Daniel Horn

  • El Hadji Sy, Le regardeur (The Watcher), 2022, textile, rope, shells, 29 7⁄8 × 70 7⁄8".

    El Hadji Sy

    Can you critique an artwork as you might an entire city? In El Hadji Sy’s multiform practice, where does one end and the other begin? “I am a pure product of Dakar,” he once declared, and his to-date largest gallery exhibition held in his hometown begged the question, Which Dakar and, moreover, which heritage is he claiming? The gallery occupies a centrally located, late–Art Deco building from 1953, a onetime department store whose former splendor and colonial legacy remain palpable. Entering via a grand marble spiral staircase, viewers encountered banner-like paintings—flowing from the ceiling—that

  • Yael Bartana, Malka Germania, 2021, three-channel video and sound installation, color, sound, 38 minutes. The Messiah (Gala Moody).
    interviews June 30, 2021

    Yael Bartana

    Since the early 2000s, Yael Bartana has brought the remnants of the “Jewish question” into sharp relief. “Redemption Now,” a survey at Berlin’s Jewish Museum on through October 10, includes early videos that simultaneously detail and estrange the rituals of Israeli Orthodox Jewish and settler communities. In recent years, her work has grown more formally elaborate—and provocative—in its choreographies and “pre-enactments.” Her trilogy And Europe Will Be Stunned, 2007–11, staged the dramatic genesis of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, while the Philadelphia-set The Undertaker, 2019,

  • View of “Isa Genzken: Works from 1973 to 1983,” 2020–21. From left: Gelbes Ellipsoid (Yellow Ellipsoid), 1976; Grau-grünes Hyperbolo “Jülich” (Gray-Green Hyperbolo “Jülich”), 1979. Photo: Gina Folly.

    Isa Genzken

    “My sculptures will be bought by the world’s most significant museums. Biographers will be writing about my work over and over, and in the end I will be amongst the greatest artists of the century”—so wrote Isa Genzken, tongue in cheek (or not), some thirty years ago. Museums got and remain on board: “Isa Genzken: Works from 1973 to 1983” will travel up the Rhine this May from Basel to the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf, the city where Genzken gained her art education and entry to a formative postwar German scene. Curated by Søren Grammel, the exhibition expands on the persuasive

  • Monika Baer, untitled, 2020, paper, acrylic, ink-jet print, saw-blade fragment, and screws on cardboard, 7 × 11 3/4 × 2 1/2".

    Monika Baer

    Monika Baer’s exhibition “Neuer Bilder” (New Images) was solidly split—in attitude as much as in arrangement. In the front gallery of this show, curated by Marius Babias in honor of the artist’s receipt of the 2020 Hannah Höch Prize, Baer paid tribute to the legacy of the Berlin Dada collagist. A dutiful militancy was evident in the vaguely tablet-scaled and roughly hewn wall-mounted assemblages made from miscellaneous boxes and treated with paint, print, and hardware, as if her acceptance of the prize had left the artist owing an obligation to her extended family or unchosen motherland. Here,

  • Chiara Fumai, I Say I, 2013, collage and ink on paper, six sheets, each 11 3⁄4 × 8 1⁄4". From “Scrivere disegnando: When Language Seeks Its Other” (Writing by Drawing: When Language Seeks Its Other).

    “Writing by Drawing”

    What do you get when you gather the individual artifacts of those who have been welcomed by the institution alongside those who were once committed to one? In the case of “Scrivere disegnando: When Language Seeks Its Other” (Writing by Drawing: When Language Seeks Its Other)—with dozens of works on view sharing mostly cursive, manual processes—the answer is a panoply of voices, both inner and alien, rendered visible. Some of them are critically acclaimed and infectious, while many others are as yet unheard and unsung, perhaps even unknowable. The unprecedented gambit of the show’s curators,

  • John Russell, Those were insects that were their eyes II, 2017, backlit ink-jet print on vinyl, 10' 10 3/4“ x 55' 9 1/4”. Photo: Annik Wetter.

    John Russell

    It might take unnerving times such as these for John Russell’s apocalyptic imageboard expressionism not only to shine in all its acute garishness but also to finally stick and enter the canon. That would explain the criticalreception of the artist’s institutional debut outside Great Britain—which was organized by Daniel Baumann—as being somehow “spectacular” if not patently awesome. “Strength through joy(zzzz)!” one might add to this, joy being not exactly connoted neofascistically in this instance, but simply echoing the jovial everyday salutation “Joyz” used by the mutated but mostly

  • Emanuel Rossetti, Quarry Bell, 2016, C-print, 16 7/8 × 25 5/8". From the series “Quarry Bells,” 2016–.

