Elisa Schaar

  • Asad Raza, Diversion, 2022, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Diana Pfammatter.

    Asad Raza

    For Asad Raza, who thinks of exhibitions as “metabolic” situations, a river is an obvious material for artmaking, just like other dynamic processes and systems that have featured in his work, such as a forest, soil, schools, or a game of tennis. So when commissioned by Portikus curators Liberty Adrien and Carina Bukuts to make an exhibition there, the New York–based artist embraced the institution’s unique setting on a small island in Frankfurt’s Main River to redirect a current of water through the space for his show “Diversion.” Pumped through a pipe system, the water entered the tall, narrow

  • Lari Pittman, Diorama 1, 2021, Cel-Vinyl and lacquer spray paint on canvas, 80 × 96".

    Lari Pittman

    Lari Pittman, who has unabashedly embraced the decorative ever since his exposure to the Feminist Art Program at CalArts in the 1970s, can pull off the most conceptually complex paintings of subject matter conventionally deemed frivolous, including fine jewelry. In his first Paris solo show, individual pieces from two parures—sets of matching jewelry that were popular in early-nineteenth-century Europe—appeared as quasi-Pop still lifes across a group of five large-scale, delicately made paintings, each titled Diorama and numbered 1 through 5 (all works 2021). Lured in by the gemstones that stood

  • Miriam Cahn, IM DUNKELN (In the Dark), 2019, oil on canvas, 70 7/8 × 55 1/8".

    Miriam Cahn

    For feminist artists coming of age in the 1970s, painting was mostly a medium to be rejected. Miriam Cahn, for instance, started out drawing, creating large-scale chalk and charcoal pieces on the floor. It was only in the mid-’90s that she took up oil painting. A pair of consecutive but overlapping presentations in Galerie Jocelyn Wolff’s two spaces featured almost fifty works: One chapter represented that transitional period of the ’90s, presenting the artist’s little-known but crucial experiments with painted color; the other displayed her most recent work in oil. Collectively titled “notre

  • Linder, Magnitudes of Performance VII, 2012, photomontage, 11 × 17 1⁄8".


    Having crossed from the Manchester, UK, punk scene in the 1970s to major public commissions, such as for London’s Art on the Underground series, Linder has turned into a widely embraced icon of British art and feminism, celebrated for photomontages that dissect glamour, gender, and sex with surgical precision. “Ever Standing Apart from Everything,” spanning more than seventy works from the past decade, gave viewers a close-up look at Linder’s continued efforts to subvert commercially manufactured desires via her transformation of fashion and porn spreads from her unorthodox archive, one page at

  • Fiona Tan, Elsewhere, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 16 minutes 10 seconds. Installation view.

    Fiona Tan

    With her film Ascent, 2016, Fiona Tan turned her gaze to landscape, creating an eighty-minute montage from thousands of amateur photographs of Japan’s Mount Fuji. For her exhibition “Elsewhere,” she dealt with a different terrain: that of Los Angeles, where she recently spent one year. This time, Tan handled the camera herself, filming from a hilltop studio at the Getty Center. As in Ascent, this new project saw her grappling with a mythical subject: The notoriously sprawling city has not only featured in countless cinematic representations, but it has also continuously generated new images of

  • View of “Ryan Gander,” 2018. Ground: The rebalance of mass inequalities (detail), 2018. Center: The Self Righting of All Things (detail), 2018. Photo: Jack Hems.

    Ryan Gander

    Is Ryan Gander, now in his early forties, going through a period of midlife reflection? His recent work—which makes use of elements, such as design objects, figurative sculpture, and storytelling, already familiar from his multimedia practice but more grown-up and serious in tone—confronts existential questions about the passage of time. For his exhibition “The Self Righting of All Things,” he spoke with a mathematician and teamed up with close family members to show how the physical universe and human world are ruled by an innate order that returns to harmony without intervention.

