Kerstin Stakemeier

  • View of “Henrike Naumann,” 2022–23. Background: Rustic Traditions, 2022. Foreground: Horseshoe Theory (detail), 2022.

    Henrike Naumann

    Berlin-based artist Henrike Naumann builds national interiors. The furniture she assembles for her scenographic sculptures and installations is invariably sourced from the regions she exhibits them in, and her selections—more affective than referential—do not adhere so much to their status as design objects as to their demographic popularity. Naumann’s work opens thresholds between private and public scenes of assimilation, placing viewers into tableaux where political culture is articulated as a myth of the past, present, and future: a thing that furnishes all of our lives. “Re-Education” is

  • View of “Bruno Gironcoli: Shy at Work,” 2018. From left: Untitled, 1987; Untitled, 1999; Untitled, 1987; Untitled, 1988. Photo: Stephan Wyckoff.

    Bruno Gironcoli

    “SHY AT WORK” is an unlikely title for a Bruno Gironcoli retrospective. The Austrian artist is best known for his large-scale sculptures of the 1980s and ’90s—iron, aluminum, wood, and plastic giants that seem anything but reticent, not only because of their size but also because of their adamantine surfaces, which are typically achieved via a slathering of bronze, gold, or silver powder paint on the models, which are then cast in metal. Their bodies consist of animistic figurations, assemblages of dehumanized forms that leave no space for the beholder to identify with them. Gironcoli’s

  • Ieva Epnere, untitled, ca. 2006, ink-jet print, 16 1/2 × 23 5/8". From “How to Live Together.”

    “HOW TO LIVE TOGETHER”

    The political developments that have recently shaped our societies seem characterized by their ability to highlight the exclusionary social boundaries of modern life. Curator Nicolaus Schafhausen draws on these boundaries and their histories not so much to demarcate lines of conflict as to envision scenes of change, renewal, and the potential transformation of the measures of shared life. This exhibition will bring together some of his longtime collaborators, such as Liam Gillick, Willem de Rooij, and Kai Althoff, alongside a younger, more diverse group of producers,

  • View of “Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionnelle” (Occupational Hazard), 2016–17. On wall: Portrait (The Concept-Artist Smoking Head, Stand-In), 2016. On floor, from left: Flat Spine, 2016; Mooring (standing), 2016. Photo: Timo Ohler.

    Nairy Baghramian

    NAIRY BAGHRAMIAN gives her audience nothing less than an aesthetic reeducation. Her starting point is an academic understanding of sculpture as a modernist art medium—in other words, as an autonomous form, one that is by definition of no use. But she submits the well-worn modernist trope of medium specificity to a series of multifarious overextensions. Baghramian’s work presents the notion of autonomy as a physical challenge, one that each sculpture has to meet individually. Rather than defying use per se, Baghramian’s works ultimately defy us. Again and again, the artist alludes to braces,

  • Four performance views of Anne Imhof’s Angst, 2016, Kunsthalle Basel, June 14–15 and 18–19, 2016. Photos: Nadine Fraczkowski.

    CLOSE UP: REMOTE CONTROL

    “ANGST”: In both German and English, the fraught title of this operatic exhibition and work staged by Frankfurt-based artist Anne Imhof encapsulates a universal and personal dread. With far-ranging references to nightclubs and avant-garde dance theater, to working out and work, via paintings, sculptures, drawings, performances, and (not least) the intermittent appearance of live falcons, “Angst” is epic. It is also an epic, if we look to the philosopher Frank Kuhne’s claim that the form’s modern function is to stage exposition as critique, as the recognition of the process of individuation, of

  • View of “Electronic Superhighway (2016–1966),” 2016. Photo: Stephen White.

    “Electronic Superhighway (2016–1966)”

    THE SUBTITLE of “Electronic Superhighway (2016–1966)” puts forth an intriguing premise, suggesting a reverse-chronological survey that might retrace the past from the perspective of our current moment, providing the present with historically secured consistency even as it empowers the past with contemporary relevance. And such an inverse approach certainly seems appropriate to the exhibition’s avowed mission of exploring the virtualization of the real catalyzed by networked technologies over the past half century. In following this narrative of disembodiment, however, the show has succeeded

  • View of “Ulrike Müller: The old expressions are with us always and there are always others,” 2015–16. From left: Rug (gato de cochinilla), 2015; Rug (el primer gato), 2015. Photo: Laurent Ziegler.

