Jurriaan Benschop

  • Uman, Uman (Born Again), 2022, acrylic, oil, oil stick on canvas, 48 x 48". Photo: Nikos Alexopoulos.
    picks November 10, 2022


    The fourteen paintings on display in Uman’s solo exhibition “Goodnight Sweetdreams” suggest an act of temperance on the part of the artist, of balancing internal forces, while also celebrating the explosive sensorial experience of the outside world. Exorcism meets Impressionism, as imagery from African folk tales or memory-shrouded landscapes merges with more contemporary references (for instance, Black sun/son, 2022, appears to quote Jeff Koons’s Apollo Wind Spinner, 2020–22, a motorized steel-and-bronze sculpture installed on the Greek island of Hydra). The artist gravitates toward rounded

  • Andreas Ragnar Kassapis, Room 1, 2020, oil on wood, 16 x 20".
    picks December 08, 2021

    Andreas Ragnar Kassapis

    During a year of strict lockdown, Athens-based artist Andreas Ragnar Kassapis drew from his immediate surroundings to produce the sixteen oil-on-wood-panel paintings in the exhibition “To see a block of flats as a cave.” The subject matter is relatively straightforward—a house, a window, a television set, the view outside—but the motifs are not clearly cut or defined; they are embedded (if not dissolved) in an environment of color. Yellow and blue are the artist’s principal hues here. They often appear mixed to create an ambience wherein external form and internal state are inseparable.


  • Caroline Walker, Vanity, Room 425, 2018, oil onboard, 16 7/8 x 13 3/4''.
    picks November 08, 2021

    Caroline Walker

    The more than twenty paintings in “Windows,” London-based painter Caroline Walker’s first solo show at a museum, depict women engaged in various kinds of work: a maid in a hotel room, a hostess taking reservations in a restaurant, a hairdresser on the salon floor. Walker observes these figures through a window or doorway. Such framed views add a layer of estrangement and abstraction to her quotidian scenes, ensuring that we viewers never forget our voyeuristic perspective.

    Walker is keyed to the social environments her figures inhabit, homing in on details such as lighting, decor, and body

  • Vivian Greven, Qulla I, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 19 1/2 x 15".
    picks May 18, 2021

    Vivian Greven

    “Apple,” the title of Vivian Greven’s latest exhibition, evokes a neat range of associations, from the Tree of Knowledge, to William Tell’s arrow, to the computer brand. If the fifteen paintings here recall ancient Greek statuary in their depictions of smoothly modeled nudes, their finely glazed shapes and electric sheen also suggest the inhabitants of digital nonspace. Existing somewhere between Adonis and avatar, the figures never fully register as flesh. Although Greven is careful to avoid any expressive mark-making, the illusionistic spell is occasionally broken, as in APL (all works 2020)

  • Louise Bonnet, In Bed, 2018, oil on linen,  7' × 10' 1⁄8".

    Louise Bonnet

    Seeing a reproduction of Louise Bonnet’s painting The Pond (all works 2018) on the invitation to her exhibition made me both curious and skeptical. It shows a woman posing in an uncomfortable, if not impossible, backbend curve, her form conjuring a shortened bridge, with her hands and feet under water. What we mainly see is a large body against a dark background. Face and individuality are hidden behind physicality. Firm, outsize breasts point straight up toward the sky. It is certainly a weird scene—but I couldn’t decide if it was weird as in interesting, or more like a cartoon or a forgettable

  • View of “Poems to Gadgets,” 2018.
    picks January 24, 2019

    Angelika Loderer

    A group of six brass sculptures at the far end of the room is visible as one enters the gallery. These Poems to Gadgets (icicles) (all works 2018) have been molded after dripping blocks of ice and are buttressed by slim, slightly bent steel rods, lending them an air of precarious elegance. The artist was interested in solidifying an imprint of a material that begins to dematerialize upon touch. To approach the icicles, one has to walk over Poems to Gadgets (scatter piece), a surface covered with mixed sand imprinted with the tracks of previous visitors. The piece consists of remnants of the

  • Philipp Fürhofer, Tequila Sunrise, 2017, acrylic and oil on acrylic box, two-way mirror, electric wire, lightbulbs, LED, wood, 36 5/8 x 36 5/8 x 9 7/8".

