Hili Perlson

  • picks January 01, 2015

    Daniel Laufer

    In a large hall, Train of Thought, 2014, is projected on two large screens facing each other so that the work engulfs the viewer standing in between. In certain moments, images on the two screens mirror or complement each other: A train approaching on one is seen leaving on the other; a view of a spiral staircase from above is accompanied by a perspective on the same scene from below. Laufer’s installation is rich with such doublings, which effectively further complicate the film’s nonlinear plot.

    Located in the former waiting area for first-class passengers inside the Harburg train station, the

  • slant December 02, 2014

    Hili Perlson

    AT THE RISK OF SOUNDING DRAMATIC, 2014 was nearly marked by a personal crisis of faith in art, as too many exhibitions pertained to trends I couldn’t get excited about. If artistic production addresses a contemporaneous condition, am I wrong not to feel enthused by work that directly responds to technological advances? Is the flat, lurid quality of much of the art seen the only adequate expression of the effects of networked technologies on our lives? What’s more, as violence and war became increasingly devastating throughout the year, I saw too many hapless examples of the slippery relation

  • Bernd Ribbeck

    When Joanna Kamm announced, in July, that her gallery would close at the end of September, an exhibition by German painter Bernd Ribbeck—his fourth with Kamm—had already been slotted for that month. A September show coincides with important events on the local calendar such as Berlin Art Week and the art fair abc art berlin contemporary. Although nothing about the show overtly registered that it would be the gallery’s last, the fact turned out to be inadvertently pertinent.

    Ribbeck’s small-format abstract paintings are usually rendered on MDF with acrylic paint and ballpoint pen, the

  • diary November 23, 2014

    Suddenly Next Summit

    “ARTISTS ARE NOT PERIPHERAL to our daily lives, but central,” said Creative Time artistic director Anne Pasternak, speaking from a multicolored, inflatable podium, one of three playful props situated around the stage of Stockholm’s Kulturhuset. With issues such as migration, nationalism, xenophobia, and surveillance as foci, the sixth iteration of the Creative Time Summit wasn’t going to be light fare, and the whimsical decor by artist Bella Rune, who’s also worked on sets for the Knife, offered welcome comic relief throughout last weekend’s two-day marathon. Rune’s design aimed to render the

  • picks October 31, 2014

    Andro Wekua

    For his debut exhibition at this gallery, Andro Wekua has blocked the street-facing windows of the gallery with a wall of cinder blocks. Inside, bubble-gum-pink carpeting casts a soft glow onto the surroundings while Untitled, 2014, a lifelike, androgynous mannequin wearing a blond wig, a black, oversized tank top, and silver sneakers hangs in the middle of the room. Wekua often uses such figures in his work—this one is sustained in midair by a glass ledge placed under its chin, which in turn is suspended from the ceiling. The dummy’s left arm is a cyborg-like steel-covered prosthesis,

  • picks October 19, 2014

    Fiona Rae

    Fiona Rae’s latest exhibition brings together three series of charcoal-on-paper drawings. All produced in 2014, they follow the turn Rae has taken in her paintings this year. The artist has left behind the distinctive style of canvases laden with multicolored painterly marks and dotted with comics-like figures, letters, and pictograms, as her most recent paintings feature abstractions in a monochrome gray palette.

    Though the drawings are smaller than her large-scale canvases, she achieves the same abstracted, expressive immediacy; without loosing any of their dynamism, her gestural brushstrokes

  • picks September 26, 2014

    Van Hanos

    In his first exhibition in Germany, Van Hanos poses the question of what can painting be today? His answer is spread across six canvases, each easily shifting between Photorealism, Impressionism, Pre-Raphaelite abundance, or, as in Kids at Play (all works 2014), translucent layering reminiscent of Sigmar Polke. While his control of these techniques is impressive, the stylistic disjunction is indispensable to Hanos’s total concept. By working in various modes of representation and refusing allegiance to any, he negates the medium’s alleged death and shows that painting, like people, can evolve

  • picks August 19, 2014

    Bunny Rogers

    In her latest exhibition, “Columbine Library,” Bunny Rogers refers to the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Dark subjects aren’t new for Rogers: Themes such as lost innocence, angst at the end of childhood, and untimely death frequently inhabit her practice, in which she navigates chat rooms, gaming communities, and other online activities designed for but not exclusively used by prepubescent girls. Her own preteen obsessions, particularly with Neopets, often appear in her work—cutiefied artifacts from a life lived online.

    Clone State Bookcase (all works 2014), a

  • picks July 16, 2014

    “Wanton Mobility”

    In this Anthropocene age marked by discoveries of “plastiglomerates”—composites of molten plastic trapped in Arctic ice, rock formations, or floating in the oceans like islands of toxic goo—a young generation of artists is renegotiating materials as systems of synthesis, linking organic and inorganic processes to nature and the human body. Featuring works by Lisa Williamson, Molly Smith, Fiona Mackay, Keltie Ferris, and Alisa Baremboym, this all-female show considers the discord between the effects of networked experience and advances in technological innovation.

    Two sculptures by Smith,

  • picks June 11, 2014

    Will Benedict

    Will Benedict’s two-dimensional work became known for his use of a picture-in-a-picture ploy, reminiscent of over-the-shoulder digital graphics used in nightly newscasts. The artist mounts his main canvases on foamcore panels, paints their aluminum or glass frames, and incorporates drawings, paintings and life-size studio portraits as insets within his collages. The aim of these hybrid pieces, however, is not fragmentation but rather complex homogeneity. In his first solo show in France, his command of these formal and material manipulations appears more articulate than ever.

    Titled “Comparison

  • picks June 09, 2014

    Leidy Churchman

    A large painting, Big Kali (Goddess of Time and Death) (all works cited 2014), depicts the five-headed, four-limbed Hindu goddess in bright yellow, red, and teal. Situated opposite is Tide of Night, a black oil painting, nearly monochromatic, save for an unpainted sliver along its top edge—a pared-down representation of spume above dark waters. The tidal wave and the deity together evoke force, violence, and mystery, as do other paintings included in Leidy Churchman’s latest exhibition. Another section, however, introduces a new motif entirely: A painted auction sign reads SEIZED ASSETS FROM

  • picks June 02, 2014

    Seth Price

    For his debut at Eden Eden, a new space by gallerist Isabella Bortolozzi, Seth Price continues his symbolic dissection of paper envelopes as carriers of meaning with seven new works. The crosshatching on the inner sides of envelopes—devised to prevent content from being visible—has long been a recurring motif for Price, and culminated at Documenta 13, with “Folklore US,” which featured works on plywood, garments, sculptures, and a ready-to-wear collection.

    Here, Price returns to the sculptural plywood works, honing in on the possibilities of the technique used to produce them. The wall-mounted