Elisa Schaar

  • View of “Sarah Crowner,” 2016. On floor: Platform (Terracotta Pentagon Leaves), 2016. On wall, from left: Sliced Red, 2016; Sliced Black Tree, 2016; Untitled, 2016. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography.

    Sarah Crowner

    Having gained wide recognition for sewn canvases and tile platforms that are reminiscent of hard-edge geometrical abstraction and sometimes double as theater sets, in her recent works Sarah Crowner continues combining and recasting modernist abstraction and applied arts, but in ways that evoke the curvilinear forms and colors of nature. The eight sewn canvases and two tile pieces in the exhibition “Plastic Memory” transported the viewer simultaneously into the cool white-tiled Futurist-influenced interiors of Italian designer Nanda Vigo, such as the one she devised for Lo Scarabeo sotto la Foglia

  • Keren Cytter, Metamorphosis, 2015, HD video, color, sound, 11 minutes 7 seconds.

    Keren Cytter

    We most often encounter video works in isolation from other media, so Keren Cytter’s exhibition “Ocean,” which brought together three recent videos and a series of colorful, childlike drawings, was not navigable in conventional ways. In fact, the gallery architecture itself was broken up and reorganized by a zigzag wall of varying height, spatially mimicking the unexpected twists and turns in Cytter’s videos. While drawings of sea creatures and similarly clichéd subject matter—such as maritime tattoos, hearts, eyes, pencils, and crayons—looked fairly familiar, their arrangement in the

  • Verso of Gerhard Richter’s Sänger (Singer), 1965–66, showing a 1966 Color Chart painting, oil on canvas, 41 × 29 1/8".

    Gerhard Richter

    Seeing Gerhard Richter’s early “Farbtafeln” (Color Charts) reassembled for the first time since their initial presentation at Galerie Friedrich & Dahlem in Munich in 1966 is an opportunity not only to gain a better sense of how they function together as an installation but also to revisit the crucial moment when the artist decided to develop them as a group alongside his black-and-white photographic images already under way. At Dominique Lévy, nine of the original nineteen Color Charts from 1966 are shown along with a Ducolux sample card that had provided the template for liberating color from

  • Francesco Vezzoli, The Eternal Kiss, 2015, white Carrara marble (female ca. 117–38 CE; male ca. second century CE), watercolor, black African-marble plinth, 19 1/4 × 19 1/4 × 13 3/4". Photo: Prudence Cuming.

    Francesco Vezzoli

    When Francesco Vezzoli had the five ancient Roman marble heads in his 2014–15 exhibition “Teatro Romano” at MoMA PS1 painted in garish colors that evoked their original polychromy, some critics expressed their relief that he had not also replaced the statues’ broken-off noses. Now the extravagant Italian artist has done just that, and the result, while no less controversial than “Teatro Romano,” turned out to be more thematically rich.

    For “Francesco Vezzoli’s Eternal Kiss,” the missing noses of two white Roman Carrara-marble heads, which Vezzoli had again acquired at auction—one male, circa

  • Peter Coffin, Untitled (Powers of Ten), 2015, mixed media, 13 1/4 × 68 3/4 × 84 1/4".

    Peter Coffin

    Just in time for summer, American artist Peter Coffin had set up a picnic that was more than simply a pleasurable break from routine: It was a conceptual excursion into alternative realities. Scattered across overlapping blankets on the floor was the typical picnic gear with (mostly) fake food, an embroidered mirror cushion, and a pair of reading glasses, as well as journals and books from the fields of physical science that Coffin tends to reference in his multidisciplinary practice. With the journals dating to the 1970s, Untitled (Powers of Ten), 2015, was a precise re-creation of the picnic

  • View of “Marlie Mul,” 2015.

    Marlie Mul

    In her exhibition “Arbeidsvitaminen (Labor Vitamins)” titled after the longest-running Dutch radio music show, Berlin- and London-based artist Marlie Mul unpacked a Panglossian narrative of technological progress. Reassuring viewers of our superiority to our Stone Age ancestors in a short written text, in the show she illustrated the law of progress with a selection of props. Sticking out from thirteen torn-open cardboard boxes were varnished papier-mâché replicas of wooden clubs; these appeared all the more brutal in contrast to the white packing peanuts that spilled from boxes toppled over on

  • View of “Josef Strau,” 2014.

    Josef Strau

    For his exhibition “My Divid’ed House,” Berlin- and New York–based artist and writer Josef Strau had promised to present a nearly complete archive of his type-printed poster-pamphlets from the past decade. This was a daunting prospect, given that in previous, less comprehensive exhibition projects, the prolific output of his automatic-writing technique, sometimes attached to cheap lampshades or cardboard partitions, and occasionally even tucked away in letter-shaped tunnels, could often exceed the reader-spectator’s time and energy resources. At Vilma Gold, reprints and high-resolution digital

  • Sturtevant, Sex Dolls, 2012, seventeen plastic sex dolls, dimensions variable.

    Sturtevant

    For her exhibition “Leaps Jumps and Bumps,” Paris-based artist Sturtevant effectively turned the Serpentine Gallery into a conceptual obstacle course, one in which spectators could easily jump to conclusions about what they saw, only to bump into conflicting information that challenged facile thinking. This strategy was paradigmatically exemplified by the artist’s tactic of repeating works by her peers—here, Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. She has pursued this approach since the mid-1960s, and in the course of the past ten years it has been rediscovered to great