Kristian Vistrup Madsen

  • picks February 20, 2017

    Alfredo Jaar

    In a constant flood of images, the impact of a single picture, however severe, is often immediately overridden. In his installation Shadows, 2014, Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar challenges this tendency by taking one image and letting it dominate a space with the intensity of a feeling, or a beating heart. He chose a photograph by Dutch photojournalist Koen Wessing taken in 1978 in Nicaragua, where, after forty-one years, the US-allied military dictatorship in the country was coming to an end. In the final violent convulsions of the regime, Wessing’s lens captured two women whose father had just

  • picks January 26, 2017

    Hanne Darboven and Charlotte Posenenske

    This joint exhibition of works by Hanne Darboven and Charlotte Posenenske restages the gallery’s second-ever show, from 1967, to mark its fiftieth anniversary. The pieces here, however, are not exactly the same as they were then, nor could they be. Posenenske’s “Vierkantrohre Serie DW” (Square Tubes, DW Series), 1967, a square ventilation shaft made out of corrugated cardboard, edges through the room like an awkward animal. The arrangement of its parts is left up to the gallery with every installation, thereby engaging in that impossible strategy of using formalism as a radical gesture within

  • picks January 16, 2017

    Aykan Safoğlu

    “There won’t be a certain white-balance setting for this film,” a soft-spoken Aykan Safoğlu narrates in Turkish as the malfunctioning camera struggles to find focus in Off-White Tulips, 2013, a video essay that uses the years James Baldwin spent in Istanbul––the artist’s birthplace––in the 1960s to explore a range of identity-based political questions. The voice-over addresses Baldwin directly: “You felt more comfortable here as a black man. You felt less oppressed.” A small bouquet of off-white tulips is placed onto a brown surface along with tasteful shifting formations of photographs, patterns,

  • picks November 21, 2016

    Andreas Johnen

    In Andreas Johnen’s show, the title “What You See Is What You Get!” rings true, but one has to look very closely. The German artist’s exhibition of watercolors from the past six years at first appears to be a simple display of abstract shapes and monochromes. However, as an extension of Johnen’s sculptural practice, the works achieve an almost three-dimensional quality. Two large untitled watercolors are composed of up to 140 layers which were allowed to spread across the surface of the paper according to the angle at which they were left to dry or which were guided by temporary tape and plastic

  • picks November 11, 2016

    Ignasi Aballí

    “Something Is Missing” is the title of this exhibition by Barcelona artist Ignasi Aballí, and judging from the series of photographs that gives its name to the show, what’s missing is as enigmatic as the artworks themselves. The photographs depict notices in museums excusing the absence of a work, whether due to being on loan or away for restoration or study. They seem to ask: How does absence materialize?

    In many ways, Aballí’s work is about what resists disappearance––what remains anyway. Like many artists who matured in the 1990s, Aballí has created a practice of collecting, archiving, and

  • picks September 20, 2016

    Trisha Baga

    Trisha Baga’s latest exhibition, “LOAF,” takes its name from a series of glazed ceramic slices of bread that reveal a colorful surface under each crust. They resemble marbled paper, photographs of interstellar nebula, or even nebula in the medical sense: a clouded spot on the cornea that causes blurry vision. The show is a generous display of two 3-D video installations, a sculpture of a cat’s play tower with various found objects, and thirty-odd ceramic sculptures arranged as if in a doctor’s waiting room.

    Brother Making an Impressionist Painting (all works 2016) is a ceramic printer halfway

  • picks August 31, 2016

    “Banish the Incoherence”

    A plumb line suspended from the ceiling, brushing the surface of a black pool of ink, 90º, 2016, and a faint pencil line across the wall, like the projection of a blueprint, 1° (below this line is half of the universe. Above this line is half of the universe), 2016, have the appearance of coherence and stability. But the line trembles, the ink splashes, and the horizontal line inclines almost imperceptibly. These pieces, by the Swedish artist Jesper Norda, open “Banish the Incoherence,” an exhibition of six artists whose work relates to urban space and inhabitance.

    Norda’s mock-scientific mappings