Hans Rudolf Reust

  • Rita McBride

    In “Art and Objecthood,” Michael Fried discussed the “literalist” and the “theatrical” aspects of Minimalism. Over thirty years later, Rita McBride comes forth as if she had spontaneously engaged these objections and, with a lightly ironic undertone, taken them as her point of departure in works whose form often literally corresponds to industrial materials. In the Annemarie Verna Galerie, for instance, McBride showed a large construction that reminds one as much of a Donald Judd sculpture as it does of some kind of extravagant casing for a ventilating system on the roof of an industrial complex.

  • Roman Signer

    Perhaps the most startling piece in Roman Signer’s recent show was a seven-foot-high wooden crate that sat in the middle of the room and contained the debris of a helicopter crash. The helicopter was a toy model, however, and the artist staged the crash to occur at the opening of his show. Operated by remote control, the helicopter whizzed around inside the crate until it hit one of the sides, flew out of control, and, with a last high wail of its little motor, destroyed itself within the narrow confines of the box. Viewers could observe the action through a doorway-size opening in the crate,

  • Angela Bulloch

    The opening of Angela Bulloch’s recent exhibition, “Big Bottom,” featured a performance by a band of the same name with Bulloch (and four others) on bass guitar. The rumbling wave of sound lifted the red, yellow, and blue beanbag chairs in the museum’s back room slightly off the ground and made the dried splashes of mud (slung across the stage wall prior to the performance) literally vibrate. The thrumming didn’t stop after opening night, though: Anyone sitting on a nearby red bench tripped a switch that caused the beanbag chairs to emit a humming sound.

    The doughnut-shaped beanbags dominated a

  • Fabrice Gygi

    Anyone who has visited the Bob van Orsouw Gallery, with its four distinctive central pillars, will be curious about the latest response to its architecture. Fabrice Gygi’s installation did not disappoint. Upon entry, the eye was momentarily stunned by a luminous orange atmosphere: a wall of plastic tarps, the kind used at stadium events, cloaked the center of the room, so that the visitor had to navigate along its perimeter (whoever set foot inside had to remove his or her shoes and deposit them on a nearby shelf). On the far side of the balustrade was a lectern—then again, it could have

  • Mary Heilmann

    It’s hardly a coincidence that the first two large exhibitions of Mary Heilmann’s work in Europe were held in Zurich. After the shock waves sent out by Zurich Dada during World War I, the city became a center for Concrete art, thanks to the efforts of Max Bill and Richard Lohse. And now Heilmann—whose painting both echoes and moves beyond these traditions—has come on the scene. Combining the anarchic spirit of the Cabaret Voltaire with analytical acuity, she deviates from stylistic norms, but with the kind of precision for which Lohse became known. In the process her work remains painterly,

  • Christoph Rütimann

    By repeating four words—sitz, bank, gut, and haben—Christoph Rütimann created an ornamental field on a wall near the entrance to his recent show. Although typically in German all nouns are capitalized, here the letters were all lowercase, so the words could be read as either nouns or verbs, generating a repertoire of interrelated meanings. “Bank” suggested the idyllic: to sit on a bench and have it good. “Guthaben beim Sitz” evoked the pragmatic: to have money sitting in a bank. The networks of words suggested the political (or the Swiss version of the political): Who has it good when certain

  • Olafur Eliasson

    Parks and gardens have long been an important index of man’s relationship to nature. Today some artists, in rather naive fashion, seem to be trying to restore an imaginary wilderness using the latest technology. But how would a garden look if it highlighted its own artificiality while leaving nature’s “otherness” intact? One could look for an answer in Olafur Eliasson’s recent piece The Curious Garden, 1997, a trio of installations that addressed three different forms of sensory perception.

    The first and largest room was entirely empty, but it was suffused with a strange orange-yellow light

  • Stefan Altenburger

    During the 1996 Gramercy Art Fair, Stefan Altenburger shoved the furniture in Peter Kilchmann’s space to one side, then dismantled each piece and reconstructed it while an Arnold Schwarzenegger fitness video flickered on a television screen. Moving around the room, Altenburger grabbed various objects, hoisting a large mattress—among other things—carrying it around and then putting it down again. His performance yielded constellations of objects, “installations” formed only to dissolve into situations suggesting a move from a house or a construction site. The video that was produced was then

  • Thomas Hirschhorn

    An inner room, sectioned off from the main exhibition hall by lengths of cheap fabric in a colorful ’50s pattern—this was Thomas Hirschhorn’s U-shaped Très grand buffet (Grand buffet), a nearly room-sized, stepped construction covered with a shimmering layer of tinfoil and laden with a vast number of cellophane-wrapped objects. Resembling delicacies from a gala dinner or raffle prizes, these objects were in fact small collages on cardboard, inevitably conjuring up the worn signs, clumsily handwritten, that beggars wield, telling their life stories or urging passersby to give them money. Here,

  • Ulrich Görlich

    Ulrich Görlich’s work often comments on the sociopolitical context surrounding the exhibition site, so it was not surprising that his recent photographic installation in Zurich took Switzerland as its theme. Clichés about Switzerland are ubiquitous enough: reflecting the image of hard currency and political stability, they tend to include a narrow range of scenes involving mountains, peasants, and local customs. After a long period of shuttling between Berlin and Zurich, Görlich certainly can see through these stereotypes. Entitled Heimatschutz (Defense of the homeland, 1995), his installation

