Dominikus Müller

  • Sven Johne, Hafen/Harbour #1-2, 2010, chrome ink print, 88 1/2 x 59".

    Sven Johne

    Sven Johne is not one of the loud ones. In a typically melancholic tone, the Berlin-based artist tells laconic stories of life and fate.

    Sven Johne is not one of the loud ones. In a typically melancholic tone, the Berlin-based artist tells laconic stories of life and fate. Often these tales of suicide, misfortune, and emancipation are lifted from local newspapers, so that Johne’s precise, conceptually clean work becomes a lens through which society’s bigger picture—the split history of a divided Germany, for example—becomes visible via individual narratives. This comprehensive survey, the artist’s first major institutional solo show on German soil, will feature his most recent

  • Jordan Wolfson

    One’s first impression of Jordan Wolfson’s new video Con Leche, 2009, is likely to be: How very strange. This is primarily because of the video’s choice of “protagonists,” cutesy Diet Coke bottles on little legs drawn as comic-strip figures. But initial smirks soon give way to perplexity as one realizes that these bottles contain not a dark soda but rather white milk—“con leche,” in other words, just as the title promises. And the live-action video backdrop that Wolfson’s animated bottles wander through—sometimes all alone, sometimes in single file, in little groups, or as an entire army in

  • Andreas Slominski

    If it’s true that Andreas Slominski is a setter of snares, one who stages his work as a crafty, tricksterish game to be played with the viewer, he set a particularly big trap with his parallel shows in the Berlin galleries Jablonka and Neu. And he did this in his usual way: with minimal investment of resources and maximal success, but above all by using large quantities of black humor. At Jablonka Galerie there was nothing to see except for five monstrous garage doors, fully functional and ready for delivery with shrink-wrapped keys. Yet these doors were hung in such a way that they could not

  • Vincent Vulsma

    There are some exhibitions that at first glance seem exciting and completely convincing—but then somehow leave you feeling perplexed. The young Dutch artist Vincent Vulsma’s recent show in Berlin was one such puzzle. Vulsma does everything right: He compellingly executes intelligent ideas. Yet ultimately it’s hard to know what to do with them.

    Hanging in the gallery were eight almost identical, glistening, jet-black—well, what are they? Canvases, paintings, objects? Hybridity characterizes this art from the word go. On the one hand, all eight works start with a standardized, prefabricated, and

  • David Levine

    Desire for success is as integral to the economy as money. The same applies to the so-called cultural economy. Both, however, evince a yawning gulf between expectation and return. The number of those who just about get by—let alone “make it”—is dwarfed by the armada of unknowns who labor for years, agonize, and fail. Nevertheless, with sheer tenacity, they write yet another application and throw themselves at the mercy of the market for the umpteenth time. David Levine’s exhibition “Hopeful” picks up precisely from this point: Its only materials are applications written by actors to a New York

  • Sergej Jensen

    The carpet was brown and cheap-looking, showing obvious signs of wear. Parts of the wall were still painted a smarmy pink hue left over from the last show. Nearly all of the temporary walls added for that previous exhibition, however, had been taken down—but the rough parts of the wall where the seams used to be remained unfinished. Above the gallery benches, soiled spots and greasy strips were still visible from where earlier visitors leaned their heads. And if you looked closely, you might have noticed out-of-place holes and awkwardly bent nails in the gaps between the pictures, the traces of

  • Nina Beier and Marie Lund

    This first show at Croy Nielsen by Danish artists Nina Beier and Marie Lund was a tough case. Not because the four works they presented under the title “Permanent Collection” came off as particularly difficult to decipher. On the contrary, it’s because everything was presented so openly and was so easy to read. Everything seemed slick, superficial, too effortlessly digested. But this was precisely the exhibition’s appeal.

    Take, for instance, Autobiography (If These Walls Could Speak) (all works 2009), a site-specific piece for which Beier and Lund asked the gallery’s owners to remember all the

  • Thomas Schütte, Melone 1:5, 1986, wood and paint, eleven parts. Installation view, Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, 1987. Photo: Tomasz Samek. © 2009 Thomas Schütte/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

    Thomas Schütte

    Centered around an eighteen-foot-high Styrofoam and plaster “anti-monument,” this substantial survey brings together more than one hundred works made since the early 1980s, including sculptures, architectural models, watercolors, and ceramics.

    Using irony and subtle humor to challenge monumentality, Thomas Schütte’s work counters the “straightness” of modernity with gestures of stumbling and failing—a strategy that should prove key in taking on the bombastic architecture and difficult National Socialist past of Munich’s Haus der Kunst. Centered around an eighteen-foot-high Styrofoam and plaster “anti-monument”—here referencing Schütte’s “Mann im Matsch” (Man in Mud) series—this substantial survey brings together more than one hundred works made since the early 1980s, including sculptures,

  • Jeppe Hein, Shaking Cube, 2004, aluminum, motor, 20 x 20 x 20".

    Jeppe Hein

    Though informed by institutional critique and the formal language of Minimalism, Jeppe Hein’s work is unapologetically entertaining. For his most substantial solo show to date, Hein will install some twenty-five works within a kind of labyrinthine “cityscape” or “interactive playground”.

    Though informed by institutional critique and the formal language of Minimalism, Jeppe Hein’s work is unapologetically entertaining. For his most substantial solo show to date—the anniversary exhibition of the 150-year-old ARoS, as it happens—Hein will install some twenty-five works within a kind of labyrinthine “cityscape” or “interactive playground” with the intention of rendering relations among artwork, exhibition space, and viewer indeterminate. Expect to see a selection of older works, such as Hein’s Invisible Moving Walls, 2002 (three freestanding walls moving at

  • Guy Ben-Ner

    The charm of Guy Ben-Ner’s videos derives in large part from his unusual choice of actors—often the artist himself, his wife, and their child. True to form, Ben-Ner continued to avoid professional actors in his most recent video, Second Nature, made for the Liverpool Biennial in 2008. But this time, a fox and a crow are the stars, reenacting Aesop’s ancient fable of the fox and the raven with help from their trainers. And while “nurture” was an oft-repeated theme in his family films, Second Nature is an overtly behavioral experiment, in which the entire focus is on the conditioning of all

  • Sarah Crowner and Paulina Olowska

    Paulina Olowska has made it her business to address hidden historical currents within modernism, pop culture, and arts and crafts—whether responding to Polish metalworking of the 1960s, exhibiting an archive documenting the punk and New Wave scenes in Poland with almost no commentary, or devoting herself exclusively to the work of painter Zofia Stryjeńska 1891–1974) in her contribution to the Fifth Berlin Biennial. For her show at the Berlin gallery of DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), as so often before, she invited a second artist to show with her, working with New York–based Sarah

  • Sven Johne

    A man stands on the seashore. He swings his arm and tosses a message in a bottle into the waves. This procedure is captured seven times in a series of black-and-white photographs, the places and times recorded in logbooklike annotations: “Sent in: Rockaway Beach, NYC, USA Date: 15 Sept. 2008,” “Sent in: Fire Island, NY, USA Date: 16 Sept. 2008,” or “Sent in: Block Island, RI, USA Date: 18 Sept. 2008.” If the Gulf Stream is reliable, the bottles should eventually arrive in Europe. And with a little luck, the commentaries sealed inside, with their quotidian observations on the topic of “speed,