Daniel Horn

  • 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

    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 “


    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

    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

    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

  • 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

    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

  • picks March 20, 2014

    David Keating

    For his institutional solo debut, David Keating presents a twin pair of sculptures that upon close inspection turn out to be fraternal, not identical. Titled Endless Nameless I and Endless Nameless II, both 2014—a probable reference to the eponymous, hidden track on Nirvana’s generationally formative album Nevermind (1991)—they represent institutional premises in divergent scenarios, one being outdoors and the other inside. The exterior sculpture is solidly anchored to the ground, while the interior work hovers slightly above the floor, presenting a tripping hazard. Both are fashioned from the

  • picks January 05, 2014

    Anicka Yi

    Featuring a large ice crystal slowly melting in the center of this domestic yet spruce space—a one-time configuration specially conceived for the opening—Anicka Yi’s Berlin debut exhibition “Denial” exudes a Conceptualist vibe, as if it were recreating a sixties downtown loft happening. Contrary to the stylish installation that sees the majority of the show’s pieces lit and nested in the rectangular cavities of a lilac-gray wall and the glistening materiality that ties the works together (think tinted Perspex, chrome rings and bars, and translucent epoxy, with the occasional enhancing supplement

  • picks October 28, 2013

    Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili

    Flowers provide the soft yet potent theme to Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili’s neatly installed photographs. This orthodox subject has survived Andy Warhol’s multicolored, flattening economization and Robert Mapplethorpe’s deluxe treatment in monochrome, among more prominent variations on the exchange-value of nature—or, rather, of beauty. The species here aren’t American; as the show is titled, they’re “German Flowers”: austere in their economy rather impenetrable, even chaste, juxtaposed at turns with ghostly fragments of church windows. Yes, there’s an orchid (White flower, all works 2013), but

  • picks August 16, 2012

    Guillaume Bijl

    Guillaume Bijl’s debut at the gallery includes four large wall assemblages that convey his ongoing concern with how a culture selects objects to signify its uniting historical achievements and emotional investments. These meaning-laden objects range from the high-minded (such as his fictitious sunken church tower presented as an authentic excavation at the 2007 Skulptur Projekte Münster) to the trite, as with a vitrine populated by ridiculous ceramic frog figurines in Composition trouvée, 2012.

    Throughout this exhibition, he continues mining the mechanisms and formal vocabulary by which select

  • picks May 05, 2012

    “AIR Sri Lanka”

    This exhibition features works from an international group of artists, all made during individual residencies in Ahungalla, Sri Lanka, between January 2008 and February 2012. The curatorial gambit of art eco-tourism and on-site developmental aid is made clear via a slide show near the gallery’s entrance, which functions both as the retreat’s promotional material and as documentation of the works in situ (mostly scattered among minimalist lodgings surrounded by palm trees).

    The French anthropologist Marcel Griaule once scolded his fellow Parisians for insisting that real “primitive” artifacts only