  • View of “Dan Flavin, to Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, master potters,” 2017. From left: untitled (to Lucie Rie, master potter) 1w, 1990; untitled (to Lucie Rie, master potter) 1fff, 1990. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. © Stephen Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    “Dan Flavin, to Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, master potters”

    Handicraft is not something Dan Flavin valued in his own work, so it might seem a little odd that with his series “untitled (to Lucie Rie, master potter)” and “untitled (to Hans Coper, master potter),” both 1990, he paid homage to two ceramists. But Austrian-born Lucie Rie (1902–1995) and her German-born protégé Hans Coper (1920–1981) were not just two more figures among the eclectic group of artists, friends, and family to whom Flavin dedicated his works. In fact, he had collected their pots, which were included alongside his fluorescent light installations in this exhibition, framed as a group

  • Gina Beavers, Big baseball with zip, 2017, acrylic and paper on canvas on panel, 30 x 30 x 9 7/8".

    Gina Beavers

    For five years, New York–based artist Gina Beavers has been scrolling through Instagram hashtags such as #foodporn, #sixpack, and #makeuptutorial, and working up the images she finds with bulky layers of acrylic so that her bulging, brittle, broad-brush paintings have a material heft that belies the intangible form in which she first encounters her sources. Recently, Beavers appears to have cut back on her fervent social-media consumption. Maybe she’s been spending her time watching television sports instead. For her show titled “Tennis Ball Yellow”—referring to a fluorescent color specially

  • Guy Mees, Van het blauw van de zee (From the Blue of the Sea), 1980–90, pastel and pencil on paper, 52 3/8 x 60 1/4".

    Guy Mees

    Belgian artist Guy Mees’s paper cutouts—elongated, irregular scraps of colored paper pinned directly onto the wall—are at once transcendentally beautiful and strikingly material. Verloren Ruimte (Lost Space), 1992, to take one notable example, consists of two slivers of different reds flickering by. The work, which is drawn from the 1983–93 series of the same title, seemed to flash at a higher realm of experience. Yet one of the paper scraps protrudes subtly from the wall—a powerful remnant of the artist’s process that stops the work from transporting the viewer somewhere else.

  • Sturtevant, Study for Muybridge Plate #136, 1966, twelve black-and-white photographs, glue, black paper, graphite, 8 5/8 × 6 1/2".


    The viewer of Sturtevant’s photographs hardly need be told they are hers to realize something is awry. In images seemingly familiar from the oeuvres of Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, and Eadweard Muybridge, Sturtevant is seen striking the poses we know so well, or striding along in recognizable apparel like Beuys’s full-length fur-lined coat—or in the nude. As if this twist of the already-known wasn’t discomfiting enough, she also used techniques of collage, montage, cropping, and multiplication to unsettle habitual modes of perception. For instance, a peephole-shaped photograph of her own

  • Fred Tomaselli, Mar. 4, 2014, gouache on ink-jet print, 10 1/2 × 11 3/4". From the series “The Times,” 2005–.

    Fred Tomaselli

    If reading the news these days just makes you want to get away from it all, then Fred Tomaselli’s hallucinatory alterations to front pages of the New York Times promise to offer at least a temporary fix. Painted and collaged directly onto the page or an enlarged, digitally generated facsimile of it, his manipulated illustrations transport you from the Gray Lady’s sober reporting to a more enhanced, dreamlike, and, in many instances, more enchanting place where typical journalism has been radically reenvisioned: Villains are ridiculed (e.g., Donald Trump and Mitt Romney ensnared together in one

  • Bouchra Khalili, Foreign Office (detail), 2015, fifteen C-prints, silk screen on aluminum, video (color, sound, 22 minutes).

    Bouchra Khalili

    Against the background of the refugee crisis in Europe, Bouchra Khalili’s works tracing illegal border crossings around the Mediterranean take on renewed urgency. By empowering those who undertook the perilous passages to tell their own stories, the eight videos of The Mapping Journey Project, 2008–11—each a fixed frame showing only a paper map on which a hand can be seen drawing with permanent marker a zigzag route, narrated by the migrant who took it, so that the viewer must imagine for herself the arduous experience—present a critical alternative to the media’s coverage of the