Ingrid Rein

  • Ingrid Rein

    IT WAS MUNICH’S NAME as an art town, a sort of Athens on the Isar, that drew the young Adolph Hitler there in 1913. Over twenty years later, in 1935, he drafted a vision of Munich as a modern “city of the Hellenes”—the “capital of German art,”and the future “capital of the [Nazi] movement.” Even earlier, in 1933, at the foundation-stone ceremony for Munich’s Haus der Deutschen Kunst (the house of German art, the first representative building of Nazi architecture), Hitler had proclaimed, in his peculiar staccato, “I want to make Munich a city so honoring Germany that none shall know Germany

  • Anselm Kiefer

    One function of myth is to establish an identity by emotionally binding the individual to a national collective; this function has been more taboo in contemporary Germany than anywhere else. Anselm Kiefer’s earlier attempt to shatter the suppression of German collectivity by investigating national identity irked his critics. Despite the demystifying tendency of his investigations, there remained a remnant beyond rational thinking in the conceptually precarious space he staked out for himself. It was easier to see that this twilight contained a historically determined, night-blind angst, which

  • “Einleuchten: Will, Vorstel, Und Simul In HH”

    Anniversaries were the cause: the harbor of Hamburg is 800 years old, and Kurt A. Körber, the sponsor of the Deichtorhallen, is 80 years old. Einleuchten (Illumination), Harald Szeemann’s three-generations show, was also an anniversary for him as a curator. Twenty years ago, in Bern, he was a Dr. Livingstone, who explored the precarious terrain of a processual “social anti-form,” as he called it, in the exhibition “When Attitude Becomes Form.” In Hamburg, with 57 artists, including 14 from his erstwhile Bern team, he celebrated Einleuchten as a missa solemnis. At Documenta 5, 1972, in Kassel,

  • Julian Schnabel

    Julian Schnabel was just 30 years old when his relieflike paintings made him one of the most successful and controversial artists of his generation. Art is consciousness, the psychic manifestation of knowledge, Schnabel has said. In Basel—where his paintings were first shown in 1981—he has installed the “Recognitions” series in the Kunsthalle and his works on paper from the years 1975 to 1988 in the Museum für Gegenwartskunst.

    Schnabel’s combination, or collage, works are still sensitive and seductive in their delicate use of color, the sensuality of their materials, and the liveliness of their

  • DIMINUTIONS AND DIVINATIONS: DAVID HODGES

    IN DAVID HODGES’ MINIATURE oil paintings the magic of 1920s new objective realism comes alive again. As if imbued with the latent excitement of a film scene from that era, these extremely minute images seem to capture a frozen moment in a dramatic encounter, or in an encounter of strange anonymity. Hodges’ scenes, “shot” at close range, and distilled to their essentials, throw the viewer into a narrative without a graspable plot or accessible characters. They tell only what the viewer wants them to tell. One looks at them, and then something begins to transpire.

    This necessitates our predisposition

  • “Europa Oggi”

    Most visitors to Prato, a largely industrial town approximately 11 miles from Florence, don’t come for art, although there are classical works here that would be worth the trip. But now Prato, which is one of the richest cities in Italy, wants to polish its image—which has always been overshadowed by Florence in matters of art—with the opening of the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art. The initiative for this museum came from one of the leading industrialists of the city, Enrico Pecci, who died several months before the opening; he dedicated the building and its surroundings to his deceased

  • Thomas Ruff

    The more intensely we scrutinize these straightforwardly realistic color photographs, the less we find out about the people they depict. Thomas Ruff’s enormous, utterly lifelike portraits remove the individual to the same extent that they bring the sitter closer to us. Every liver spot, every bit of stubble on a chin, every wrinkle on a neck, like any information conveyed by this emotionless hyperclarity, binds us to the surface of the visible. These unposed photographs feature young people of the artist’s own generation, shown full face or in three-quarter view and cropped below the chest or

  • Walter De Maria

    For Walter De Maria, a work of art expresses the idea of realizing the absolute. There is also a global and historical aspect to De Maria’s art, which could previously be seen in his unrealized project Olympic Earth Sculpture, 1971, planned for Munich; it appears again in the two sculptures that De Maria created especially for this exhibition. (Eleven Part Circle of the Large Rod Series, 1986, was also included here, but had been exhibited elsewhere.)

    The first, The Beginning and End of Infinity/The 25-Meter Rod, 1987, looked precious and auratic in the dim light of the gallery. This work consists

  • Ulrich Horndash

    The call for a return to order, to a new classicism, has become increasingly audible lately. Here, as in Ulrich Horndash’s “Hellas” installation, it has taken the form of homage to the genius of classical Greece, the infinite productivity and vitality of the Greek spirit. This is not motivated by a thinly veiled nostalgia for antiquity but by the conviction that we are indebted to that culture for our principal models of the world—Heracitus’ view that permanence is an illusion of the senses and that the only reality is change, the constant state of becoming; Plato’s theory of unchanging Forms,

  • Asger Jorn

    Asger Jorn’s experimental phantasmagorical art was an art of rebellion, a search for a new beginning in the climate of hardening cultural and political attitudes during the postwar period. In the spirit of Dada and Surrealism, he and his CoBrA colleagues Carl-Henning Pedersen, Karel Appel, Constant, and Corneille fought for a transformation of the world and of life in order to establish a “new art of the people” based on a liberated imagination and a lively, spontaneous creativity. “We have to make the people into artists,” Pedersen said in 1944. “People’s art,” wrote Jorn in 1950 in “Sozialistische

  • THINGS THAT GO BUMP

    LISA LIEBMANN

    Discombobulated and cacophonous, with a populist bent, Documenta 8 was almost entirely free of the lofty airs that surrounded its elegant, smug predecessor in 1982, and that to some degree hovered over many of the more ambitious and large-scale international exhibitions in the five years since. Absent, for instance, was any sense of highbrow intellectualism or formalism, and gone as well the sense of giddy congruence with recent commercial, critical, and promotional dicta. Painting, for one, seemed relatively scarce, and while classicism and mannerism, minimalism and expressionism,

  • THE CRITICS’ WAY

    MÜNSTER RHINELAND—WESTPHALIA Pop. 266,000 Alt. 62m. 13C restored cathedral, 14C town hall, 18C palaces, Landesmuseum “Skulptur Projekte in Munster 1987” June 14–October 4. Hannover 186 km—Cologne 152 km—Osnabrück 57 km.

