Frank-Alexander Hettig

  • Yael Davids

    The Israeli artist Yael Davids stages provocative performances in which the participants’ bodies become extensions of ordinary objects that have been altered or manipulated. For her recent show Davids staged three claustrophobic actions involving a table and chairs, an aquarium, and a mattress. In Table (all works 1997), the prop was covered by a cloth made from a number of stitched-together white shirts. Where plates might normally appear, one found instead four large, oval holes cut into the tabletop, lining up with the collars of some of the shirts. In the brief ritual Davids staged, the

  • Stephan Willats

    The English artist Stephen Willats investigates identity and interpersonal relationships with the aid of diagrams, photomontages, and articles of clothing he began designing during the ’60s. In his recent solo show, he presented a number of works from his ongoing “Multiple Clothing Series,” 1992–. Rather than serve as hermetic art objects, these mix-and-match PVC garments invite viewers to participate in an interactive social experiment.

    Clothing is, of course, tied to the representation of the wearer’s personality, and here the need for personal expression was pushed to the limit, not without

  • Michel François

    Michel François’ recent show “Mest, Brandnetels en Paardebloemen” (Manure, nettles, and dandelions) was divided into two groups: an installation consisting mostly of videos and films; and documentary material from his various collaborations with nonartists. In the first section François installed a pale green carpet with circular perforations at its edges, and onto the wall beyond the carpet he projected a video in which the camera’s movement follows his feet traveling in an endless circle on a green lawn that eventually turns brown. The remaining videotapes and films were displayed on various

  • Tiong Ang

    The young Dutch artist Tiong Ang has worked in various media, including painting, video, photographs, text, and installations. In his recent show he placed three small, unobtrusive TV monitors on the floor at a distance from each other, in an almost empty space. The viewer was surrounded by soft music emanating continuously from the monitors, each of which presented a single frozen image that recalled casts or models.

    The three screens included a Buddha’s head (Insomniac Buddha; all works 1997); a wig-head (Insomniac Wig Head) and a doll’s head (Insomniac Doll). One could gather from the flickering

  • Paul de Reus

    The invitation to Paul de Reus’ recent show depicted a young boy standing outside a closed door, waiting to be let in; by bending the corner of the card, one could see the same boy standing in a corner as though he had been punished and was waiting for a reprieve. These images—the original, folded version of which, entitled THUIS (At home/at ease; all works 1996), formed the centerpiece of the show—suggested an anxious need for security and intimacy.

    The world de Reus’ exhibition depicted was both unsettling and absurd. Inside the gallery the young Dutch artist built a wall out of wood, dividing

  • Adriana Varejão

    Invoking memory and desire, the paintings and installations of young Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão reassemble tired historical narratives to produce fresh ones. In many of her early works, Varejão drew inspiration from Delft and Portuguese tiles, with their blue figures and ornaments, and her new work continues to incorporate this motif. At first glance, this recent exhibition, entitled “The Banquet,” seemed to include mosaics of cracked and chipped antique tiles, but on closer inspection these proved to be painted images.

    Varejão’s works reference the colonial history of Brazil, and they

  • Asta Gröting

    Though seemingly static and cold, Asta Gröting’s sculptures actually represent organic processes. At once massive and transparent, the digestive system of a shark constructed in Murano glass rested on the the floor. Like the glass, which was also at first a fluid substance, the digestive system, the site of an organic process of decomposition, is depicted now as still and transparent. Through this glass body, material and form evoke a now-frozen stream of movement.

    An enormous pink-rubber tunnel represented the throat as a transportation system. Metabolic processes, reproduction, and the opposition

  • Floor van Keulen

    Nothing is certain in the drawings or murals of Floor van Keulen. Everything seems to be in motion, seems to loom into view, only to disappear again quickly. For Van Keulen process is paramount. The size of the work is of no importance: whether he is working on a small sketch pad or a large, blank wall, nothing in his drawings is definite at the outset. Dispensing with a working sketch or conscious planning, he changes his room-paintings even during the run of an exhibition. Suddenly new constructions, attributes, animals, figures, cartoons, or even abstract lines emerge, which can, the following

  • Arjanne Van der Spek

    Arjanne van der Spek’s sculptures establish a subtle dialogue between the amorphous qualities of their material and the precise structuring of their elements. Un deux eins zwei hikkel pikkel, 1992, consists of four seemingly unfinished cement arcs at hip-level. Through the transparent base, the arcs seem to float. Polyester stones cast from a real stone—which stands in front of the arcs—are etched with the work’s title. Embodying the ability to outlast time, the original stone presents a sharp contrast to the almost weightless imitations. While the arcs appear uniform, their surfaces are, in

  • Guido Geelen

    Guido Geelen’s sculptures not only have a lyrical, poetic side, but also a formal, minimal one. In contrast to his earlier works—made from stacking various geometric or baroque elements—these freestanding works are made up of everyday objects such as telephones or urinals, or even kitschy dogs and cats. He uses clay, producing these objects in series and repeating more or less the same elements. This technique of addition/subtraction, creating/destroying no longer results in chaos, but in a conglomeration of interlocking figures. In earlier works the perfection of the surface was

  • Philippe Perrin

    Anonymity as a strategy for survival in an egocentric culture is certainly not a trademark of Philippe Perrin. His work Brand New Cadillac, 1992, is a composite of many objects: little boxes displaying familiar attributes and fetishes of our consumer society are grouped around a black and white photograph of an attractive woman in the act of undressing. As in an earlier work, entitled Killer, 1990, which was shown in the “Aperto” section of the Venice Biennale, the scene here is suggested as in a movie. Perrin has even broken the glass pane of one of the boxes, which, it is implied, surely also

  • Dennis Adams

    Dennis Adams creates a dialectic between covering and exposing, between interior and exterior in this exhibition entitled “Vanities.” With the use of mirror and light, the back of the work Double Vanity, 1991, recalls a makeup table in a dressing room. The large, central mirror reflects the Stedelijk Museum across the street from the gallery, as well as the person in front of it. Thus it plays on the viewer’s vanity and his wishful projections, and on Adams’ own deceptive integration of the museum into the piece or his presumptuous goal of having the piece in the museum. This mirroring also

  • Michael Byron

    In the work of Michael Byron problems of identity emerge from different backgrounds, suggesting questions to the viewer, only to disappear again into the monochrome ground of the painting. Forms, numbers, and letters are neatly separated from one another. Clearly distinguished as autonomous, independent phenomena, they are combined with each other in a composition that creates a kind of theater of the absurd. In these different exhibitions, series and thematic complexes are apparent. Byron plunders an entire trove of symbols, and variously arranges them on panels. Their interconnections must be

  • Jean-Charles Blais

    In Jean-Charles Blais’ new works, it is not his familiar blue color that plays the lead role, but black. Blais’ tendency to simplify shapes and forms, which began in 1987, has progressed further here; he depicts massive, monumental figures and body parts with clear, perspicuous structures. Blais uses black—a color of emptiness and obscurity—chiefly for the contours of his mysterious silhouettes of the backs of heads with turbanlike headgear. These shapes can also be interpreted as cutouts or shadow outlines for an anonymous typology of people. The bodies are absent, and one can only sense them