Julian Elias Bronner

  • interviews February 03, 2017

    Tom Burr

    For nearly three decades, Tom Burr’s sculptures, writings, collages, and photographs have tended to focus on access, site-specificity, the confluence of public and private environments, and the constructed persona. Here, he discusses his yearlong project “Tom Burr / New Haven”—conceived as part of Bortolami Gallery’s “Artist / City” initiative—for which Burr will occupy and activate the ground floor of the IKEA-owned, Marcel Breuer–designed Pirelli building in New Haven, beginning in March 2017. Also in New Haven, Burr will participate in a talk about the project on February 22 at 5:30 PM at

  • interviews January 11, 2017

    Alex Wissel

    Alex Wissel is a Düsseldorf-based artist whose deadpan video installations, drawings, and performances address biography and history in an attempt to deconstruct master metanarratives through reenactment. For the past year, he has been cowriting, with director Jan Bonny, and acting in Rheingold, 2016–, a series currently under development for television, which follows the downfall of Helge Achenbach, one of Germany’s most notorious and criminal art consultants. Additionally, he has been developing a body of drawings in conjunction with the series. Here, he discusses the television series, which

  • diary September 11, 2016

    The Rhine’s Eye

    AMONG THOSE PROFESSIONALLY OBLIGED to look at and think about art, summer holidays engender two camps of tourists: those who travel to see it and those who travel to get away from it. In the wake of three weeks spent in Düsseldorf on an unofficial tour of the region’s museums, I can advise those of the latter weary-eyed and wanderlustful group that the Rhineland is not for you.

    Great art is so highly concentrated here that it might as well spring the Rhine itself. The countryside situated around the mining valley of the Ruhrgebiet is littered with public institutions housing legendary collections

  • picks July 25, 2016

    “The Invisible Hand”

    The legacy of the Anthropocene will be littered with parricide: We’ve killed God, and we’re systematically poisoning Mother Nature. How, then, will we account for the current atrocities on this planet? “The Invisible Hand,” the title of this outdoor exhibition curated by Natalie Kovacs, offers one idea, referring to Adam Smith’s concept of enlightened self-interest––a metaphysical force spurred by humankind’s persistent eye on the main chance and the collective effect of those pursuits on human affairs. The ambivalent universe on view, which takes place in the gardens of the Parc Tournay-Solvay,

  • picks July 17, 2016

    “Répétition”

    Let’s look at life as an exercise of mere accidents––a sequence of freak chances whose endless syntheses, movements, gestures, and replications make up the inertia of this revolving world. In 1963, upon discovering that his lithographic printing stone had broken in two, Robert Rauschenberg, who was at that time experimenting with printing processes, must have come to a similar conclusion, naming this erroneous work Accident. “Répétiton” is curated by Nicola Lees and Asad Raza under a similar pretense of resistance: mainly, that objects defy the stasis of the exhibition space and exist as an

  • diary April 28, 2016

    “B” Here Now

    WHETHER BRUSSELS IS THE “NEW BERLIN,” your “B-sides” (à la artist Megan Marrin), or a “hellhole” (à la Trump), it’s certainly a destination, especially in the spring, when the de facto capital of Europe draws thousands to its annual Brussels Art Week. Just ask newcomer (but not outsider) Elizabeth Dee, who enthusiastically jumped the gun this year by inaugurating Independent on Wednesday, twenty-four hours before the preview of its more established competitor, Art Brussels. Held in the modernist Vanderborght building––beautifully renovated by Bart Biermans of HUB architecture––in the heart of

  • picks March 25, 2016

    Koen van den Broek

    Paris, Texas, Wim Wenders’s 1984 character study, opens as Travis Henderson (played by the inimitable Harry Dean Stanton), a rugged yet troubled loner in a desert landscape, and is on, and seemingly appears from, the road to nowhere. Taking this film as a departure, Koen van den Broek’s exhibition “The Light We Live In” dives into the same desolate atmosphere. Van den Broek is known for his steep, highly pronounced pictorial planes that depict the magisterial loneliness of unpopulated highway lanes, cityscapes, and curbside detritus––the kind of non-lieux that one may encounter en route to total

