Dominikus Müller

  • Karla Black

    In recent years Karla Black has become famous for sculptures made of untreated, pastel-colored powdered plaster, ghostly accumulations of plastic sheeting that appear to have been casually, carelessly left to hang in midair, and incredibly fragile-looking paper objects that can stand up on their own but look as if even the slightest breeze would topple them. In short, she has been exploring the ephemeral qualities of enduring transitional states, which she has inscribed in the floury or scraggy bodies of sculptures that are balanced perfectly on the edge between form and anti-form. Her recent

  • Stefan Müller

    Let’s not beat around the bush: Stefan Müller’s “Salon der Daheim-gebliebenen” (Salon for the Ones Who Stayed Home) was a straight-up painting show. And as so often happens when painting starts to get interesting, it was treated here as “material”—both literally, with respect to the “material” of canvas and its preparation, and figuratively, as a self-reflexive “theme,” a set of various basic elements that can be shuffled and interwoven in many different ways.

    The process of painting, Müller reminds us, begins already with the various textures of the canvases and materials as well as the

  • Tobias Madison

    The title of Tobias Madison’s recent show was the tautological mantra “Do It to Do It,” a phrase borrowed from Donald Trump’s 1987 book, The Art of the Deal. This information—presented in the small accompanying catalogue—laid a trail from the outset: The exhibition was likely to be about the entrepreneurial side of making art and being an artist. Entering the show itself, one was immediately struck by the large number of collaborations, for example, Bora Bora Structure for Munich, 2010, created in collaboration with Kaspar Müller: hammocklike seats and other objects, all made of bamboo,

  • Katarina Zdjelar

    First comes the music. Even before the first images appear in Katarina Zdjelar’s seven-minute-long video Shoum, 2009, one of three works in her recent exhibition “One or Two Songs,” we hear the first measures of the 1984 Tears for Fears megahit “Shout.” And only afterward do the images arrive: We see an iPod, a sheet of paper, but above all hands, chapped hands with unkempt, dirty fingernails—the hands of hardworking men—holding pens. Over the course of the next seven minutes, two men—who, as the press release informs us come from Belgrade—attempt to decipher the lyrics of “Shout” as though they

  • interviews June 03, 2010

    Damien Hirst and Michael Joo

    Damien Hirst and Michael Joo have organized an exhibition of their works at Haunch of Venison’s cavernous Berlin branch, and have titled it “Have You Ever Really Looked at the Sun?” Here, both artists discuss the show, which is on view until August 14, as well as their long friendship.

    “HAVE YOU EVER REALLY LOOKED AT THE SUN?” is derived from a joke about snowmen. One asks another: “Can you smell carrots?” Of course, snowmen can’t smell carrots, not only because they can’t smell but also because it’s the very material their noses are made of. So in response to that, we’re asking this question

  • 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

  • William E. Jones

    “I announce the destruction of the cinema, the first apocalyptic sign of disjunction, the rupture of this bloated organism known as a film.” These forceful words emanated from loudspeakers in a monotone computer voice in the video installation Discrepancy, 2009–, the centerpiece of William E. Jones’s first solo show in Berlin. The text is not by Jones, however, but by Isidore Isou, the founding father of Lettrism, the radical literary and artistic movement now mainly remembered as a precursor to Situationism. And yet Isou’s manifesto-like call, taken from the film Traité de bave et d’éternité

  • Clemens von Wedemeyer

    Galleries often re-present works commissioned for other contexts, but rarely do they expand on them. This is precisely what’s been done, however, at Koch Oberhuber Wolff for its solo show by Clemens von Wedemeyer. “The Fourth Wall,” 2009, consists of nine videos and films conceived for London’s Barbican Art Gallery and exhibited there last year. Here this project was supplemented by photographs, wall texts, a sound document, and vitrines filled with books and a copy of National Geographic. The work’s thematic reference point is the story of the Tasaday, an ethnic group with only twenty-four

  • 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

  • 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

    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

    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

  • 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,

  • Dominikus Müller

    AT THE BEGINNING OF 2008, the Palast der Republik—the formerly gold-mirrored (and asbestos-contaminated) showcase building of the German Democratic Republic—was still a recognizable feature of the center of Berlin, albeit only as a raw skeleton. Its dismantling had already been under way for nearly two years, and the pace of the structure’s removal made it seem less a demolition than a kind of “unbuilding”—a continual, barely discernible process of subtraction: piece by piece, element by element. Watching this former symbol of the socialist dream of a better future slowly melting