Catrin Lorch

  • Installation view, 2006.
    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

  • Armature hand on hip, 2006.
    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

  • The Alien, 2005. Installation view.
    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

  • Vase 6, 2005. Installation view.
    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,

  • Regionales Leuchten (Regional Lights), from “ARCHIV,” 2000–2002.
    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

  • Sylvie Fleury, Aura Portrait, 2003.
    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

  • Lachen Jesu, 2003.
    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

  • Mark Leckey, Londonatella, 2002.
    picks February 13, 2004

    “Fast Forward”

    “Fast Forward,” a selection of works from the collection of Munich video- and media-art maven Ingvild Goetz, brings together some of the most exciting art of recent years. More than sixty artists—among them Doug Aitken, Francis Alÿs, Douglas Gordon, Santiago Sierra, Tony Oursler, Rineke Dijkstra, and Tacita Dean—are represented by projects that investigate raw realities and explore the breaking of taboos both social and aesthetic. Steve McQueen’s Documenta 11 journey through a mine, Caribs’ Leap/Western Deep, 2001, is here, as is Rodney Graham’s Edge of a Wood, 1999—a looping video of

  • Luxor, 2003.
    picks December 02, 2003

    Silke Otto-Knapp

    In her current show at Daniel Buchholz, London-based painter Silke Otto-Knapp presents her own take on a time-honored subject—the woman descending a staircase. In 25th Floor, 2003, which alludes to both Duchamp and Richter, barely clad showgirls negotiate the tiered risers of a Vegas stage. The artist's skill is such that it’s easy to imagine both of her predecessors perched on bar stools, enjoying the view, but Otto-Knapp doesn’t overburden herself with art history. Working from found photographs, she depicts (in addition to showgirls) blue-black copses of trees in the moonlight and cities

  • Untitled, 2003.
    picks November 17, 2003

    Florian Pumhösl

    For his solo exhibition at the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Vienna-born Conceptual artist Florian Pumhösl has used black fabric room dividers to construct an insular space within a space. His makeshift galleries house videos, photos, and museological displays, including a spectacular falcon in a vitrine. Pumhösl has said that he is “trying to understand the grammar of the art of the ‘modern age,’” and the work here recalls moments of early abstract and documentary photographic production, echoing the technical processes of interwar German avant-gardes. A black-and-white video of worms has the creepy

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks February 08, 2000

    Sven Johne

    It makes sense that Christian Nagel Gallery, purveyor of sparsely installed neo-Conceptual exhibitions, would show Sven Johne, a photographer based in Leipzig, a town now inextricably linked to oil painting. Johne, also a student of literature, here combines text and image, makes little use of color, and deploys only a few motifs: diffuse landscapes, seascapes, and neutral portraits. However, while Joseph Kosuth explores semantic meaning and Lawrence Weiner fuses poetry and sculpture, this thirty-year-old child of the '70s finds the gray tones of his works in newspapers and contemporary archives.