Catrin Lorch

  • Jorge Pardo

    Parts of each of five large paintings by Jorge Pardo (all works Untitled, 2012) hung in the first room at Galerie Gisela Capitain. But they extended far beyond this one space: Like moss or lichen, they proliferated on the walls of all three of the gallery’s rooms, in each of which was also one of three large lamps. For many years now, Pardo has been using all sorts of light sources as material for his three-dimensional works, so these new lamps, their freshness notwithstanding—they have an organic presence with painted round shades and the protruding tangles of tentacles cut out of wood

  • Roman Ondák

    The Sputnik lies there like a sack of sturdy linen with stenciled numbers. It’s even got an address: ROMAN ONDÁK, SPUTNIKOVA 1, BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA. Seventeen stamps commemorating the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 show the Earth as a blue ball encircled by a blue ring representing the spacecraft’s orbit. The stamps bear cancellation marks. This work, After Return from Orbit, 2011, appears to be part of a dream that has haunted Slovak artist Roman Ondák for many years—at least since 2004 when, for one of his first major works, Spirit and Opportunity, 2004, he built up an artificial Martian

  • Guillermo Faivovich & Nicolás Goldberg

    Entering the Portikus exhibition hall, you walked directly toward a solitary dark boulder, split in half down the middle. The boulder is about a yard across, knee-high, and jagged as a nugget of lava. But the split edge is smooth and perfect. Its precision distinctly shows that this cut was carried out deliberately, with carefully calibrated instruments. And while one half looks rusty and a bit weathered, as though it had been outdoors a long time, the other has a metallic sheen; it seems to have been sheltered from the elements.

    Though this boulder, which constituted the entirety of the show “

  • Michael Venezia

    In a career spanning more than half a century, Michael Venezia has pursued a mode of painting based on drastic forms of reduction developed under strict constraints. This exhibition, “Nacht wird Tag” (Night Becomes Day), gave an overview of his oeuvre since 1969 but with special emphasis on works of the past two years. From the first, the Brooklyn-born artist was influenced above all by his encounters with what would soon be known as Minimalism: After dropping out of college in 1958, he returned to New York, where he found a job at the Museum of Modern Art; his coworkers there were Dan Flavin,

  • Reinhard Mucha

    Reinhard Mucha’s first solo show since his appearance at Luhring Augustine in New York in 1998—and his first show in Düsseldorf in twenty-three years—was both familiar and unfamiliar. He is still recycling traces of the past: Entering the gallery, one saw to one’s left a tall stack of twelve gray wooden crates containing (but also part of) unsold copies of the artist’s Edition 1991–Kreuzstück (Edition 1991–Cross Piece), 2004, and right next to them a vitrine titled Before the Wall Came Down, 2008; to the right, on the side wall, were a series of untitled oil paintings from 1986 by Mucha’s friend

  • Stephen Willats

    The name “European Kunsthalle c/o Ebertplatz” sounds grand, but Ebertplatz is a rather blank underpass lined with shops, built in the 1970s, in which a formerly empty storefront has been temporarily occupied. The interloper is an organization created several years ago by a group of artists, architects, curators, critics, and designers who came together when the Kunsthalle am Josef-Haubrich-Hof—a cultural center born out of the spirit of the ’70s—was torn down. There probably aren’t many artists who would be better suited to exhibit in this space than Stephen Willats, who came of age then: “At

  • Nairy Baghramian

    The building that houses the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein is simple: two levels, each a single long room, connected by a plain staircase. This manageable structure was the perfect setting for Nairy Baghramian’s exhibition “Affairen. Ein semiotisches Haus, das nie gebaut wurde. Zu Gast: Janette Laverrière und Henrik Olesen” (Affairs. A Semiotic House That Was Never Built. Guests: Janette Laverrière and Henrik Olesen). In it, the artist staged doublings, reflections, recollections, and meetings. Downstairs, the sculpture Entrechambrage vertical, 2008, greeted exhibition-goers. An architectural

  • Rita McBride

    Assembled out of softly rounded wooden elements and painted a bright yellow, Rita McBride’s Arena, 1997, filled the entire exhibition space of the Witte de With in Rotterdam when it was first shown that year, reaching almost to the ceiling. Yet its imposing format appeared to be truncated, an abbreviated version of what was possible—the curve along which nine rows of seats rose up could have been augmented by several more to produce a complete circle, but was instead left incomplete. Fittingly, in the Museum Abteiberg’s “Public Works,” McBride’s first retrospective in Germany, Arena can only be

  • Roman Ondak

    It would have been easy enough for hundreds of Japanese steelworkers to cast a steel sculpture the size of a full-grown Serra—it was no doubt trickier to convince them to undertake the playful bit of bricolage Roman Ondak asked of them, a task they eventually carried out with imaginative precision: The artist gave 500 workers a chocolate bar apiece, asking them to save the wrapping paper and sculpt something out of it. A white veneer table, nearly twenty feet across, now serves as a wide pedestal to hold these tiny, shimmering silver sculptures—miniature boats, boots, heads, classical origami,

  • Matts Leiderstam

    Just past the entrance to “Nachbild” (After Image), the first solo show in a German institution by Swedish artist Matts Leiderstam, one saw a grotto. Photographed in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, it reached to the ceiling: a slide projection on an almost entirely freestanding painted wooden board. At the center of the grotto, as part of the photographic mise-en-scène, stands an easel with a painting that in turn displays a landscape, Leiderstam’s own copy of Nicolas Poussin’s Spring or the Earthly Paradise, painted in Rome in the seventeenth century.

