Daniela Stöppel

  • LUX NOVA: “KERSTIN BRÄTSCH: INNOVATION”

    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

    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

  • 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

    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

  • A SCANNER DARKLY: THE ART OF LUCIE STAHL

    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

  • 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

    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

    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

    “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

    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

  • Perverted Minimalism Nr. 2

    If you take the phrase “Perverted Minimalism” at face value, then the four artists in this group show which they themselves initiated—Claudia Djabbari, Hedwig Eberle, Anna Friedel, and Franka Kaßner—are doing something twisted with a classic art movement. In more general terms, they are self-critically questioning an artistic practice that often gets subsumed under the general heading “formal reduction.” Djabbari’s sculptural analyses unmask the inhospitable architectural geometries of modern apartment complexes. Kaßner’s sculptures and mixed-media works, too, have clear political

  • Marzena Nowak

    In video, installation, and painted works, Marzena Nowak presents the human body as the site of psychic sensations and states of excitement. In the past, the artist has used a phrase from Freud, “Die Psyche ist ausgedehnt” (The psyche is expansive), to describe her project, representing a view of the body as both part of and an extended expression of internal processes. Experimental approaches to the body—measuring, localizing, temporalizing, and wounding it—constituted a central theme in the avant-garde art of the 1960s and ’70s, one that has remained an important component of

  • Martin Wöhrl

    “Was auf der Alm eine Alm ist, ist in der Stadt ein Stüberl” (What on alpine meadows is an alpine hut is a cozy little pub in town): In the catalogue for Martin Wöhrl’s new show, this is how writer Andreas Neumeister describes the institution of the beer or wine hall typical of many German cities, along with its transformation from alpine authenticity to a globally recognizable cliché signifying beery (or winey) coziness. Tied up with the iconography of the Stüberl is the wooden barrel, a kitschy symbol of tradition and conviviality found everywhere in the German urban landscape, in the form of