Daniela Stöppel

  • Raphael Weilguni and Viola Relle, Die Raute kann eigentlich jeder (Basically Anyone Can Do the Rhombus), 2019, porcelain, ceramic, glaze, plaster, 12 5⁄8 × 14 5⁄8 × 8 1⁄4".

    Raphael Weilguni and Viola Relle

    Raphael Weilguni and Viola Relle’s exhibition of their most recent works in porcelain was titled “bring me back to earth,” the phrase’s meaning as ambiguous as it is to the point: The making of ceramics, after all, is an “earthen” affair, inextricably bound up with our planet and the minerals it brings forth. But the line could also have been lifted from a work of science fiction, spoken by an astronaut yearning to return home from a faraway galaxy. Such ambivalence, between the utterly tangible and the purely imaginary, between real life and unreal phantasmagoria, is also a defining characteristic

  • View of “Iza Tarasewicz: Variables,” 2020.
    picks February 27, 2020

    Iza Tarasewicz

    For her current exhibition, the Polish-born and Kolonia Koplany–based sculptor Iza Tarasewicz is showing steel-wire sculptures with copper cutouts and brass piping that extend through space like nets or curtains and move like mobiles in the air. Lighter and much more filigreed than the monumental works for which she is known, these pieces seem as if they were conjured by a goldsmith and evoke the designs of midcentury Eastern European decorative-arts designers such as Helena Frantová, Florica Farcasu, and Libuše Hlubučková. Her inspired geometries could also be compared to a network of radio

  • Kerstin Brätsch, Poli‘ahu’s Curse: First Bone Chill, 2012–16, luster and enamel on antique glass, drawn glass, glass jewels, agate, lead, 36 1/2 × 25".


    THE MULTIPLICITY AND ABUNDANCE of Kerstin Brätsch’s collaborations, her voracious appropriations of precursors and models, and her disregard for the borders between genres and disciplines have made her a standard-bearer for a still surprisingly prevalent kind of art criticism—one that would like to see ironic gestures and the collapse of high and low not only as the main accomplishments of postmodernism but as the defining characteristics of contemporary art. Especially when considered as a painter, Brätsch seems predestined to serve first and foremost as an exemplary figure for the expansion

  • Rochelle Feinstein, I Made a Terrible Mistake, 2002–2005, mixed media. Installation view.

    Rochelle Feinstein

    ROCHELLE FEINSTEIN is always reinventing her sources. Born in 1947, she only started experimenting with an abstract style of painting in the 1990s, consciously developing a practice equally receptive to history, everyday objects and language, and personal experience. Twenty-five years of her art can now be seen in her first extensive retrospective, “Rochelle Feinstein: I Made a Terrible Mistake,” curated in Munich by Stephanie Weber. (The exhibition opened in Geneva and will travel to Hannover, Germany, next month and to New York in 2018, with different curatorial permutations and show titles

  • View of “Gerry Bibby and Henrik Olesen,” 2016. From left: Costumes, 4, Black on Red, 2016; Costumes, 3, White and Pink on Black, 2016; Costumes, 1, Red on White, 2016.

    Gerry Bibby and Henrik Olesen

    “Conversation in a Yes/No Landscape,” curated by Nikola Dietrich, was the first collaboration between Gerry Bibby and Henrik Olesen (parts of the project were previously shown at Sismógrafo in Porto, Portugal). Yes and no, black and white: These were the classic binary oppositions articulated in the show’s first room, titled “Straße” (Street), with its stark black-and-white paintings on carpets, variations on the motif of the asphalt street with its center line. Upstairs in a section titled “Versatile?” we saw a wooden easel with a transparent glass pane placed in front of a large window to

  • Florine Stettheimer, Asbury Park South, 1920, oil on canvas, 50 × 60".

    Florine Stettheimer

    At first glance, the paintings of Florine Stettheimer (1871–1944) seem to be sugary confections, products belonging to a girly dream world wrapped in cotton wool and swathed in cellophane, an oblivious indulgence in gaudy luxuries and outlandish tastes, a resolutely private solar system unto itself in which the artist, her sisters Ettie and Carrie, their mother, and the regulars of their salon—Marcel Duchamp, Elie Nadelman, Carl Van Vechten, among others—revolve around each other at close range. That, at least, is the impression one might take away from the richly figured pastel-colored

  • Lucie Stahl, Power Aid, 2012, ink-jet print, UV-resistant lacquer, polyurethane, 65 3/4 x 47 1/4".


