Burkhard Meltzer

  • picks March 17, 2020

    Florence Jung

    While sitting in a tramcar on my way to the exhibition venue, I noticed a curious ad for Florence Jung’s solo exhibition: “If there is one name you never utter, call 0775050362.” The intrigue continued inside the Helmhaus, which offered further contact infos, rumors, and half-opened entryways. Doors prove to be one of the exhibition’s leitmotifs: Some cannot be opened at all, others offer an obscured view through a narrow crack, and still others can be passed through only one person at a time, under strict control by a guard. As soon as I entered the adjoining room, one of the guardsmen handed

  • picks June 04, 2019

    Miriam Cahn

    Until the early 1990s, Swiss artist Miriam Cahn primarily drafted large-format charcoal-and-chalk drawings on paper. They were often influenced by her political involvement with the antinuclear and women’s movements, and, sometimes, she made them with her eyes closed. Her subject matter from this period includes bodies affected by war as well as the land- and cityscapes on which such wars are waged. Her work has since evolved in various media, as demonstrated in “Ich als Mensch” (I as Human), a retrospective exhibition of the artist’s fifty-year career, which will travel to Haus der Kunst,

  • picks April 07, 2019

    The Brotherhood of the New Blockheads

    A vast array of drawings, photographs, videos, restaged installations, and artifacts by the Brotherhood of the New Blockheads—a Russian performance collective active mainly in and around Saint Petersburg in the mid-1990s—is presented in this archival exhibition. From 1996 to 2002, the eclectic fraternity’s eight key figures staged more than one hundred performances, often combining mundane materials such as magazine covers and canned foods with playfully archaic and at times mythical language. For The Movement of a Tea Table Towards the Sunset. Seven Days of Travel, 1996, the members loitered

  • picks November 20, 2018

    Tobias Kaspar

    “Independence” is a loaded exhibition title. It evokes a certain kind of gallerygoer’s cliché fantasy of art and artists, and it immediately raises the question: Independence from what? With its nondisclosure of the participating artist’s name, this show’s title and press materials proclaim a break from art-world convention while posing a paradox: a declaration of independence from a tradition of independence.

    The curtain of artistic anonymity is lifted upon entering the gallery space, where one is greeted by rows of uniformed teddy bears (Harlekin Teddy, all works 2018) marked with large brand