  • picks March 04, 2016

    Anri Sala

    “Answer Me,” the titular command of Anri Sala’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, falls urgently on the ear. Teeming with possibility, this aurally immersive show, which presents nearly two decades of video installations as well as sculptures, photographs, and drawings, scintillates and reverberates. From documentary accounts detailing loss and disaffection, such as Intervista (Finding the Words), 1998, and Nocturnes, 1999, or the relationships between disused, politically charged architecture and the present, such as Dammi i colori (Give Me the Colors), 2003, and Answer Me,

  • picks October 23, 2015

    Mario Pfeifer

    German artist Mario Pfeifer’s films explore cultural types in order to extend beyond the limits and privilege of a specific ethnography. For his debut exhibition in the United States and commissioned by the MINI/Goethe-Institut, Pfeifer spent half a year collaborating with director Drew Arnold and Beast Coast rap trio the Flatbush Zombies to produce a video work and EP for their latest single, “Blacktivist.” Borrowing from this title is #blacktivist, 2015, Pfeifer’s two-channel installation, which melds a music video, interviews with the Zombies, and other documentary footage. The result is a

  • interviews April 03, 2015

    Anish Kapoor

    Anish Kapoor’s sculptures and installations use pioneering technology to address absence and void as sites of potential. Here Kapoor discusses his use of Vantablack, the blackest pigment known to date, which is being developed by the British engineering firm Surrey Nanosystems. A new series of paintings is on view at Gladstone Gallery in Brussels through April 17, 2015, and he will also have an installation of work at the Palace of Versailles that opens June 9 and runs through November 1, 2015.

    VANTABLACK IS A PIGMENT currently under development. I described my idea for a project incorporating

  • diary March 26, 2015

    Finer Things

    SO, YOU’VE BEEN to Art Basel and to Art Dubai, but have you been to Art Europe? With no air of irony, the twenty-eighth edition of the European Fine Art Foundation (diminutively, TEFAF) commenced Thursday, March 12, with the pomp and pageantry of all the Continent’s histories rolled into one. Selling antiques, classical antiques, design, haute joaillerie, painting (contemporary, modern, and premodern), sculpture, and works on paper spanning seven thousand years of art history, the VIP opening in Maastricht’s MECC building felt as fragmented and contrived as one could expect from any union of

  • picks February 20, 2015

    Jan de Cock

    In 2008, Belgian artist Jan de Cock conceived Denkmal 11, a floor-to-ceiling installation at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, in which photographs he took of its permanent collection—images from the histories of architecture, film, and photography—and his own modernism-inspired sculptures were apposed high and low on the walls and floor of a single gallery. A recursive monument within the edifice of institutional didactics, this work provoked a reevaluation by eliding viewer and object from comfortably seeing a privileged narrative eye to eye.

    “Sculpturecommunism,” de Cock’s debut exhibition at

  • interviews December 05, 2014

    Heinz Mack

    Heinz Mack is an artist who primarily works with light and is a cofounder of the international artists’ network ZERO. Mack speaks here about the so-called Sahara Project, a series of installations he made in the Tunisian desert from 1962 to 1976. The project is featured in the exhibition “ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s,” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, until January 7, 2015. Mack’s concurrent solo exhibition, “From ZERO to Today: Heinz Mack, 1955–2014,” also runs at New York’s Sperone Westwater Gallery until December 13, 2014.