    CRITICS

    Donald Kuspit 🚲

    Max Wechsler 🏇

    Dan Cameron 🚶

    Pier Luigi Tazzi 💼

    Ingrid Rein 🔔

    TEN YEARS AGO IN MÜNSTER, Klaus Bussmann curated a large outdoor sculpture exhibition under the title “Skulptur 77.” And now Bussmann and Kasper König have organized a second such show, “Skulptur Projekte in Münster 1987.” The works, by a total of 53 artists from Europe and North America, are

  • KNITTING, STRETCHING, DRAWING OUT

    ROSEMARIE TROCKEL'S KNITTED PICTURES would certainly strike one as odd if one happened upon them in a museum set aside for the display of works involving the disciplines and concerns of the crafts. Their size as well as Trockel’s tough choices of patterns would be the tell-tale signs that something was afoot. Take this fact and add it to the information that the knitted pictures are made for, exhibited in, and position themselves in a sphere that has, in Modern culture, traditionally set itself apart from the crafts—the fine arts—and one arrives at the issue that no matter where these textile

  • Walter Dahn

    Walter Dahn asks in his paintings about the how and why of what he is doing, about the sustained kick that the painting is supposed to induce both in the painter and his audience. Dahn asks and answers as a painter, not as an illustrator of a concept of art. The large paintings shown here consist mainly of dark, simple images—either trademarks of English jewelers (which he also uses for the logo of his rock band) or “trademarks” of other artists. Painted on bright white or ivory backgrounds, these images completely dominate the pictures. In The Jewelers III and IV, both 1986, the emblems, which

  • Hella Berent

    Hella Berent’s lofty aspirations and passionate urge for self-realization are given expression in drawings and installations that convey abundant intellectual energy through a vocabulary of suggestive, fragmentary forms. Within a force field of dense, very dark planes of color, cubelike forms, and jagged trails of light, experiences of the self and of the world flow together to create a sensual view of reality magnified to cosmic proportions. We feel the presence of idiosyncratic, open spaces through the associations they evoke, activated by the emotional dynamics of the strokes and the intensity

  • “Die 60er Jahre: Kölns Weg zur Kunstmetropole vom Happening zum Kunstmarkt”

    Cologne was never an actual center for any of the important ’60s art movements. None of them was born here, not Nouveau Réalisme, Pop art, Fluxus, Happenings, nor actionism. But Cologne’s transformation into a European art metropolis did begin in that decade, on the fertile ground of a vital intermediary scene in a relatively open climate, in spite of infringements by the police and courts. In “Die 60er Jahre: Kölns Weg zur Kunstmetropole vom Happening zum Kunstmarkt” (The ’60s: Cologne’s emergence as an art metropolis from the Happening to the art market), a surprisingly lively mixture of

  • “De Sculptura”

    The show’s straightforward title promised honesty, but its precious subtitle, “Tu Sculptura Felix Nuba—Spatium” (You, happy sculpture, marry—space), a paraphrase of the famous Hapsburg dynastic motto, swiftly revealed curator Harald Szeemann’s exhibition strategy: the legitimization and ceremonious conquest of space through sculptures specifically chosen for the site. Szeemann’s three-generation show from Joseph Beuys to the 28-year-old Austrian Heimo Zobernig, was meant to be neither an exemplary survey nor a history of developments or ideas.

    This enabled Szeemann to delete some of the standard

  • Hommage à Beuys

    The blow dealt by Joseph Beuys’ death, on January 23, 1986, swelled the number of artists initially participating in “Hommage à Beuys” (originally planned for Beuys’ birthday, in May) to include 70 European and American artists. But few of these artists—in response to a request by Bernd Klüser, Beuys’ Munich dealer, and one of the show’s coorganizers—actually sent works especially created to honor their great colleague, who, according to Hermann Nitsch in his artist’s statement, “gave art the widest responsibility and thus ushered in a new understanding of art” The majority of these often

  • Stuttgart

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    This compendium of 20th-century German art, organized by Christos M. Joachimides, Norman Rosenthal, and Wieland Schmied,

    was originally designed for the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The show had placed its bets on persuading the British

    public of the accuracy of its arguments with a superb sculpture and painting exhibit. The original assembly of these

    exhaustively viewed little masterpieces was the only convincing argument against the roaring criticism of the show in

    Stuttgart, where several pieces on loan had been either exchanged for lesser works or withdrawn. The criticism centered

    on

  • Deutsche Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts: Bilder und Skulptur 1905–1985

    This compendium of 20th-century German art, organized by Christos M. Joachimides, Norman Rosenthal, and Wieland Schmied, was originally designed for the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The show had placed its bets on persuading the British public of the accuracy of its arguments with a superb sculpture and painting exhibit. The original assembly of these exhaustively viewed little masterpieces was the only convincing argument against the roaring criticism of the show in Stuttgart, where several pieces on loan had been either exchanged for lesser works or withdrawn. The criticism centered on the