    Ulrike Müller

    ULRIKE MÜLLER conjures forth an other. This other is an as yet unidentified and genuinely differentiated being, a different sex, a different sensibility—one that not only deviates from but also exists within the still overwhelmingly male and straight modern teleologies of art. It’s not surprising, then, that the word others is the starting point for two exhibitions by the New York–based artist now on view at Vienna’s Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, both staged together with curator Manuela Ammer. The first, which closes February 21, is Müller’s solo presentation on the museum’s

  • Lea Lublin, R.S.I.—Dürer, del Sarto, Parmigianino, 1983, acrylic, C-print, postcard, and ink on canvas and wood. Installation view, Le Quartier, Centre d’Art Contemporain de Quimper, France, 1995.

    Lea Lublin

    “IF WOMEN set themselves to transform history, it can safely be said that every aspect of history would be completely altered.” In 1990, art historian Griselda Pollock chose philosopher Hélène Cixous’s powerful statement to discuss the exemplary relevance of Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi within a feminist reformulation of art history. But this quotation might just as well characterize the driving force of Lea Lublin, an artist active some three centuries after Gentileschi who is only now receiving the international recognition she deserves, in a recent retrospective at the Lenbachhaus

  • Harald Popp, Untitled, 2013, C-Print, 12 x 17”.
    picks March 24, 2014

    Harald Popp

    Harald Popp’s photographic work trades in two of the most important questions of his medium: representation and the index. But Popp works digitally, so his medium is not representational per se, and the indexical is not a material trait of his output. In his current exhibition in Hamburg, he presents three series and three diptychs, which show banal objects, miniatures, or outmoded curiosities that are meticulously staged not in order to represent them, or even to represent something through them, but to bring them into a representational order.

    “Untitled. Skin Set,” 2014, for instance, offers

  • View of “Ikke kompetanse,” 2013.
    picks December 19, 2013

    Jochen Schmith

    For their first exhibition with the gallery, Jochen Schmith, the artist collective made up of Peter Hoppe, Peter Steckroth, and Carola Wagenplast, has taken up arbitrary phenomena and turned them into what one could call truthfully inauthentic objects. Cigar Ends—Collector’s Waste, 2010, the first work one sees when entering the small rectangular space, consists of seven objects, including bronze casts of cigar butts collected from seven unique locations such as VIP lounges at various art fairs. They are now destined to return to their initial owners as veritable art commodities. Untitled, 2013,

  • View of “Return of the Rear,” 2012.
    picks June 01, 2012

    Monika Baer

    Monika Baer’s approach to painting is as systematic as it is painterly. In her current exhibition, “Return of the Rear,” she presents three new bodies of work, all precise investigations into the toolbox of her medium. Six large paintings, dominate the space. In three of these—rote Wand (3) (red Wall [3]); rote Wand (4) (red Wall [4]) (both 2012); and Extended Failure, 2011-12—a cadmium-red layer of pigment is painted on the left side, while on the right Baer has depicted the surface of a brick wall. Meticulously rendered steel chains drop into the middle of the scene from the upper right; they

  • View of “Gino / Marcel Duchamp on Streeteasy.com,” 2012.
    picks March 08, 2012

    Ken Okiishi

    Ken Okiishi’s current exhibition, “Gino / Marcel Duchamp on Streeteasy.com,” is also this gallery’s first solo show, and it extends his efforts to enter into an artistic dialogue with modernist narratives, especially those of New York’s postwar art scene in the mid-1940s to late ’50s. The exhibition takes its title from an iconic but now closed Manhattan Italian restaurant, Gino—a 1940s hot spot of the New York intelligentsia—and an online real estate platform Streeteasy, which recently listed Marcel Duchamp’s former studio in new York’s Lincoln Square for sale. The show picks up on