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, Metamorphose II, 1991-92, installation view. Photo: Thomas Wey.

    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, J’arrive  /Regard, Regard / Life will not go away / Allegory of flying (detail), 2001, acrylic on canvas, 27 1/2 x 70 7/8".

    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