  • Udo Koch

    Udo Koch uses outlines of his own hand, the silhouettes of certain plants, or old teapots, as a starting point for his paintings and sculptures, transforming them through layering, mirroring, and inversion. What in words may sound so complex as to be incomprehensible comes off, in its visual form, as disarmingly simple and rich. In Koch’s work a seamless conjunction of simplicity and complexity results in startling forms that could only be the result of careful planning. New forms are achieved through the mutation of familiar structures, resulting in hybrids that contain both fragments of their

  • Ugo Rondinone

    “My wallet’s stuffed with paper napkins with names and phone numbers of the people I’ll never call.” “Frank Sinatra’s ‘Summer Wind’ is quietly playing on the radio. I light a cigarette, take a few drags and again exhale.” Sentences like these crop up in Ugo Rondinone’s notebooks or appear painted directly on the wall in thick chocolate brown. This practice reflects Rondinone’s continual search for a means of conveying melancholy without nostalgia or false pathos. His spaces, in which various works relate to each other in some obscure mise-en-scène, constitute a realm infused with a lighthearted

  • Mark Manders

    In Mark Manders’ recent show clay torsos and pieces resembling parts of humans and animals lay in rows on the ground like finds from an archeological dig. They conjured up a strange array of images: crab shells, petrified embryos, deformed bodily organs, puppets. Manders arranged these fragments in rows according to similarities in their appearance, as though following some long-forgotten ordering system. These “bodies,” which sometimes have a dull luster, seem to express themselves through a vulnerable outer skin. One is tempted to touch them, even though many are very fragile—several “limbs”

  • Marie José Burki

    In her new video works, Marie José Burki enters into a silent dialogue with nature. From the frontal perspective of the video camera, a parrot sitting on its perch, unaware that it is being watched, can be observed for several minutes on the monitor. It makes a noise now and again, growls occasionally, and cleans itself, looking around while a scientific commentary about flying, about nutrition, and about the courting rituals of various species is delivered in a monotone.

    In the obvious difference between the object and its representation, the image and the tone of voice, the certainties of

  • Silva Bächli

    With titles such as “Yellow as Quince” and “Tibet,” each of Silvia Bächli’s small, black and white drawings seems to suggest its own quirky universe of exotic associations and half-buried memories. When the drawings are grouped together, it is difficult to discern the individual ideas that reside in each expressive trace. As if to complicate matters further, her drawing style has become even more economical over the past few years, transcending gesture while maintaining a strong corporeal presence. Intimately focusing on fragments that reveal the core of an object, Bächli often depicts only

  • Adrian Schiess

    At the last Documenta, Adrian Schiess’ “flat works” were installed in the windows of temporary buildings. Schiess avoids any traces of personal style by using an industrial method to paint his surfaces. Painted on aluminum plates with automobile enamel, in a finely tuned monochrome, these works pointed to the pragmatics of hanging paintings. The standard stretcher is related to the size of the human body. Seen close-up, the area of color exceeds the viewer’s field of vision and makes an overview impossible. In so doing, it exacerbates the tendency of paintings to spread into infinity.

    Though the

  • Alex Hanimann

    Rhythmically placed groups of numbers from 0 to 9 marked the one hundred sheets of a linoleum cut edition, printed in red and black and framed, which Alex Hanimann placed on three walls of the gallery. While there is an indifference to individual numbers, certain groupings are readily identifiable: 1492, 1789, 1933, etc. As quickly as these historical dates promise an overall context, they just as quickly dissipate into plays on other numbers within a field of number codes. Arithmetic series, product codes, personal dates, betting numbers from horse races, or the lottery are all evoked. The red

  • Mariko Mori

    A sweet smell permeated everything. What had been defined as a gallery on the invitation appeared to be a perfume shop: a hygenic, cool, and yet attractive atmosphere with rubber floor and mirrored ceiling, plastic cubes, and photographs of a model on the wall. Three pictures placed in a row: in two the head bends toward the side, pining, in sharp contrast to the objectivity of the electronic light meter that the model holds in one hand. In occasional flashes, the viewer realized that he or she was a part of this installation—and also a model, at least for the moment, confronted by the anonymity

  • Miriam Cahn

    A series of black and white, and colored drawings hung around the walls of a single room, like a frieze of strictly chronological, individual works offering itself to be read. One could devine the process of creation without reducing the works to one narrative line that would limit the multiplicity of associations. In many pieces Miriam Cahn drew an arm with hand and fingers. Extended in a flowing movement, rising and sinking simultaneously, this isolated body part appeared as an independent entity, caught somewhere between sensual presence and material dissolution. Entire figures breathed in

  • Michael Biberstein

    Clouds high in the sky, misty canyons, a bright horizon in the distance, or as in Chinese landscape paintings, the sudden appearance of rocky crags release, in Michael Biberstein’s paintings, a flood of associations. There is no fixed point in these paintings, and the viewer’s eye moves constantly over the surface. Even where a primeval landscape is put into perspective by its juxtaposition with a far-off mountain range, vision is lost in the glare of light. Illusionism is used against itself, leading the viewer to the boundaries of space that are at once opened and closed.

    Biberstein is not