    THERE IS SOMETHING ARRESTINGLY ARTIFICIAL about the work of Lucie Stahl, an aura of highly elaborate staging. Working with an off-the-shelf scanner, Stahl creates large-format posters in which found photographs, many drawn from mass media, are arranged in disorienting montages along with snippets of text, objects such as Pringles cans or dead leaves, and any number of other elements. In her more recent work, the Vienna-based artist’s own hands are often featured prominently, hovering just above the scanner bed as if to verify, with an almost comic explicitness, that these compositions are just

  • *Advertisement for Jägermeister featuring Klaus Nomi shot by Jan Michael, which ran in a 1981 issue of New York magazine.(

    Klaus Nomi

    Thirty years after Klaus Nomi’s death, the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK) dedicated an exhibition to the visionary musician and performance artist whose theatrical self-fashioning, developed in the context of glam, new wave, and disco, continues to resonate. For his first exhibition, NAK’s new director, Ben Kaufmann, compiled a great deal of original visual and audio material as well as previously unseen footage of interviews with Ulrike Ottinger, Jürgen Klauke, Melissa Logan, Wolfgang Staehle, and others, giving visitors an opportunity to engage with Nomi’s various strategies of self-presentation

  • Kaucyila Brooke, Spirals, 2012, photomontage, 42 x 30". From the series “Can We Talk?, Tit for Twat,” 1993–.

    Kaucyila Brooke

    Explicitly gay perspectives in art can all too easily be interpreted as merely individual permutations of “otherness” or “difference,” and now-familiar strategies of camp and queerness can be used to evade essential questions, not just of gender specificity but also of social and cultural determination. Kaucyila Brooke faces such issues squarely, which makes her first major survey exhibition, “Do You Want Me to Draw You a Diagram?,” all the more important.

    At the center of the exhibition was Tit for Twat, an ongoing work begun in 1993 and now encompassing nearly thirty large-format photomontage

  • Michaela Melián, Lunapark, 2012, slide projector, record player, slide, glass objects, motor, particle board, stretcher frame with rear projection foil, with sound, 106 1/4 x 47 1/4 x 76 3/4".

    Michaela Melián

    If anything is clear today about the era of modernism, it’s that it was divided against itself. The utopias of the avant-gardes now seem contaminated by their totalitarian leanings, while Fascist and Nazi art and architecture can seem shockingly modern—and not just from a purely technical standpoint. The simple dichotomy between good and evil, modern and antimodern, is no longer credible. So how can a politically critical visual artist who also feels committed to a (Habermasian) project of modernity, as Michaela Melián surely does, deal with her ambivalence?

    This dilemma is crucial to Melián’s

  • Björn Dahlem, Sonnen (Suns), 2011, glass, wood, Styrofoam, steel, lemon, velvet ball, lacquer, shellac, 27 1/2 x 59 x 19 5/8".

    Björn Dahlem

    “Artistic research” has become a buzzword—as if art could imitate or incorporate methods of the natural and social sciences and the humanities. The scholarly, intellectually conscientious artist seems to be the new ideal, not least because it is easier to gain support for training and resources from academic establishments when artistic production is couched in terms of research. Yet many artists resist such labels and interpretations of their work. Björn Dahlem’s works, for instance, are undeniably involved with physics, astronomy, and philosophy, yet he nonetheless shuns the overly

  • Mahlergruppe, The Great Workaholic, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 57 x 51 1/8".


    Painting is the art of bringing something into being on a surface. This involves analytic, discursive, and sometimes subversive possibilities. Painting’s formal attributes have been pursued to exhaustion in the history of the medium, but the sort of painting that lays claim to sociopolitical relevance has become somewhat rare. The field of the explicitly political has seemingly been ceded to other media and genres. How painting can now be practiced as a critique of our age without falling prey to the irony of the 1980s or drifting off into a moralistic position is evident in the work of the