    WHEN I WAS IN NEW YORK IN 1963, I was searching for new

  • picks November 23, 2014

    Gabriele Beveridge

    It’s said that it takes two decades for cultural nostalgia to solidify; after this time, past trends can revive as ironic countercurrents to the present fashions. In “Gold Diamond Park,” Gabriele Beveridge’s debut solo exhibition in New York, the artist juxtaposes sculptural elements to self-consciously question the criteria for trading and exhibiting ideals of beauty. Her work simultaneously evaluates the processes by which aesthetics fade out and return as cultural currency.

    Exemplary is a series of seven tableaux of perforated metal panels that the artist took from the ceiling of a library in

  • picks November 07, 2014

    Claudio Parmiggiani

    A severe silence sets the tone for Claudio Parmiggiani’s first solo exhibition in the United States in three decades: In Untitled, 2014, a sixteenth-century ecclesiastical bronze bell, is gagged and gibbeted by its tongue above the entryway to this gallery—a portent that announces a puissant presentation of Parmiggiani’s oeuvre. And yet it tolls for no one. In the next room, a three-dimensional iron stake pierces an untitled photographic print of the artist’s palm—a self-inflicted stigmata that undermines the artist’s own authorial taction. Transversely installed is Che mangia questo pane vivrà

  • picks September 08, 2014

    Anita Molinero

    Since the 1980s, French sculptor Anita Molinero has worked almost exclusively with domestic and often toxic materials, cauterizing, deforming, and smelting chemically fabricated, factory-produced objects. Her current solo exhibition, “Oreo,” appraises the material and conceptual consistency of manufactured products intended to control circulation––traffic signs, road barriers, speed bumps, various packaging materials, etc.––as well as their status as industrially made, environmentally hazardous commodities designed for the public domain.

    Take, for example, an untitled series of five large-scale,

  • picks June 09, 2014

    Edith Dekyndt

    Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt marvels at physical phenomena, often going beyond the banal limits of matter to tap into its thaumaturgical potential. In 2004, in an icy alpine region, she experimented with the triboelectric effects of a woolen cover, fascinated by the discharges from its material during the reaction. Exactly ten years later, with ritualistic rehearsal and scientific exactitude, the artist recreated the procedure in an area of the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian Svalbard Archipelago. Her solo exhibition, “Chronology of Tears,” addresses these two iterations.

    An image displaying streaks

  • diary May 29, 2014

    Pro Choice

    “WAIT—there’s a gallery weekend in Paris?” Marian Goodman’s Nicolas Nahab seemed surprised when I mentioned last Friday’s events. Around us, thirty others wined and dined under a heated tent on the rooftop of Le Perchoir, views of Montmartre and the white dome of the Sacré Cœur offering a dazzling backdrop.

    Somewhere down in the City of Lights, Kim Kardashian and her maids of “honor” trampled through town for her bachelorette bacchanal, but up here the festivities revolved around Colombian artist Oscar Murillo, who was opening his first solo exhibition in France at Marian Goodman Gallery, the

  • picks May 13, 2014

    Delphine Deguislage

    Several stimuli spring to mind––some somatic, others synthetic––when one swallows Delphine Deguislage’s current solo exhibition, “My Dopamine’s Been Busy.” And it begins with a hit: In Mineral Sex (all works 2014), a poster displayed at the entrance, a masturbating woman is made more modest by a superimposed layer of spliced harlequin pattern made from images of microscopic mineral compositions. More oblique still is another, nearby poster, which shares the show’s name. Here, an image of an ancient ring engraved with cuneiform––its archaic provenance marked by a petrous, timeworn surface––is

  • diary May 06, 2014

    Kiss and Make-up

    THOSE NEW TO THE ART-WORLD CIRCUIT quickly realize that to see is to know: When it comes to objects and the people that travel worldwide to view them, a sense of familiarity arrives from recognizing the same names and faces around the globe. Introductions, handshakes, and the international two-cheek kiss are most often merely phatic formalities. This is especially true in a city like Brussels, where you see the people you know often and can easily point out those you don’t, urging people to get acquainted and fast. Perhaps that’s the reason the one-cheek kiss is customary for the Bruxellois: