Eva Scharrer

  • Nida Sinnokrot, Jonah’s Whale, 2014, steel, gypsum, Styrofoam, carpet, vinyl, plastic conduit, aluminum, foam, fabric, 7' 10 1⁄2“ × 15’ 9” × 39' 4 1⁄2". Photo: Trevor Good.

    Nida Sinnokrot

    Split into three administrative divisions, intersected by barriers, pierced by settlements, and punctuated by rapidly erected high-rises, the West Bank is visibly dismembered terrain. Nida Sinnokrot’s solo exhibition “Expand Extract Repent Repeat” offered poignant reflections on the role of real estate in the geopolitics and economics of the region. The centerpiece of the show was the Palestinian-American artist and filmmaker’s 2014 installation Jonah’s Whale, which consists of an overseas shipping container surgically sliced into a line of eleven freestanding segments. The background to this

  • Roman Osminkin, Putsch (After D. A. Prigov), 2018. Performance view, Schloßbergplatz, Schloßbergstiege, Graz, Austria, September 20, 2018. Photo: Jasper Kettner.

    Steirischer Herbst

    (Web exclusive content)

    My visit to Steirischer Herbst—the annual arts-and-theater festival held in Graz since 1968—started with a nighttime taxi tour organized by the local Theater im Bahnhof, a self-described “contemporary Volkstheater (people’s theater).” During this work of “taxi-choreography,” the backseat became my box seat for personal stories told by my designated drivers: Tom, a dedicated punk-rock musician and singer who has been driving since age fourteen; and Ahmet, who acts as a chauffeur for a blind child and writes poetry during his breaks. It was a rather heartwarming

  • Paolo Chiasera, Frankenstein 18 BSDM, 2017, painting and monoprinting on plaster on canvas, 71 x 75".
    picks May 20, 2017

    Paolo Chiasera

    With his solo exhibition opening during Berlin’s annual Gallery Weekend, Paolo Chiasera preempted the hazy state of mind that bustling art consumers might experience after such an event. The artist plays Dr. Frankenstein and creates uncanny chimeras, each composed of two to five fragments taken from works in various mediums by the fifty-four artists whose shows also opened as part of the official weekend programming. In Chiasera’s resulting paintings, some references remain legible while others are dominated and blurred by juxtapositions. The distorted face in Frankenstein 18 BSDM (all works

  • View of “Barbara Hammer and Oswald Oberhuber,” 2016.
    picks October 20, 2016

    Barbara Hammer and Oswald Oberhuber

    The pairing of multimedia pioneers Barbara Hammer and Oswald Oberhuber might constitute a form of art-historical fiction. Born in the 1930s in such diametrically opposed environments as Hollywood and South Tyrol, Italy; going on to practice in the US and Austria, respectively, the artists’ paths never crossed. But this juxtaposition of their works dating from the late 1960s to 2013 traces an astounding congeniality—not only in a formal sense but also between two free spirits .

    Both artists have strong ties to the gallery: Hammer, a pioneer of queer feminist and experimental cinema, has had three

  • Emmett Williams, Hello Out There . . . , 1989, silk screen on cloth, paint, 58 × 70 1/4".

    Emmett Williams

    Barbara Wien began working with Emmett Williams in 1991, and she has continued to collaborate with the artist’s estate following his death in 2007. Her “gallery and art bookshop” makes an appropriate venue for the Fluxus pioneer’s written and visual work. A writer, editor, performer, visual artist, concrete poet, and chronicler of Fluxus—“a non-historian recounting the history of a non-movement,” according to critic Gauthier Lesturgie—Williams has published a multitude of texts, anthologies, poetry collections, and artist’s books. This show focused (though not solely) on his collaborations

  • View of “Harm van den Dorpel,” 2015. Left: Very Beta Still (scrum), 2015. Right: Chrysalis (mint) Mark II, 2015.

