 2002.