Elizabeth Janus

  • Cameron Jamie

    An American living in France, Cameron Jamie uses music, photography, drawing, film, and video to investigate the quirky, ritualistic activities that are part of contemporary pop culture (wrestling and craftslike mask-making being among his current interests). JO, 2004, which was presented at the Teatro Goldoni on September 24, 2005, as part of the International Theatre Festival of the Venice Biennale, is a two-part film accompanied by a live sound track performed by Japanese musician Keiji Haino. The film’s first half follows an annual pageant in Orléans, France, where a young woman is picked

  • Markus Raetz

    This retrospective of nearly two hundred works includes sculptures but highlights Raetz’s delicate works on paper (drawings, sketches, prints, watercolors, and notebooks).

    Swiss artist Markus Raetz has spent the past forty years exploring the essence of seeing. With subtle materials (twigs, leaves, mirrors, and wisps of metal) and a lightness of touch, Raetz creates anamorphic objects and images that play with perception, making his viewers question what they see and how they look at the world. This retrospective of nearly two hundred works includes sculptures but highlights Raetz’s delicate works on paper (drawings, sketches, prints, watercolors, and notebooks), borrowed from public and private collections as well as from the artist’s

  • Eva Marisaldi

    Eva Marisaldi’s installations are poetic and enigmatic, mixing drawing, video, and objects to create environments evocative of the idiosyncrasies—both strange and beautiful—of the human condition. This exhibition, “Iperfluo” (Hyperfluous), was based on a philosophical reflection on stone, playing the durability of the mineral world against the relatively ephemeral essence of human existence. Invoking the Surrealist-allied writer and amateur geologist Roger Caillois, particularly his 1970 essay “The Writing of Stones,” Marisaldi examined the aesthetics and symbolism of rocks and their influence

  • Mike Kelley

    While Mike Kelley is best known for his content-heavy installations and lowbrow aesthetic, for this exhibition he seemingly returned to his roots as an abstract painter. On view were mostly two-dimensional, nonfigurative works from three series: “Memory Ware Flats,” (2000–2003), “Carpet,” and “Wood Grain” (both 2003–). The most decorative, the “Memory Ware Flats,” are rectangular-shaped boards prepped with colored grout and then encrusted with intricately patterned beads, fake pearls, buttons, and sparkling plastic “jewels.” (Ordinary household objects covered with bits of old china, glass, and

  • Elke Krystufek

    Elke Krystufek emerged in the early ’90s with in-your-face performances and installations dealing with femininity and sexuality as filtered through pop culture. Taking her cue from ’70s body art—particularly its Viennese branch—Krystufek uses her own image, often distorted, debased, disguised, or made sexually explicit, to confront viewers with collective (and mostly suppressed) revulsions and desires. This exhibition, organized by Sammlung Essl chief curator Gabriele Bösch, is the first comprehensive look at the artist’s prodigious output and consists of approximately 200 works from the past

  • Fatimah Tuggar

    While the expansion of cyberspace continues at breakneck speed, one tends to forget that, overall, less than 5 percent of the world’s population has access to the Internet. The result is what critic Olu Oguibe has called a new set of “forsaken geographies” where the absence of computer technology, or the literacy to use it, is creating more rigid borders demarcating and further isolating whole populations—including most of postcolonial Africa. Fatimah Tuggar takes a similar idea of boundaries between haves and have-nots as a starting point, but rather than simply pointing out differences

  • Michele François

    Michel François's enigmatic art functions in those gray areas between such oppositions as nature/culture, interior/exterior, private/public, and fragility/strength. Assembling all manner of materials and objects—plaster casts, videos, newspaper clippings, photographs, flowers, even water—into large-scale, site-specific installations, the artist blurs the distinction between institutional and intimate space. For the Bern exhibition, organized by Kunsthalle director Bernhard Fibicher, François transforms the five-room gallery into the prototype of a generic “artist's home.” Fibicher and

  • Mixing Memory and Desire: The Construction of (Dis-)Identity

    Taking its name from a line in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, the inaugural show in the new Jean Nouvel-designed space aims to “exploit heterogeneity as a positive issue,” in the worlds of the institution's director, Ulrich Loock. Accordingly, the twenty-plus artists he'll bring together seem to have little in common. The works selected run the gamut from painting to installation and include pieces by Francis Alÿs, Thierry de Cordier, Marlene Dumas, Douglas Gordon, Brice Marden, and Franz West as well as lesser-knowns Eberhard Havekost, Vittorio Santoro, and the duo Smith/Stewart. A two-volume

  • Elke Krystufek

    Elke Krystufek’s art gives a contemporary twist to that nineteenth-century notion of the artist as narcissist. Over the past several years she has produced a seemingly endless stream of close-up self-portraits, made by photographing her face, naked body, or torso—always reflected in a mirror—and then copying the images onto canvas in an aggressively expressionist style. Clearly indebted to women’s body art from the ’70s as well as the exhibitionism of the Viennese Actionists, Krystufek also shares affinities with the more confessional art of a contemporary like Tracey Emin, who likewise lays

  • “Gerhard Richter: Drawings and Watercolors, 1964-1999”

    The epitome of a painter's painter, Gerhard Richter has nonetheless produced a proportionally small but significant body of drawings and watercolors. These works on paper, many of which were made during periods of stylistic transition, should shed light on Richter's working process. The 300-plus pieces presented here were selected by Kunstmuseum director Dieter Schwarz, who is preparing a catalogue raisonné of Richter's drawings for publication on the occasion of this exhibition.

