Peter Rösel likes breaking things and making delightful objects from the remains. He first made a name for himself working with aluminium cans: he cut them lengthways, flattened them out and fixed them to wooden pegs of appropriate sizes. He then painted small oil paintings on the metal sheets, still bearing their printed brand logos: seascapes with a surfacing whales, Wale (Whales, 1992-93), and landscapes with which he had personal associations ­ Landschaften (Landscapes, 1992-93).

His Wandbilder (Murals, 1994) are enormous in comparison with these intricate works. Drilling a pattern of holes in the walls of hotel rooms or people's homes, Rösel produced a field of sunflowers that seemed to stretch to the horizon or skirt a line of hills. The tin works and the murals all involve an element of destruction in their assembly, and also share similarities in their choice of subject matter. A whale breaking through the surface of the water, a field of sunflowers: these are clichés of 'unspoiled' nature ­ idylls that constantly crop up in advertising, cheerfully oblivious to unpleasant things like the destruction of the environment and the extinction of species. Motifs of this kind also carry a heavy load of art-historical baggage, which affects the way in which they are used today whether the artist likes it or not.

In this respect, Rösel's new works on show in Hamburg are little different. Once more a basic material is deprived of its real function (and thus destroyed) and then reassembled, again with the aim of representing nature. The fundamental difference is that the works are three-dimensional, extensive and true to scale.

The sculpture Seam Ripper (1996) shows a scene that is not beautiful, but familiar to anyone who watches television programmes depicting nature as red in tooth and claw. Bruce Nauman fans will also be reminded of that artist's late 80s animal sculptures. A leopard, sitting on a many-branched tree that thrusts out of the wall, devours an antelope which it has just struck down. The steel structure supporting the imitation tree is covered with German policemen's uniforms. Rösel has opened up the seams in order to fit the fabric tightly round the metal, but always places the crotch of the trousers at the points from which the branches spring. The antelope is made of silver lurex and the leopard is in the orange and white stripes of a roadworker's reflective vest. The whole piece is a genre scene in mixed materials.

Rösel uses these different materials with a specific purpose in mind. It is easy to understand the natural power relationship between leopard and antelope. The predatory cat glows in its stridently patterned coat. Also, the animal is stuffed with coarse polystyrene flakes that make an unpleasant noise when the figure is touched. In contrast, the antelope is filled with cotton wool. Rösel builds visual and tactile signals appropriate to the natural images into the artificiality that permeates the scene (leopard: aggressive, rough; antelope soft: vulnerable).

The Loewen (Lions, 1995-96) are lying on the floors of two other rooms. They are large creatures, all asleep, two of them snuggling up together in a corner. Five of the lions are made of a yellow fabric used for windcheaters, and one out of firemen's jacket material. They are filled with the plastic material that was used for stuffing beanbags in the 70s, and Rösel does not mind if the sculptures are used as comfortable seats.

A charming interior in a smaller room in the gallery is roped off across each of its three entrances. Water-lilies made from the material used for policemen's caps are draped on the floor, transforming it into a Seerosenteich (Lily Pond, 1996). This underlines the influence, throughout the whole exhibition, of an old-fashioned nature-scene aesthetic ­ the kind found in natural history museum vitrines and window displays.

A striking feature of all the works is that they are made with professional precision and attention to detail. As he could not afford to hire a suitable workshop, Rösel had to acquire the necessary craft skills himself. He contacted costume designers and theatre craftsmen in New York and became increasingly involved with his materials; a process which is documented in Schnittmuster, (Dressmaking Patterns, 1996), also shown in Hamburg.

The way in which the materials were acquired is also important. Rösel soon discovered that it is not that easy to get hold of such things as police uniforms. But gallery owner Andreas Schlüter helped him to find second-hand uniforms and to buy material directly from the factory. Of course, this was only after he had signed a document promising that he would follow the strict guidelines on using official fabrics for improper purposes.