André Rottmann

  • “Michael Krebber: The Living Wedge”

    The practice of Cologne-born artist Michael Krebber is as influential as it is (in)famous for laying bare the conditions and conventions of painting (and painter) by means of tentative gestural markings, evacuated canvases, diffident readymades, and lapidary exhibition displays. Krebber’s abstractions always appear to operate at the brink of disappearance as they continuously substitute ciphers of doubt, delay, withdrawal, and hesitation for the medium’s ancestral values of expression, plenitude, and presentness. While painting will take center stage

  • the collected writings of Renée Green

    Other Planes of There. Selected Writings, by Renée Green. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2014. 506 pages.

    “MY WORK has for some time included multiple parts, created to coexist and thus create a density of layers, spatially, geometrically, sonically, visually, and textually.” So declared artist Renée Green in her 2004 essay “Why Systems?,” an incisive articulation of the additive method driving many of her works at that moment. The piece is one of the fifty-odd texts compiled for the first time in Other Planes of There, a five-hundred-plus-page volume of her selected writings

  • “Cosima Von Bonin: Hippies Use Side Door. The Year 2014 Has Lost The Plot”

    From its inception in the early 1990s, Cosima von Bonin’s practice has relied on the input and influx of others, a fact evidenced in both the mnemonic matrix of art-historical references manifest in her stuffed-animal sculptures, textile paintings, and labyrinthine installations, and in the number of her projects to which various of her network of peers and colleagues has contributed. Thus, this comprehensive survey will hardly read as a one-woman show, but rather as a display of delegated authorship and enforced collaboration. Alongside reconstructions of her own exhibitions,

  • Christoph Schlingensief

    “Whereas the Fifty-Fourth Venice Biennale’s German pavilion staged a requiem for Christoph Schlingensief (1960–2010), this first retrospective dedicated to the auteur, theater maker, opera director, and performer promises to throw the relentless vitality of his boundary-crossing oeuvre into relief.”

    Whereas the Fifty-Fourth Venice Biennale’s German pavilion staged a requiem for Christoph Schlingensief (1960–2010), this first retrospective dedicated to the auteur, theater maker, opera director, and performer promises to throw the relentless vitality of his boundary-crossing oeuvre into relief. The exhibition, which will remain open day and night for the show’s duration, will offer not only a rich selection of Schlingensief’s filmic works but also several impromptu contributions by his longtime collaborators—a

  • “Thomas Bayrle: All-In-One”

    “On the heels of Thomas Bayrle’s revelatory contribution to Documenta 13, this comprehensive retrospective promises further insight into the trajectory and topicality of the influential German artist’s oeuvre.”

    On the heels of Thomas Bayrle’s revelatory contribution to Documenta 13, this comprehensive retrospective promises further insight into the trajectory and topicality of the influential German artist’s oeuvre. Fusing Minimalist tactics with visual idioms culled from agitprop and popular culture, Bayrle typically works in the mode of so-called super-forms, dystopian portraits of postwar subjectivity derived from the obsessive repetition and modulation of a single pixel-like motif. The exhibition, organized by theme rather than chronology, will present an array of paintings,

  • TRACE ELEMENTS: THE ART OF NAIRY BAGHRAMIAN

    THE ORGANIC AND THE GEOMETRIC, the corporeal and the mechanical, the biomorphic and the technical: At first glance, Nairy Baghramian’s sculpture appears firmly grounded in these antinomies, inevitably recalling the decisive role played by such dualisms in the history of post-Minimalism and Arte Povera.¹ The Berlin-based artist’s invocation of this legacy is not aimed at posthistoire or pastiche, however. Rather, it serves to draw attention to those forces that today put the production and reception of aesthetic objects under permanent duress. At a time when much contemporary sculpture has replaced

  • OPENINGS: JAN TIMME

    LIKE MANY CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS, Jan Timme is committed to engaging the history of the discursive formations and practices that have shaped advanced art since the early twentieth century—but he does so on his own terms, without succumbing to nostalgia, academicism, or simple emulation. In his installations, photographs, sculptural objects, wall writings, films, and audio pieces, the Berlin-based artist often deploys the ironic attitude of the homo ludens to respond to the history of the readymade and to Conceptual and site-specific art of the 1960s and ’70s. Take Sweeping the Desert, 2007,

  • Michael Krebber

    Michael Krebber’s works—comprising not only painting but also artist’s books, arrangements of readymades, and texts—might be identified as symptoms of a diffidence that is interrupted only temporarily, in order to produce material effects, but without allowing for artistic progress. Formats, procedures, and references recur only to continually suspend development. To borrow the terminology of literary scholar Joseph Vogl, one might designate Krebber’s stance as a veritable “system of hesitation” that results in a “specific limbo” in which “opposing forces” simultaneously motivate and block one

  • 1000 WORDS: ALICE CREISCHER, MAX JORGE HINDERER, AND ANDREAS SIEKMANN

    FOUR DECADES AFTER ITS BIRTH, the art of institutional critique—that refractory offspring of 1960s site-specificity and Soviet factography—is under considerable pressure to settle into docile middle age. Of course, institutional critique’s once radical strategies were absorbed into the canon almost immediately after they were introduced; but increasingly, it seems, they are invoked in purely formal fashion by artists who seek legitimation via recourse to a heroic past. At the same time, there is a renewed intensity in the scholarly push for historicization, via a wave of anthologies, conferences,

  • Andreas Gursky

    Since the late 1980s, Andreas Gursky has been getting further and further away from his subjects. The evolution of digital manipulation techniques has enabled the Düsseldorf-based artist to occupy an increasingly remote vantage point from which he casts a privileged gaze on the exclusive sanctuaries of a globalized lifestyle industry and other sites off-limits to the public: a Formula 1 racetrack in Bahrain; man-made archipelagoes off the coast of Dubai; North Korean propaganda spectacles. In this respect, his large-format tableaux pursue an aesthetic strategy of spectacular superficiality in

  • Thomas Demand

    The method Thomas Demand has been using since the early 1990s to produce his often large-scale color photographs has become well-known: The Berlin-based artist and his team generally begin with press photographs, which they use as starting points for constructing detailed replicas of interiors, historical moments, public spaces, nameless buildings, and natural scenery. Demand then photographs these models, labels them with the most generic titles imaginable, and mounts them behind reflective Plexiglas via the Diasec process. These static tableaux are invariably missing certain details of their

  • OPENINGS: FLORIAN PUMHÖSL

    THE EMERGENCE OF POSTCOLONIALISM during the 1960s, which marked the delegitimization of Western modernism’s utopian and universalist project, was accompanied by an eclipse of medium-specificity—something that had in the pre- ceding decades been central to both the production and the criticism of American and European art. Rejecting the self-referentiality of the art object, site-specific Conceptual practices and early forms of institutional critique instead put forward the analysis of modern exhibition conventions (and the ideologies sustaining them) as the ineluctable context and precondition