Gregor Quack

  • David Medalla, Cloud Canyon, 2020–21, wood, acrylic. Installation view. Photo: Mareike Tocha. From the series “Cloud Canyons,” 1963–2021.

    David Medalla

    “PARABLES OF FRIENDSHIP” was the first comprehensive retrospective dedicated to the work of David Medalla (1938–2020), who signed off on early plans for the show but died just months before it opened. Viewers could enter the main exhibition space by mounting and descending a seemingly functionless staircase. The first artwork visible from the top of the stairs was a family of five Plexiglas tubes of varying height, all emerging from a low round pedestal on the floor. Depending on factors like the day’s temperature and air pressure, the humming and gurgling contraption spewed soap bubbles in

  • Doreen Garner, Roughly Documented, Three Million Eight Hundred Ninety Four Thousand and Fifty Six, 2021, steel, silicone, glass beads, hair, staples, 36 × 50 1⁄4 × 10".

    Doreen Garner

    For the past few years, Doreen Garner has used the violent medical history of slavery and colonialism as a starting point for mixed-media sculptures that frequently contain body parts cast in silicone and urethane plastics. Of the three wall-mounted sculptures that made up Garner’s exhibition “Steal, Kill and Destroy: A Thief Who Intended Them Maximum Harm,” one two-part work was exhibited here for the first time. For Roughly Documented, Three Million Eight Hundred Ninety Four Thousand and Fifty Six, 2021, Garner stapled together a Portuguese flag from pale, skin-like strips of silicone. Beside

  • Ei Arakawa, How to DISappear in America (Duration: multiple times in total of 9 hours, & approx. 60 hours on preparation, Honorarium: 3,500 EUR, 0.72 EUR per minute), 2020, LEDs, hand-dyed fabric, grommets, controller, SD card, power supplies. Installation view.

    Ei Arakawa

    In the art world as much as anywhere else, the pandemic and its attendant economic crises have done the most damage to those who rely on their labor, rather than capital, for their livelihood. Like other performing artists, Ei Arakawa felt the full brunt of the lockdown as social-distancing enforcement closed nearly all venues for his work. Approaching the financial details of his art practice with refreshing candor, the artist’s excellent recent show “Fees & Nerf” was as much an exercise in emotional and financial bookkeeping as a nimble pivot to potentially more pandemic-proof areas of practice.

  • Precious Okoyomon, Angel of death, 2020, raw lambswool, dirt, wire, yarn, 59 × 37 × 41 1/4".

    Precious Okoyomon

    Earlier this year, artist and poet Precious Okoyomon spent several weeks in Frankfurt, filling the modernist space of Zollamt MMK with a layer of topsoil, covering it with a carpet of young kudzu plants imported from Amsterdam, and finally populating it with six life-size effigies assembled out of black raw lambswool, dirt, and “a little bit” of the artist’s own blood. Each titled either Angel of the void or Angel of light (all works 2020), these figures raise their arms in prayer or lower them in protective stances, poised to brawl or break into dance. Both reinforced and restrained with various

  • Niklas Taleb, Reverse psychology, 2020,archival pigment print, tissue wrapping paper, glass, tape, 28 3/8 x 20 7/8''.
    picks January 03, 2020

    Niklas Taleb

    It has been weeks since most museums and galleries reopened in Germany. Still, it remains difficult to visit any public art space without pondering how permanently and irreversibly pandemic lockdowns have altered our ability to engage with the outside world. Rarely do such melancholic musings feel as appropriate, even productive, as in the photographer Niklas Taleb’s snappy solo debut at Lucas Hirsch in Düsseldorf. In this show, the home confinement mandated by Covid-19 is made to rhyme with the domesticity occasioned by another happier condition: parenthood. Taleb produced the five works in

  • View of “Seth Price: Social Synthetic,” 2017, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.

    Seth Price

    WHEN THE STEDELIJK MUSEUM in Amsterdam and the Museum Brandhorst in Munich decided to jointly organize “the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of Seth Price,” they brought up fundamental questions about the art world’s favorite form of hagiography. If retrospective exhibitions are, by definition, exercises in containment and summary, how can they deal with an artist as notoriously slippery as Price, who first received significant attention for a PDF calling for art’s “dispersion” beyond and outside the institutions of the art world? If Price used that early document to advocate for

  • View of “Samson Young: A dark theme keeps me here, I’ll make a broken music,” 2016–17. Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. From left: Stanley, 2014; Nocturne, 2014. Photos: Simon Vogel.

    Samson Young

    OVER THE COURSE of Samson Young’s first solo exhibition in Europe, the world outside seemed to catch up. A somber realism pervaded the show, which was curated by Jasmina Merz and on view at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf this past winter, and it was only as its eleven-week run unfolded that its uncanny relevance to current events became clear. Spanning the full range of Young’s practice, the presentation included video work, suites of tenderly serious notation drawings, and a recorded sound piece broadcast in coordination with the ringing of the bells of a nearby church. Yet, in keeping with the artist’s