Adina Popescu

  • picks October 17, 2010

    Kasper Sonne

    Upon entering Kasper Sonne’s solo exhibition in this new gallery, one first notices an overwhelming absence of color. Most obvious are the shiny black surfaces of several Minimalist monolithic sculptures and the black-and-white perfume advertisements that Sonne has transformed by covering nearly all of the original text and images in black paint. Only the promises that lay in words such as ETERNITY, OBSESSION, and HAPPY remain. But in the end these are only fragmented utterances. Language here acts to penetrate, break open, and cause violence to the perfectly crafted objects on view. However,

  • picks July 22, 2010

    Liam Gillick

    The centerpiece of Liam Gillick’s latest exhibition is 1848!!!, 2010, a film that shows Clementine Coupau (one of his students) discussing the key events of the European revolutionary year 1848. Instead of Coupau’s voice, though, we hear a complete restructuring of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians (1974–76). The mechanistic, repetitive electronic music and the scenes of Coupau are juxtaposed in the show with a series of ink-jet prints titled “Bar ‘Volvo,’ ” 2010. These depict medieval woodcuts and fragments of dialogue from the first act of Gillick’s play A “Volvo” Bar (2008). The theatrical

  • picks June 25, 2010

    Joachim Koester

    The Museo Tamayo opened its doors anew in April with a transformed program and identity. The strongest of the inaugural solo exhibitions is a presentation of work by Danish artist Joachim Koester, titled “From the Secret Garden of Sleep,” that assembles pieces made between 2003 and 2009, including a video projection and a 16-mm film installation. Koester juxtaposes established historical narratives with informal countercultural phenomena, seeding his work with references that range from Immanuel Kant and John Dee to Charles Manson and Carlos Castaneda, by way of Charles Baudelaire. By layering

  • “Rational/Irrational”

    This show at Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures)—curator Valerie Smith’s first for the institution—brought together works by seven artists to investigate the boundaries of the rational and the irrational in a distinctively global context.

    In the foyer, one encountered a series of flat-screen monitors. Here, Pawel Althamer, appearing thoroughly intoxicated on various substances, is seen in dialogue with Arthur Zmijewski, who generally holds the camera. Althamer is musing about “so-called waves and other phenomena of the mind,” as spelled out by the work’s title, So genannte

  • picks March 10, 2009

    Serban Savu

    Based in Cluj, the painter Serban Savu is one of the most interesting artists to emerge from post-Communist Romania. His paintings depict vast postindustrial landscapes in which people walk around, swim, and engage in everyday activities. His titles, such as Early Days of Summer (all works 2008) and The Traveler, recall Romantic motifs. Although the titles suggest landscapes in which people might feel safe and at one with nature, this is by no means the case in the paintings. Genre Scene and Mountain of Nostalgia depict concrete ruins and junkyards. In another work, an enormous industrial highway

  • Warren Neidich

    Warren Neidich’s recent solo show in Berlin, “Each Rainbow Must Retain the Chromatic Signature, it . . . ,” comprised a triad of painting, sculpture, and installation that playfully pointed out the conditions of perception and the ways it can be manipulated and controlled. The exhibition included “Rainbow Brushes,” 2007–2008, a series of nine oversize paintbrushes that each feature a different sequence of colors, all taken from famous paintings throughout European art history. Neidich places the matching pigment on a piece of paper laid flat on the ground, then pulls a brush through it, leaving

  • picks May 08, 2008

    Jorinde Voigt

    The artist Hanne Darboven once said of her work “Ich schreibe, aber ich beschreibe nichts; ich schreibe, aber ich lese nicht,” which translates roughly to “I scribe [write], but I do not describe anything; I write but I do not read anything.” In their quietness and concentration, as well as in their resolutely abstract quality, Jorinde Voigt’s diagrammatic systems act similarly and are reminiscent of Darboven’s tables and drawings. The seismographic notations of “movement” in Voigt’s works on paper seem to stem from a belief that reality is accessible to us only through its transcription into

  • “Total Enlightenment—Moscow Conceptual Art, 1960–1990”

    Following the Schirn's 2003 exhibition “Dream Factory Communism,” “Total Enlightenment” moves forward in time with a comprehensive survey of Conceptual art in late- and post-Soviet Russia.

