Jens Asthoff

  • Caleb Considine

    The eight small paintings in Caleb Considine’s exhibition “Cancelled” might at first have seemed a bit lost in the gallery’s spacious rooms, but they gradually made their presence felt. The generally pale colors—attaining, here and there, a passing luminosity—lent them a dreamlike pellucidity, but also conveyed a sense of determined and prosaic effort. Considine’s art bespeaks genuine devotion to painterly subtlety: Though his craftsmanship was evident, the work was the opposite of mere technical display and razzle-dazzle.

    It also took the viewer a while to understand that the irreducible

  • Anselm Reyle

    In “Eight Miles High,” his first one-man show at König Galerie, Anselm Reyle created a shining sculptural trinity of geometrical abstraction, beautifully combining processes of secularization and re-sacralization. In the gallery’s central exhibition space––the converted nave of the former Saint Agnes Kirche––he placed three free-hanging large-scale aluminum sculptures: Windspiel (Diamond), Windspiel (Square), and Windspiel (Circle) (all works 2017). The setting is both ambitious and demanding: a vast room, forty feet high and more than four thousand square feet in size, whose walls are covered

  • Hanns Kunitzberger

    Compacted voids throbbing with color, replete with an abundant emptiness: Hanns Kunitzberger’s paintings put the critic in the position of having to resort to such paradoxical descriptions. Despite their powerful presence and quiet clarity, they elude the gaze, metamorphosing before the beholder’s eye, their diffused chromatic spaces never quite tangible. Their hazily opaque complexions focus representation on their own existence as pictures. Methodically inward-looking, this art is absorbed in the contemplation of color as phenomenal quality. Works such as Ende 2015 Anfang 2016 später (End of

  • Stijn Ank

    The Belgian artist Stijn Ank recently staged a large-scale sculptural intervention in the architecture of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, which appeared concurrently with his exhibition of comparatively modest wall pieces at Galerie Michael Janssen. Both exhibitions were titled “Fresco,” and the artist had made all the works on display by pouring liquid plaster into custom-built casting molds, occasionally mixing pigment into the plaster during the layer-by-layer casting process.

    Fresco painting, which flourished in the fourteenth century—“a fresco” literally means “upon the fresh [plaster]”—is

  • Anna Möller

    For this show, eleven framed photographic works, Untitled #1 through #11 (all works 2016) were brought together with the installation The Great Unpaid Laborer of the World (Porcelain Rubber Dust), which consists of fragile white porcelain objects exhibited on three open-sided Plexiglas boxes, one of which was partly fitted inside another. Among the materials used to make this work, the artist listed both the titular porcelain dust and fingerprints on the transparent surfaces. This is symptomatic of her approach, for Anna Möller is preoccupied with the indeterminate.

    The photographic works show

  • Etel Adnan

    The simplicity of Etel Adnan’s paintings conceals the complex experiences of the artist’s remarkable life. Born in Lebanon in 1925 to a Greek mother and a Syrian father, Adnan grew up amid multiple cultures, languages, nationalities, and religions. In 1949 she went to Paris to study philosophy at the Sorbonne; she continued her studies at the University of California, Berkeley, starting in 1955. She taught philosophy at Dominican College in San Rafael, California, from 1958 to 1972, during which time she also started painting and writing poetry. Then she returned to Beirut, where from 1972 to

  • Amelie von Wulffen

    The inner life of the German soul is a gloomy thing. The pristine white fabrics of traditional costumes vie to be the brightest, yet the mood around the lunch table is oddly depressed. And here are Martin Buber and Martin Heidegger, bathed in a glaring green aura; they are seated at a table with two other interlocutors, but the conversation seems to have come to a halt. Paul Celan hovers above another circle like a colorless ghost. Elsewhere, children dutifully playing music in an austere farmhouse parlor seem to be lost in another world—a woman by a window, clad in antiquated garb, takes

  • Natalie Czech

    A few years ago, while speaking about some of her early pieces for the series “Poems by Repetition,” 2013–, Natalie Czech described these works as “writing with photography.” Abstract as it might sound, her statement stayed with me, and now in retrospect it seems key to understanding Czech’s work. This was most recently apparent in her extensive solo show at the French CRAC Alsace, where examples from all her important groups of works were exhibited. Czech’s photographs incisively present subtle semantic linkages between image and sign, text and object, literary and quotidian genres of text and

  • Tobias Pils

    Tobias Pils paints with a reduced palette of black, white, and gray. If at first glance his pictures have a graphic, drawing-like character, however, this turns out to be deceptive: As paintings, they are as opulent as they are subtle. The Austrian artist’s recent exhibition demonstrated that he has developed an idiosyncratic pictorial language in which figurative and floral elements seem to have been set loose among latently abstract, free-form ornamental structures such that each of these aspects—representation and abstraction—interpenetrates and interprets the other. The paintings

  • Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili

    Part of the unconventional beauty of Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili’s photographs lies in their blurring of the boundary between medium and motif; her approach to representation is intimately bound up with the inherent characteristics of the photographic medium. The artist generally works with analog technology and large-format cameras, but she also integrates digital techniques into her compositional processes. Having studied with Stephen Shore in New York, she is fully conversant with the methods of analog color photography: From operating the camera to manipulating the negative and negotiating

  • Deborah Remington

    This selection of sixteen works produced between 1972 and 1982—four canvases, eleven drawings, and one oil study on paper—was the first exhibition in Germany of the American painter Deborah Remington, who died in 2010 at the age of seventy-nine, and was organized by Jay Gorney. Born in New Jersey, Remington moved to San Francisco in the early 1950s to study at what was then the California School of Fine Arts—later the San Francisco Art Institute—where Clyfford Still and Elmer Bischoff were among her teachers. Becoming part of the Beat scene, she was the only woman among the

  • Cordula Ditz

    A montage of cinematic anxiety-dream imagery, a visual space composed of B-movie and trashy horror footage, Cordula Ditz’s solo show “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” was dominated by a two-channel video installation of the same title, dated 2016, with its large-format projections, one on a wall, the other on a screen set up in the middle of the room. Rather than tracing the arc of an action, the video unfolds in the mode of free association; one focus of Ditz’s selection was on stereotypical images of the artist and of femininity. Isolated from their original contexts but still informed by the specific