Anthony Byrt

  • Elizabeth Peyton, Flaubert in Egypt (After Delacroix), 2009–10, oil on board, 12 x 9”. Installation view.
    picks June 03, 2010

    Elizabeth Peyton

    In this exhibition, Elizabeth Peyton presents eighteen new works in a former ironmonger’s showroom, a run-down nineteenth-century space that survived the two world wars and the duration of the GDR untouched. One might be tempted to write off the choice of venue as a gimmick or an attempt to recapture the grungy mystique of Peyton’s early-1990s exhibitions. But in fact, it feels like neither. Instead, Neugerriemschneider’s off-site gallery is a pitch-perfect backdrop for her art; a crumbling setting that turns her paintings and drawings into subtle little reflections on time, place, and history.

  • Mark Wallinger, According to Mark, 2010, one-hundred chairs, black marker, white strings, 7 x 12’.
    picks May 27, 2010

    Mark Wallinger

    Last year, Mark Wallinger curated “The Russian Linesman” for London’s Hayward Gallery: a superb show that explored all sorts of liminal spaces. For his latest exhibition, he has applied the same logic to his own practice, presenting a series of new works caught between the real and the imagined.

    In The Unconscious (all works 2010), enlarged pictures, culled from the Internet, of people asleep on public transit line the walls. Eyes roll back, chins drop, and arms get stuck under slumped bodies as Wallinger traps his exhausted heroes between destinations and between conscious states. For WORD, the

  • Arturo Herrera, Castle, 2003, collage, 67 x 87”.
    picks April 27, 2010

    Arturo Herrera

    “Home” is Arturo Herrera’s first solo exhibition in a German institution. There’s at least a little irony in the title, as the artist, a Venezuelan who moved to Berlin in 2003 after many years in the US, takes over a building that was once a domestic residence. Appropriately, the show offers a quiet, intimate overview of Herrera’s recent work, focusing on his preoccupations with such diverse interests as collage, Disney, and Abstract Expressionism.

    Herrera carefully manages the precarious relationships among these disparate strands of twentieth-century visual culture, so that a subtle, clever

  • View of “Matthew Barney,” 2010.
    picks February 22, 2010

    Matthew Barney

    Norman Mailer’s writings were a linchpin for Matthew Barney’s “Cremaster” cycle, 1995–2002. Now, Barney has returned to the late author’s work, transforming Mailer’s version of ancient Egypt, as imagined in his much-maligned 1983 novel Ancient Evenings, into an alchemical vision of modern-day Detroit.

    This exhibition includes several vitrines filled with storyboards for past and future Barney performances, which are structured around an ancient Egyptian belief that the soul passes through seven stages after death. The storyboards are full of references to Mailer and Motor City, as are the drawings

  • Ryan Mosley, Southern Banjo, 2009,
 oil on canvas, 96 1/8 x 120 1/8".
    picks January 29, 2010

    Ryan Mosley

    Ryan Mosley likes to borrow freely from art history. In his recent paintings, there are cartoonlike blobs of flesh that recall Guston, Gauguinesque landscapes filled with garish color, and even references to Bellini and Vermeer. But reducing his work to an ironic jumble of appropriations doesn’t do it justice: As his first exhibition with this gallery shows, his paintings are full of subtlety, strangeness, and potential. Many of the larger paintings are tied together with a southern-gothic or Americana thread. In Midnight Cabaret, 2009–2010, for example, a giant white moon frames the blackened

  • Zhang Huan, Survivor, 2008, ash on linen, 98 7/16 x 157 1/2".
    picks September 21, 2009

    Zhang Huan

    Seventy thousand people died when an earthquake struck China’s Sichuan Province in May 2008. But one hog—since nicknamed Zhu Gangqiang, or the “Cast-Iron Pig”—managed to stay alive on rainwater and rotten wood for forty-nine days, until his owners found him. Artist Zhang Huan makes Zhu Gangqiang the hero of his new exhibition, attracted to the pig’s story not only because of the animal’s survival but also because Buddhists believe that the time between death and transmigration lasts forty-nine days.

    Zhang uses this religious resonance to build a whole life cycle of sorts within the gallery. As

  • Cy Twombly, The Rose, 2008, acrylic on wooden panel, 8' 2“ x  24' 3”.
    picks April 17, 2009

    Cy Twombly

    In each of the five paintings in Cy Twombly’s latest exhibition, three big roses and a scribbled fragment of Rilke’s poem cycle “Les Roses” are suspended against a chalky background. All the paintings have floral color schemes in plausible shades except the last work, in which the flowers seem more like blackish-purple and green bruises. The background hue—the same in all the works—is somewhere between turquoise and a fresco’s pale sky. The flowers push and pull against the blue-green backdrops, then, lower on the canvases, begin to dissolve and run in bright trails. In most of the paintings,

  • Mark Wallinger, Time and Relative Dimensions in Space, 2000, stainless steel, MDF, electricity, 110 13/16 x 53 1/8 x 53 1/8".
    picks March 28, 2009

    “The Russian Linesman”

    In the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany, one of the linesmen—an Azerbaijani who became known as a Russian in popular folklore—awarded England a controversial point when the ball crossed the goal line but bounced back into play. Mark Wallinger uses this moment as his curatorial starting point for “The Russian Linesman,” a project that folds works over one another, collapsing real and psychological borders with concertina-like precision.

    Near the entrance to the show, Wallinger contrasts footage of Philippe Petit’s tightrope strung between the unfinished Twin Towers in 1974

  • Georg Baselitz, Brightening as a white thread, Kiki's dream of Prague, 2008,
oil on canvas, 118 1/8 x 98 7/16".
    picks March 10, 2009

    Georg Baselitz

    Georg Baselitz is at his best when he plays with humor, history, and paint all at once. In this exhibition, he presents sixteen new paintings that depict the same fictional image of Stalin and Lenin, seated and posed like Otto Dix’s 1924 portrait of his own parents. In each work, Baselitz flips the Communist leaders upside down and puts their penises on display. The paintings alternate between black and white backgrounds: Against the black, the two men are rendered in muted tones; against the white, they are composed of lurid smears of paint. It’s easy to dismiss images of these dictators as

  • Richard Serra, TTI London, 2007, two torqued tori of weatherproof steel, each 14 x 35".
    picks November 13, 2008

    Richard Serra

    The thrill induced by Richard Serra’s sculptures doesn’t come from the sense that they might crash down at any moment. As this exhibition proves, it occurs due to the delicate manner in which they stay up, and the subtle way Serra manages to bend our experience around them. TTI London, 2007, comprises two sandblasted torqued steel tori standing in a long room. Each is the inversion of the other, a reversal that creates two spaces that seem to warp and flare in completely different ways. Standing inside them is a dizzying experience, but it is nothing compared with the vertigo provoked by Open

  • Anthony Goicolea, Family Grid Positive, 2008, ink and acrylic on canvas, 59 7/8 x 33 7/8".
    picks September 16, 2008

    Anthony Goicolea

    The Cuban-American artist Anthony Goicolea is best known for photographs in which prepubescent boys, all played by him, act out creepy scenarios. When these images work, they are seriously unsettling. When they don’t, they tend to seem narcissistic and obvious. “Related,” by contrast, focuses more on Goicolea’s family history than his own reflection. But he’s still at the heart of every picture.

    Central to the exhibition is a collection of old portraits of Cuban relatives. Rather than using the original images, Goicolea has drawn copies that resemble negatives and then photographed them to flip