Eva Scharrer

  • Rochelle Costi, Mercury II (from “The Last Photo”), 2006.
    picks October 24, 2006

    Rosângela Rennó

    “A última foto” (The Last Photo), a series by Rio de Janeiro–based conceptual photographer Rosângela Rennó, poses questions about authorship, copyright, and the disappearance of the analogue image. Asking several photographers to shoot a picture of one of Brazil’s most iconic tourist sites—the statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio from the Corcovado—with various old cameras from the artist’s own collection, and presenting the resultant images (including her own contribution) as diptychs next to the actual camera with which they were shot, Rennó idiosyncratically mimics an

  • Steven Parrino

    On New Year’s morning last year, Steven Parrino, aged forty-six, died in a motorcycle accident near his Brooklyn home. A bit more than a year after his death, “Steven Parrino, Retrospective 1977–2004” opened at the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Geneva—the first extensive museum show of his oeuvre, originally conceived as a mid-career survey but, sadly, turned into a posthumous retrospective. Covering two floors of the museum, it featured over two hundred works, from early drawings, collages, and photographs, dating back to the beginning of his career, to paintings, sculptures, and

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks August 29, 2006

    Katharina Grosse

    In violent, beautiful sweeps, Katharina Grosse has employed a spray gun, Styrofoam cubes, and stones to transform three of the gallery’s rooms into a huge walk-through painting. The intervention is most radical in the first room: Thousands of pebbles and fluorescent spray paint in every shade have been mobilized to turn the entrance area (including reception desk, bookshelves, and floor) into a dramatic landscape. The frenzy abates in the next room, where outlines drawn on the wall serve as an index of the objects that resided there prior to the exhibition, including three big tondi that have

  • Installation view of Erik van Lieshout, Fantasy Me, 2004.
    picks August 21, 2006

    “Cooling Out—On the Paradox of Feminism”

    Has feminism imploded? Is gender still a relevant topic for younger generations of female artists, and if so, how does their work differ from the radical feminist art of the ‘70s (and its clichés)? This group show—comprising fifteen female artists and artist collectives and two men—strategically poses such questions rather than answering them directly. The debate has obviously cooled in recent years, but the question of whether or not gender equality has been attained throughout professional and social spheres (not to mention different parts of the world) remains an important one. Acutely

  • Cildo Meireles, Missão/Missões (How to Build Cathedrals), 1987.
    picks August 08, 2006


    “Seduções” (Seductions) is the promising title of this show, which juxtaposes room-filling installations by three accomplished artists from Brazil. Clearly appealing to the senses, the ambiguity of this seduction is underscored by the soapy-sweet scent arising from Valeska Soares’s flat basins filled with perfumed, copper-colored liquid. Titled Vanishing Point, 1998—a union of vanitas sensibility and perspective terminology—this floor installation is reminiscent of Baroque gardens’ neatly cut mazes of hedges, and ironically mimics the Minimalist sculptures of Carl Andre and Donald Judd. In

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks August 04, 2006

    Silke Schatz

    For her third solo show at this East London gallery (aptly titled “Private / Public”), Silke Schatz juxtaposes two histories related to her hometown—Celle, in northern Germany. One of the protagonists is architect Otto Haesler, who, from the late 1920s to 1933, as a pioneer of the Bauhaus-related Neues Bauen movement, was responsible for several private houses and social housing complexes in Celle. Schatz highlights the hue and sculptural qualities of Haesler’s elegant constructivist buildings in two joyous models, Siedlung Georgsgarten Block 1 and Direktorenwohnhaus (all works 2006). Her

  • Still from 10104 Angelo View Drive (Prequel), 2004.
    picks June 29, 2006

    Dorit Margreiter

    Los Angeles– and Vienna-based artist Dorit Margreiter’s video 10104 Angelo View Drive (Prequel), 2004, screened on a fancy 1982 Bellini monitor placed on a metal case, begins with a spectacular view of Beverly Hills. Suddenly, a vertical gap opens in the middle of the picture, slowly revealing the very same view in a brighter shade—the result of the opening of a sliding glass facade. The view belongs to one of LA’s most iconic architectural masterpieces of the late modern era, the Sheats-Goldstein Residence, by late US architect John Lautner. Used as a movie set in Hollywood productions like

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks May 22, 2006

    Mona Hatoum

    Mona Hatoum’s first Berlin solo show consists of two pieces: a sculpture and a work on paper. Hot Spot, 2006, is a human-height, freestanding, transparent globe, whose longitudes and latitudes consist of slim, stainless steel poles and whose national borders are formed from curved red neon tubes. Like most of Hatoum’s objects, the work is deeply and purposefully ambiguous: beautiful on sight, but dangerous nonetheless. Its sinister character fully unfolds through the subtle, disquieting sound of the electric tubes and fuses, an insistent buzz that indicates deadly high voltage. The other work

  • Gustav Metzger

    Gustav Metzger has always worked against the art market, rather than for it. In 1959, he articulated his concept of autodestructive art in a manifesto—an adaptation of Theodor Adorno’s argument that “writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric” to the field of visual art in the era of nuclear weapons. By 1974, his radical approach led to the call for an “art strike.” Though he initiated and participated in many groundbreaking events, like the Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS) in London in 1966, it took decades for Metzger’s art to find its way into museums (and a very few private collections).

  • Still from The Chocolate Bar, 2005.
    picks April 19, 2006

    Bethan Huws

    In her prior text-based works, Welsh Conceptualist Bethan Huws acutely analyzed language and the fine gaps in between. Following in her own footsteps, her fourth film, The Chocolate Bar, 2005, is built around an eleven-line conversation between two people, in which a basic misunderstanding of terms leads the scene into the absurd. The first part of the film, shot in black-and-white, takes place on a dark theater stage, in the center of which stands Duchamp’s Bottle Wreck, 1914. The two protagonists, a young man lying down and another man dressed in the costume of a traditional Welsh woman, are

  • Javier Tellez, still from La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (Rozelle Hospital, Sydney), 2004
    picks April 04, 2006

    Javier Tellez

    With La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (Rozelle Hospital, Sydney), 2004, originally conceived for that year's Sydney Biennial, New York–based Venezuelan artist Javier Tellez continues his deeply personal investigation of what constitutes “normal.” A red velvet curtain divides the gallery, and inside one finds randomly placed chairs between video projections on opposing walls—a situation that leads to what can be called “spectatorial schizophrenia.” A ninety-minute rendition of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent classic La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (1928) is screened on one side. The original film stretches

  • Valentin Carron

    “Rellik,” the title of young Swiss artist Valentin Carron’s debut, refers to the English word “relic” with its span of connotations, from disdained leftover to religious veneration. Reading it backward, however, it becomes “Killer.” Apparently, “Rellik” is also the nickname of the first graffiti tagger from Martigny, Carron’s hometown in western Switzerland. The pun is typical of Carron’s practice, which draws on symbols of cultural identity—always with an awareness of their complex (sub)cultural recoding. Carron comes from the canton of Valais, typically thought of as the most authentic, “wild,”