    At first we seemed to be viewing a sort of

  • Tris Vonna-Michell

    The photocopies strewn across the floor appeared to be left over from a demonstration. Behind them, fresh pages lay ready, sorted into eleven little stacks lined up along one wall. This was Leipzig Calendar Works, 2005/2007, and it sometimes came to life in the presence of museum visitors: Tris Vonna-Michell would appear and ask to be given a length of time—thirty seconds per page, one minute per page, two minutes, whatever. If the visitors gave him thirty seconds per page, then, with the artist reading one sheet from each stack, they could expect a story exactly five and a half minutes long.

  • Manuel Graf

    One cannot help but cower at the feet of Ekkehard Wallat—not least because the older gentleman appears almost life-size in a projection that fills the entirety of a gallery wall; the room is furnished with low, modern plastic stools. Wallat is a teacher accustomed to translating complex ideas into simple formulas. Here, in a presentation more graceful and direct than that of any politician or late-night talk-show host, he summarizes the evolutionary theory of Otto Heinrich Schindewolf, comparing the curvatures of the skulls of adult and child Homo sapiens with those of their ancestors since

  • picks July 11, 2006

    Edward Krasinski

    Daniel Buren can call his own a particular stripe pattern; Yves Klein patented a certain shade of blue. Of all the artists identified with iconic gestures, Polish artist Edward Krasinski, who died in 2004, is probably one of the least known. Nevertheless, two years after his death, his blue Scotch-tape line (always stuck at a height of 51 3/16” [130 cm]) has become a regular presence in the art world, and he has been claimed as a father figure for a generation of “new formalists” working in Glasgow, Warsaw, Hamburg, and Berlin.

    This exhibition is the artist’s first posthumous retrospective. As

  • picks June 01, 2006

    Clare Stephenson

    The sculptures included in this exhibition represent inhabitants of Clare Stephenson’s studio: small, helpful spirits that come to the artist’s aid, there to strike a pose when necessary. Here, they have been placed on tall, thin pedestals, reluctantly attempting to maintain their positions. A resident of Glasgow, Stephenson has, for the first time, brought a large group of these sculptures together: Neither complete figurations nor reduced abstractions, they stand in front of the works on paper like a gathering of shy models.

    Assembled from a couple of casually varnished wooden boards, Armature

  • picks March 06, 2005

    Matti Braun

    Finnish-German artist Matti Braun is interested in souvenirs—objects, ideas, and memories removed from their original cultural context—and in the confusions and complications that surround them. His current show was inspired by an article by Satyajit Ray, published twenty years ago in the Calcutta Statesman Weekly, in which the Indian filmmaker recounted his experiences trying to sell a screenplay in Hollywood. The screenplay—about a little goblin-like space alien who turns a small town upside down—garnered interest from stars like Peter Sellers, Marlon Brando, and Steve McQueen, but ultimately

  • picks February 18, 2005

    Kris Martin

    A Chinese vase, larger than the average gallery visitor and decorated from top to bottom, is the centerpiece of Kris Martin's current show. Its surface is overrrun with cracks: Martin has destroyed it in order to put it back together. Whenever he shows the vase, it first lies in shards in the gallery, before being resurrected piece by piece. Is this action a comment on destruction, or its opposite? The other works provide a clue. A frayed sheet hangs on the wall, with the entire text of Kafka's Metamorphosis, written across sheets of paper, attached to it. Across from this is a golden ball,

  • picks November 28, 2004

    Peter Piller

    Until recently, Peter Piller was employed at a Hamburg ad agency, where he was required to comb through a hundred newspapers per day—a gig that gave him ample opportunity to compile the image archives that form the core of his art. In the past year, he has won the Ars Viva Prize and the Rubens Prize and was honored as a local boy made good in his hometown of Siegen, where he had a solo show—so perhaps now he can live off of his art. In any case, his media-related day job brings to mind the young Andy Warhol; but whereas Warhol was exposed to, and inspired by, the glamorous world of

  • picks May 10, 2004

    Tino Sehgal

    No pictures, please: Not only does Tino Sehgal prefer that his artworks not be photographed, but he asks his gallerists not to release CVs, press releases, or other supporting materials. Thus he pointedly circumnavigates the pitfall that snared the original Conceptualists: In their attempt to produce works of art that could not be commodified, they of course kicked off a brisk business in documentary materials of all kinds. Sehgal’s rigorous yet playful works, which read like amalgams of avant-garde choreography and institutional critique, wittily reconstitute the business transactions and

  • picks April 16, 2004

    “What Did You Expect?”

    “Dear Jan and Jonathan, looking forward to the show. When is the opening? I’d like to try and come,” reads a fax from Douglas Gordon that is now kicking around the gallery in a clear plastic folder. This un-contribution makes a nice punch line for the exhibition “What Did You Expect?” Taking its title from a work by Robert Barry—Don’t Expect Anything, 1999—the show explores the frustrations of perception. To that end the gallerists have rounded up mean tricks like Dave Allen’s sound piece For the Dogs. Satie’s “Veritables Preludes Flasques” (pour un chien)” rendered at tone frequencies

  • picks March 05, 2004

    Svenja Kreh

    Svenja Kreh’s oversize works on paper are tangles of painting and drawing that combine fine rendering and expressionistic gestures into mysterious scenarios. Purity, 2003, depicts a surly angel in medieval robes against a background of thickly applied gold paint; he sports classic, feathery wings, but his legs are coils of metal partially obscured by a maelstrom of streaky black watercolor. In Lachen Jesu (Laughing Jesus), 2003, a dark, thickly modeled mass hovers against the same shimmering gold background, like the body of some hulking animal, while across the surface of the paper Kreh has