Julia Langbein

  • View of “Silvia Bächli,” 2010.
    picks May 09, 2010

    Silvia Bächli

    Silvia Bächli’s oeuvre over the past thirty years continues to engage deeply with line—not as unit, brace, or grid, but as a kind of character whose behavior the Swiss artist studies and reveals. The works on paper consist of several strokes each, floating horizontally or forming stripes down the page, welded at the ends or spaced apart. Some might call these works simple, even simplistic—see, for example, the imperfect grid hashed out in oil pastel on a postcard-size sheet, or the two mere strokes of grayish-rhubarb-colored gouache forming a backward number 7. Not surprisingly, her 2009

  • Pieter Schoolwerth, Portrait of “Still Life” (after Cotan), 2010, oil on canvas, 66 1/2 x 86 1/2”.
    picks April 14, 2010

    Pieter Schoolwerth

    In his first solo exhibition in France, Pieter Schoolwerth further refines his adaptations of old-master canvases, reworkings that function neither as critique nor as parody but as raw material for an investigation of the possibilities of figurative painting. Each of Schoolwerth’s “portraits” condenses an iconic composition with multiple subjects—mostly genre scenes or religious narratives, like Georges de la Tour’s Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds, 1635, or Giovanni Biliverti’s The Archangel Refuses Tobias’s Offerings, 1612––into a single hybrid mass of bravura paint-handling against a matte

  • Brice Dellsperger, Body Double 22, 2007, still from a color film, 35 minutes.
    picks March 06, 2010

    Brice Dellsperger

    In this installment of Brice Dellsperger’s series “Body Double,” 1995–, which spans twenty-four video projects, the Paris-based artist continues to remake sequences from feature films, especially psychosexual thrillers like the 1984 Brian De Palma movie for which the series is named. In Body Double 22, 2007, Dellsperger’s longtime collaborator Jean-Luc Verna, an artist whose pierced and tattooed body is unmistakable and specific, plays every character, including the central married couple, in sequences taken from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Dellsperger digitally stitches the actor

  • Claire Morgan, Silver Lining, 2009, taxidermied barn owl and rat, thistle seeds, dandelion seeds, lead weights, nylon, acrylic, 75 x 24 x 24".
    picks February 08, 2010

    Claire Morgan

    From the far side of the gallery, Architecture, 2009, one of Claire Morgan’s suspended installations, almost disappears into thin air. From a grate of clear acrylic dowels on the ceiling hang rows of nylon fishing line, threaded through the minuscule bodies of hundreds of dead fruit flies in exact planes that stack up to form intersecting architectural rectangles nine feet high. Above and below the rectangles, a few flies break away along the threads, either dissipating from or coalescing into their cubic swarm, a ghostly mapping of the unknowable or unseeable geometry of animal behavior. This

  • Elina Brotherus, La Liseuse (Reader), 2001, color photograph, 27 1/2 x 22".
    picks January 24, 2010

    Elina Brotherus

    This gallery devotes two consecutive shows over the season to Finnish photographer and video artist Elina Brotherus: the current retrospective of medium- to large-format color photographs from the past ten years, followed by an exhibition of new photographs and video. The retrospective reveals Brotherus to be moving away from the self-portraiture of her early series “Das Mädchen sprach von Liebe” (The Girl Spoke of Love), 1997–1999, in which the artist bares tears and bruises that index an episode of real-life grief, toward a self-consciously antidocumentary photographic practice motivated by

  • Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Entre Toi et moi (Between You and Me), 2006, perfume, Lalique crystal, dimensions variable.
    picks December 29, 2009

    Jean-Luc Vilmouth

    This gallery’s central space glows with the artificial greens of Jean-Luc Vilmouth’s large wall-mounted neon piece that spells JUNGLE SCIENCE in cereal-box script. These are the colors of 7-Eleven signs, not the rain forest. Yet on the glass shelves that scaffold the text are Bodum beakers holding scraps of the natural world from three trips that the Paris-based artist took to the Amazon forest over a decade ago: toucan feathers, guarana, tobacco leaves, and butterflies, as well as crafts including arrowheads, a mask, and an ornamental comb given to the artist by a local tribe.

    Smartly, Vilmouth