    Philipp Fürhofer

    The title of Philipp Fürhofer’s recent exhibition, “Walpurgisnacht,” was borrowed from a scene in Goethe’s Faust, so we can assume that the show’s recurrent concern with light was to be understood not only literally, but also in a symbolic way. The thirteen pieces on view could be called assemblages, light boxes, or paintings; in most cases, they were all three at once. Many of the works harked back to the tradition of Romantic landscape painting.

    Using a transparent acrylic glass box as a base for most of the works, Fürhofer brought in incandescent lightbulbs and LED tubes, usually lots of them,

  • André Butzer, Untitled (Früchte), 2016–17, oil on canvas, 9' 6“ x 14' 1 1/4”.

    André Butzer

    I was lucky to see André Butzer’s new paintings on a sunny winter day, with natural light coming in to make visible what is hidden in their black surfaces. There were eight big and nine medium-size dark paintings in Galerie Max Hetzler’s Bleibtreustraße location, along with one very large and colorful canvas, a small work on paper executed in colored pencil and crayon, and an artist’s book. The dark paintings each have a sort of vertical seam, right of the center, where light seems to come through, sometimes clear, most often faint. Around this so-called Fuge, or gap, brushwork is visible, dark

  • Angelika J. Trojnarski, Rising, 2017, paper and oil on canvas, 59 x 47 1/4".

    Angelika J. Trojnarski

    “Currently I am more attracted to sculptors than to painters. They look at objects from all sides,” Angelika J. Trojnarski remarked, with an eye to this exhibition, titled “The Rising.” The Polish-born, Düsseldorf-based painter is interested in three-dimensional moving bodies such as airplanes and ships, and in the technologies that make mobility possible. Even though she usually depicts her motifs in two dimensions, an understanding of volumes is essential to her work. In this exhibition, three larger oil paintings were combined with seven collages, a hanging fabric piece, and two small MDF

  • Norbert Bisky, Trilemma, 2017, oil on canvas, 94 1/2 x 74 3/4". © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

    Norbert Bisky

    Built in a Brutalist style, the former Saint Agnes Church that is now the König Galerie is anything but a neutral gallery space. The hanging paintings on the high walls of its nave can easily, perhaps too easily, bring out any spiritual aspirations the works may harbor. Norbert Bisky wisely—and humbly, even if some of his paintings appear to be the opposite of modest—chose to resist this temptation. The twenty-six works in this show, “Trilemma,” were presented on three double-sided walls of increasing size, designed for the occasion and placed zigzag in the nave. This arrangement seemed

  • picks November 27, 2017

    David Schutter

    David Schutter’s three grayish paintings, all titled with variations of ANB M 109 (all works 2017), seem to turn their backs on the viewer, showing hardly any articulation or contrast. Once adjusted to the dark surfaces, though, one can discern some color in the mix, as well as a painterly hand at work. With time, distinctions appear between gestures, movements, lighter patches against dark: Is that a head, a ghostlike appearance, or just a wiped surface? A white-on-white silverpoint, Study Sheet for ANB M 109 1, executed blindly, completes the show, assuring us that the overall focus of these

  • Iulia Nistor, Evidence E1 W4 A3, 2015, oil on wood, 15 3/4 × 19 5/8".

    Iulia Nistor

    The work of Iulia Nistor focuses on the unseen and the hidden rather than the obvious or the representational. It suggests that omissions in visual availability can evoke a sense of the real. Considering the proliferation of digital imagery in recent years and the daily flood of representations, the medium of painting enables a different take on what matters. The main body of Nistor’s exhibition “canary in a coal mine” was formed by eleven small panels, each titled Evidence and no bigger than about twenty by sixteen inches, creating a modest and intimate space. The most expressive actor in the