  • Maurizio Cattelan

    Maurizio Cattelan’s pranks have been compared—at least in provocative intent—to the transgressive actions of his illustrious predecessor and fellow countryman Piero Manzoni. The two Italians are similarly connected by their ironic evocation of religion, evident in Cattelan’s eyebrow-raising installation with a buried fakir at this summer’s Venice Biennale. Following a similar line for this one-man show in predominantly Protestant Basel, Cattelan will roll out the red carpet—enough to cover the Kunsthalle’s entire first floor—for the surprise visit of a contemporary pop-religious icon. Given the

  • “Another Swiss Panorama”

    The theme of “Another Swiss Panorama” is, unsurprisingly, loosely based on the notion of the landscape—both real and imaginary, rural and urban—as represented in a selection of videos by thirteen Swiss artists. Given the mythic qualities of Switzerland’s topography, it is surprising that the works included—videos by both young, lesser-known artists like Judith Albert, Nicolás Fernández, and Laurence Huber, and firmly established ones like Sylvie Fleury, Roman Signer, and Beat Streuli—do not necessarily reflect on a sense of place or on the history of landscape as an artistic genre but rather

  • “The End of the World & A Principle of Hope”

    This show promises to stand out among the end-of-millennium celebrations, primarily because it will carry the quirky signature of its organizer, Harald Szeemann, whose sweeping survey-style exhibitions over the past few years have tackled subjects no less daunting than the “comprehensive” history of cinema or Austrian art and culture. Gathering an eclectic array of sources from art, philosophy, literature, and music, the exhibition will concentrate on historical and contemporary representations of chaos, cosmic disorder, natural and man-made disasters, and religious predictions about the end of

  • “White Fire—Flying Man: American Art of the Second Half of the 20th Century”

    Basel's public collection, the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, has become one of Switzerland's most impressive groupings of twentieth-century art. The exhibition presents a selection of pieces by more than forty artists from its holdings of postwar American work (including important pieces from the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation's collection, on long-term loan to the museum). Gems by AbEx pioneers Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman (whose painting White Fire, along with Jonathan Borofsky's sculpture Flying Man, inspired the show's title) will be shown alongside major works by Jasper Johns,

  • Pipilotti Rist

    It’s surprising that with all the attention Pipilotti Rist has received in the last few years this exhibition was the artist’s first major solo show in her hometown. Happily, Rist didn’t disappoint, presenting five new works created for the show and one big installation, Himalaya Goldsteins Stube (Remake of the Weekend), 1998–99, which had already shown in Berlin and Vienna but was here expanded and reworked. Aptly organized around a partly autobiographical, partly fictional idea of “home,” the Kunsthalle was divided into seven spaces, like different areas of a house. In the entryway (which Rist

  • “André Thomkins: Imaginary Rooms”

    Though little known outside of Switzerland, André Thomkins’s enigmatic art was an important reference point for contemporaries like Daniel Spoerri and Dieter Roth, as well as for artists of later generations, particularly Markus Raetz. This exhibition, the first major retrospective since the artist’s death in 1986, will include approximately 300 works tracing Thomkins’s evolution from the early Surrealist-inspired drawings of the ’50s and ’60s to his later, more visionary paintings, watercolors, and sculptures. The show will be organized around key themes in the artist’s work, such as the “

  • OPENINGS: UGO RONDINONE

    In his 1960 novel, La noia (Boredom), Alberto Moravia blamed the existential ennui of postwar Europe on a reality that had grown patently absurd. For Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, too, reality’s failings are at the heart of our present-day malaise, which he wholeheartedly accepts as an aspect of the human condition. Taking this premise as his point of departure, Rondinone creates mixed-media installations that run the gamut of artistic genres and techniques—including landscape drawing, abstract painting, photographic portraiture, realist sculpture, and video—and reflect the belief that

  • “Global Vision: New Art from the 90's”

    The first of a three-part series devoted to cross-cultural identity, “Global Vision: New Art from the 90’s” inaugurated Athens’s new Centre for Contemporary Art, the pet project of Greek Cypriot collector Dakis Joannou, whose Deste Foundation was behind a number of high-profile exhibitions in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The premise of this show, while not particularly new or original, was nevertheless a sign that US-style multiculturalism has begun to make headway in Europe, where cultural difference is a major topic of discussion as the continent moves toward economic and political unification.

  • John Armleder

    Though most people came to know him through his mid-’80s painting and installation work, John Armleder was in fact a founding member of Ecart, the late-’60s Fluxus-inspired artists’ collective that staged happenings, published books, and created objet trouvé installations. In this survey, organized by acting Kunsthalle director Margrit Brehm, Armleder’s early works will be re-created and documented alongside a selection of abstract canvases and “furniture sculptures”—both of which play on the utopian seriousness of Russian Constructivism. The centerpiece should be his installation of scaffolding

  • Long-Tail Elephant

    A year after the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square and the emigration of some of China’s most progressive cultural forces, four Canton-based artists—Liang Ju Hui, Xu Tan, Chen Shao Xiong, and Lin Yilin—began a collaborative project under the name “Long-Tail Elephant.” Organizing clandestine exhibitions and staging art actions throughout Canton, their “unofficial” work quickly became an underground phenomenon. Viewers in Europe will get a first glimpse of “Long-Tail Elephant” at the Kunsthalle Bern, where the artists plan to present collective and individual works in