    Following the Schirn's 2003 exhibition “Dream Factory Communism,” in which philosopher, artist, and curator Boris Groys explored the manifold aspects and impacts of Soviet art under Stalin's regime, “Total Enlightenment” moves forward in time with a comprehensive survey of Conceptual art in late- and post-Soviet Russia. Featuring 130 paintings, installations, videos, drawings, and photographs by thirty artists, including Erik Bulatov, Ilya Kabakov, Komar & Melamid, Alexander Kosolapov, and Boris Mikhailov, this show aims to define Moscow Conceptualism as distinct from its

  • picks March 14, 2008

    Manfred Pernice

    diary, 2008, which takes up a good deal of the floor space in German sculptor Manfred Pernice’s fourth solo exhibition at this gallery, consists of two layers of interlocking particleboard panels. Like monuments, the geometric figures rising from the piece’s “platform” are marked with a date. These dates, however, seem to have been selected arbitrarily; they will be familiar only to those able to connect them with events. Unlike On Kawara’s timetables, which are concerned with the divergent relationship between internal and external times, here one does not experience the sense of time’s passing.

  • picks January 08, 2008

    Sigalit Landau

    Israeli artist Sigalit Landau’s site-specific work The Dining Hall, 2007, is not easy to digest; it greatly disturbs the viewer, who is confronted with unpleasant smells, disintegrating organic matter, and an enormous, two-yard-high mountain of (nonorganic) kebab meat. The overall effect is grotesque.

    The installation engages the process of ritualized eating, an activity occurring across cultures and throughout history, from the Last Supper, which in Judaism (and specifically in the Israeli kibbutz) signifies the communal meal as a central moment of community creation, to the twentieth-century

  • “5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art”

    Adam Szymczyk, director of the Kunsthalle Basel and a cofounder of Warsaw's Foksal Gallery Foundation, and Brussels-based curator and critic Elena Filipovic have divided this year's Berlin Biennial into a main show on view in the daytime and a series of events taking place in the evenings.

    Responding to the challenge of the biennial format, curators are increasingly taking such shows into uncharted territory. Adam Szymczyk, director of the Kunsthalle Basel and a cofounder of Warsaw's Foksal Gallery Foundation, and Brussels-based curator and critic Elena Filipovic have divided this year's Berlin Biennial into a main show on view in the daytime and a series of events taking place in the evenings. Some forty artists are participating in the exhibition component, which occupies three sites—the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Mies van der

  • Angela Bulloch

    The paradox of Angela Bulloch's art is that while her works are difficult to apprehend perceptually, they depend on heightened sensory responses for their affective power.

    The paradox of Angela Bulloch's art is that while her works are difficult to apprehend perceptually, they depend on heightened sensory responses for their affective power. Her show at the Kunstbau, titled “The Space that Time Forgot,” consists of five new pieces, among them a projection of images of the earth onto a three-dimensional object; a computer-controlled LED installation mimicking a starry night sky; and an assemblage of structures evocative of modernist architecture but of indeterminate function. The works will respond to and influence one another both visually

  • picks December 17, 2007

    Walter Pichler

    On November 10, Contemporary Fine Arts opened its spacious new home on Kupfergraben, across from Berlin’s Museum Island, with a two-floor exhibition of work by Austrian artist Walter Pichler. The show is a rare glimpse at an artist who seldom sells or lends his work; the occasion is made more special by its nearly retrospective comprehensiveness. Pichler first came to international attention with his “Prototypes”—models for objects that were intended to be serially produced—exhibited at Documenta 4 in 1968. Made between 1962 and 1969, the “Prototypes” influenced the designs of architects like