Colin Lang

  • Peter Fischli and David Weiss, The Objects for Glenstone (detail), 2011/2013, polyurethane and acrylic, dimensions variable.

    Peter Fischli and David Weiss

    This gorgeously curated overview-cum-retrospective of the polymorphously parodic work of Peter Fischli and David Weiss further benefits from the compelling amalgam of sophistication and bucolic splendor that is Glenstone—the private museum just outside Washington, DC, that houses the collection of Mitchell and Emily Wei Rales. Carefully grouped into several galleries connected to a central pavilion, the exhibition (curated by Emily Rales in collaboration with Fischli himself) consists solely of pieces from Glenstone’s collection and will remain on view through February 2015. The Swiss duo’s

  • Xu Bing, 1st Class, 2011, approx. 450,000 1st Class brand cigarettes, dimensions variable.

    Xu Bing

    “Xu Bing: Tobacco Project” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts concluded a trilogy of exhibitions (the previous two were mounted in Durham, North Carolina, and Shanghai in 2000 and 2004, respectively) in which the Beijing-based artist traced the global dissemination and commodified afterlives of the ubiquitous tobacco plant—from seed and soil to packaging and commercial ephemera—and the relations forged between China and the US around this nicotine-laced cash crop. In the project’s most recent iteration, Xu highlighted the enduring reputation of Virginia as the seat of premium tobacco

  • Antoni Tápies, Blau amb quatre barres roges (Blue with Four Red Stripes), 1966, paint on canvas, 67 1/4 x 76 13/16".

    “Antoni Tàpies: The Resources of Rhetoric”

    A selection of mostly large-scale tableaux by Antoni Tàpies, the Catalan master of the heavily worked surface, uses mixed-media works to challenge the discourse around painting and opticality.

    The 1960s gave birth to many of today’s well-worn narratives—from painting’s obsolescence, to the dissolution of medium specificity, to modernism’s capitulation to pluralism—but Dia:Beacon is poised to interrogate the orthodoxy with a selection of mostly large-scale tableaux by Antoni Tàpies, the Catalan master of the heavily worked surface. His mixed-media works prove that painterly abstraction was hardly finished and challenge the discourse around painting and opticality by emphasizing the materiality of the support with a distinctive blend of

  • Wolf Vostell, Coca Cola, 1961, décollage on paper and Masonite, 82 1/2 x 122".
 

    “Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures”

    “Art of Two Germanys” takes a comprehensive look, through a vast assortment of artworks produced on either side of the wall—some three hundred paintings, sculptures, multiples, photographs, videos, installations, and artist’s books.

    During the cold war era (or even to this day, some would argue), no country embodied the fissure between East and West like Germany. And with the contemporary resurgence of Berlin, there’s no better time to reexamine this historical rift. “Art of Two Germanys” takes a comprehensive look, through a vast assortment of artworks produced on either side of the wall—some three hundred paintings, sculptures, multiples, photographs, videos, installations, and artist’s books. An accompanying catalogue, with essays by Diedrich Diederichsen and Andreas Huyssen,

  • Imi Knoebel

    IMI KNOEBEL’S ART is about beginnings. Those same points where many modern artists discovered an absolute reduction, a zero degree of artmaking, are, for Knoebel, points of departure. His near-ascetic disposition toward the materials of his craft set him apart from his fellow students in Joseph Beuys’s class at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied from 1964 to 1971. It was there that Knoebel met Blinky Palermo, whose experiments with color and unusual pictorial supports would have an important impact on Knoebel’s own development. Working in Room 19, an annexed studio next to Beuys’s

  • Blinky Palermo, Rot/Rosa (Red/Pink), 1966–67, fabric on stretcher, 30 3⁄4 x 31 5⁄12".

    Blinky Palermo

    THE ORGANIZERS of the elegant Blinky Palermo retrospective at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen wasted no time in announcing their bold, materially focused agenda: At the entrance to the exhibition, visitors were greeted by a sequence of short videos featuring Palermo, whose own statements about abstraction introduced, in effect, the daring curatorial program within the galleries. In one segment, excerpted from a 1969 West German television broadcast, the young German artist declares to a group of Düsseldorf high school students: “When a square is