    Emanuel Rossetti

    The bell may symbolize both the individual and collective management of social and ideological space, as exemplified by the Western church bell. Bells wake us, alert us to threats, and signal the flow of labor time. But they can be ignored, and they can be sabotaged. Emanuel Rossetti has employed bells as actual objects in the past, notably at the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, in 2014, where his Gallery Bells idly occupied a dramatic crimson carpet, except for occasional moments when an electronic sequencer would cause them to ring. For this exhibition, he chose the more expansive title “

  • View of “Timothée Calame: Spring 2016,” Weiss Falk, Basel, 2016. Top left: Kino Süd (Cinema South), 2016. Window: Faut-il vraiment sauver l’Allemagne (Shall We Really Save Germany), 2016. Photo: Gina Folly.


    GENEVA PROFITS HANDSOMELY from being perceived as a polished, impermeable entrepôt where global bureaucracy and anonymized assets serenely connect and collude, Gothic alleyways giving way to bland mirrored facades. If these juxtapositions have had any bearing on the art of Timothée Calame, who grew up in this city, they register in the manipulated dualisms around which his recent architectural interventions, sculptures, drawings, paintings, and videos are constructed. Given the backdrop of his youthful education in the local squatter scene, for him, transparency and opacity, exteriority and

  • Magnus Plessen, The Blue Bench, 2015, oil on canvas, 49 1/4 × 76 3/4".

    Magnus Plessen

    First as tragedy, then as finish? Foremost slick and somewhat antiseptic, Magnus Plessen’s latest paintings, exhibited under the title “nineteen hundred fourteen,” seek to also bear historical weight. Since 2014, the artist has painted subjects meant to evoke the disfigured victims of World War I, conceiving this centennial cycle as a four-year touring exhibition, with stops, according to the press release, in “every major country involved in the first world war.” Does that include Switzerland?

    This confusion aside, the assorted oils can be said to effectively (face-)lift cranial motifs from Otto

  • Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Conflicted Phonemes, 2012, vinyl, paper, paint, wood. Installation view.

    Lawrence Abu Hamdan

    Surah al-Balad 90:9 of the Qur’an states that man was created with “one tongue and two lips,” the latter presumably conceived to keep the former in check. More than an idea, the verse suggests an actual mechanism, one that operated at the core of Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s most comprehensive exhibition to date, “ة ي ق ت ↱ (Taqiyya) – The Right to Duplicity.” The vehemently repeated utterance of this term throughout the byzantine sound-image-teleprompter installation Contra Diction (Speech Against Itself), 2015, refers to an ancient Arabic semantic concept that allows its user to outwardly and

  • View of “Mélanie Matranga,” 2015.

    Mélanie Matranga

    The most conspicuous part of Mélanie Matranga’s exhibition “A perspective, somehow,” was a no-show: the Internet. While her aim seems to have been to visualize an atmosphere of contemporary urban artistic domesticity, that defining force had been left out. Its traces were present only in the artist’s sundry iTunes playlist emanating from a pair of considerably scaled-up globular rice-paper lampshades. Titled complex or complicated, 2015, they actually served as enormous speakers, playing back what sounded like a Starbucks mix—generic, if mildly uplifting, unlike the rest of the show, in

  • Wu Tsang, DAMELO TODO // ODOT OLEMAD (Gimme Everything // Gnihtyreve Emmig), 2010/2014, production still from the 25-minute color video (with sound) component of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising wood, mirrors, carpet, and a bench.

    Wu Tsang

    In spite of its defiant title, “Not in my language,” mutinously followed up by an electric-blue neon sign reminding entering visitors that THE FIST IS STILL UP (a work ironically titled Safe Space, 2014), Wu Tsang’s European institutional debut was an accessible best-of sampler. The exhibition encompassed his portrayals of race, sexual identity, and emerging forms of life, ranging from LA’s latest queer/transgender subset to Berlin’s clubby-organic everyday along the Berghain-Kreuzberg-Schöneberg axis. In other words: It was quite a stretch.

    Once upon a time, there was the Silver Platter, a bar