    Harm van den Dorpel

    “Ambiguity points to the mystery of all revealing”—the title of Harm van den Dorpel’s recent solo show—is taken from Martin Heidegger’s 1954 essay “The Question Concerning Technology.” Deprived of its context, the line itself becomes ambiguous, an empty shell to be filled with any random meaning—and exemplifies the artist’s practice of collage for the digital age. A programmer-cum-artist, Van den Dorpel, born in 1981, is generally associated with the so-called post-Internet generation. The rationale behind this label seems to be that there’s been a shift in sensibility between

  • View of “Tue Greenfort,” 2014.

    Tue Greenfort

    Tue Greenfort’s latest exhibition, “Vis Vitalis,” comprised diverse materials—newspaper clippings, sculptures, C-prints, posters, videos—coordinated through a built-in exhibition architecture. From the outside, visitors first encountered a blown-up photograph showing demonstrators in violent clash with the police—a familiar image that immediately triggers an array of associations related to the manifold global uprisings of recent years. Chunks of melted plastic are attached to it; brand names, still legible, identify these lumps as yogurt cups. The iconic image, taken from the

  • View of “Julian Beck,” 2014.

    Julian Beck

    One of the highlights of this year’s Gallery Weekend Berlin was the discovery of drawings and paintings by Julian Beck (1925–1985). An artist, poet, actor, and director, Beck is mostly known for cofounding, with his wife, Judith Malina, the Living Theatre in New York. One of the most radical theater companies of the twentieth century, it was inspired in part by Antonin Artaud’s Theater of Cruelty. Uncompromising in their confrontation with all aspects of human existence—social, political, religious, sexual—the Living Theatre’s performances had a reputation for being challenging

  • Dorothy Iannone, Dialogues X (detail), 1968–69, one of nine drawings, felt-tip pen and collage on paper, 14 1/2 x 14 1/4".

    Dorothy Iannone

    It took a while for Dorothy Iannone to have her first comprehensive institutional solo exhibition in Berlin—considering that she has lived and worked here since 1976, when she was invited by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), and, like many involved in that program, stayed. The American-born Iannone was an autodidact who started painting in 1959 in an Abstract Expressionist style, and who later turned to ornamental allover structures and sexually charged figuration. Her life and career took a turn when she traveled to Iceland with her millionaire husband in 1967 and befriended

  • Andreas Angelidakis, Crash Pad, 2014, wool, rugs, mixed media. Installation view, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. From the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Photo: Uwe Walter.

    8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

    After Artur Żmijewski’s controversial seventh edition, in which activist strategies prevailed over artistic ones, the 8th Berlin Biennale (organized by Gaitán with a team that includes six artists and curators) will attempt a more traditional presentation. Some fifty artists will show work in three venues: the KW on Auguststraße, the rather off-center Haus am Waldsee, and the ethnological Museen Dahlem, whose collection, given its colonialist ties, is currently the subject of critical debate. The ways in which such ghosts of Berlin’s cultural past continue to act on the

  • Seiichi Furuya, Izu, 1978, C-print, 13 x 10 5/8".

    Seiichi Furuya

    “I prefer to be on this side,” Seiichi Furuya’s second exhibition at Galerie Thomas Fischer, is as much about borders as it is about loss. Intentionally or not, Furuya has become the chronicler of two histories—one private, one public—that intersected for a while, then both disappeared. His biography and his work are inseparable. In 1973, at age twenty-three, the photographer left Japan for Austria. In Graz in 1978, he met Christine Gössler, a student of art history and later an aspiring actress. They married a few months later and in 1981 had a son. From the beginning, Furuya felt

  • Than Hussein Clark, Love Is Not a Feeling, 2013, mixed media, 111 x 61 x 1 5/8".

    Than Hussein Clark

    On first sight, Than Hussein Clark’s debut solo show, cryptically titled “Waves (Das Glückliche Rothschild)” (Waves [The Happy Rothschild]), looked a bit like a postmodern interior-decor display. A fluffy, richly ornamented carpet in shades of turquoise, blue, and salmon, Konnigratz/Hamichuri/ Konnigratz/Hamichuri (all works 2013), ran for some twenty-four feet through the space, from the front window to the back wall, where it was reflected by a mirrored brass room-divider, Love Is Not a Feeling, recalling elements from Viennese Art Deco facades. There were cane-bottomed bistro stools and