Lars Bang Larsen

  • “SOFT POWER”

    Curated by Eungie Joo with Jovanna Venegas

    At a moment when authoritarianism is on the rise and artful rhetoric no longer persuades, “SOFT POWER” takes its title from a Reagan-era term for exerting influence not through brute force and violence but via cultural and social values. The exhibition is curated by Eungie Joo with Jovanna Venegas and is Joo’s first major group show in the US since “The Ungovernables” at New York’s New Museum in 2012. The biographic itineraries of the twenty participating artists slant the geopolitics of the show toward Asia and the Americas, with a majority of the works

  • “Beat Generation”

    Focusing on Paris as a port of call for members of the essentially nomadic Beat movement, curators Michaud, Singh, and Fluxus artist Lebel will map the productions of the dispersed pantheon of doomed drifters across the French capital, New York, San Francisco, Mexico, and Tangier, Morocco. Set to offer a balanced view of a milieu that was chauvinistic even by the standards of midcentury bohemianism, the show will notably include a host of Beat women, including Joanne Kyger and Diane di Prima, along with the alpha males. “Beat

  • Tiril Hasselknippe

    Waist-high and not quite large enough to contain a person, four concrete objects punctuated the gallery floor. The exhibition title, “Tub,” suggested they might be containers. This viewer’s thoughts strayed to sarcophagi, wells, or troughs—pulpits, even. The works themselves are each titled Balcony, and, given their imaginative fecundity, respectively subtitled with unnecessary artfulness: residency, survival, supplies, and intersectionality (all works 2015). Three of them appear as if severed from larger volumes, evoking some fictitious previous history as functional objects, or simply

  • “Elmgreen & Dragset: The Well Fair”

    The art world has another brand-new fair. But don’t be alarmed; it’s fictional and features only one project. Presented in evenly spaced rectangular booths, “The Well Fair,” Elmgreen & Dragset’s first exhibition in China, will cannibalize nearly one hundred works created by the pair over the past twenty years. Some pieces will be only partially unpacked, and others will be more or less installed; it will seem as if visitors to this survey either missed the boat or arrived too early. The duo’s grand mimicry of the art market’s playground (replete with a

  • Elmgreen & Dragset

    Comprising three extensive scenarios that integrate a number of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s works with major indoor installations, “Biography,” curated by Marianne Torp, was the duo’s veritable takeover of Denmark’s national gallery. A complete four-story building violently displaced the historicist pomp of the museum’s entrance hall in a one-to-one simulation of prefabricated social housing (The One & the Many, 2011). From the ground floor and the stairs leading to the museum’s upper galleries, the structure offered views onto the “biographies” lived here, by way of empty rooms whose

  • 1000 WORDS: KATIE PATERSON AND MARGARET ATWOOD

    THE WORKS of Katie Paterson go sailing off the scale of civilization. Using technologies normally applied to the speed and scope of human experience, the Scottish artist zooms out or tunnels in to other, more alien dimensions, reframing natural and cosmic phenomena. When she maps the approximately twenty-seven thousand dead stars that have been observed by humankind (All the Dead Stars, 2009) or chisels a grain of sand down to the size of dust and buries it in the Sahara (Inside this desert lies the tiniest grain of sand, 2010), anthropocentric worldviews are dissipated in favor of a different

  • “Andrea Büttner: 2”

    When Andrea Büttner takes on the soulfully self-conscious themes of shame, asceticism, and faith and realizes them in clay, glass, and woodcuts, an educated pathos results. The central piece for this solo exhibition is as straightforward as it is nigh unimaginable: Based on the images that Kant mentions as examples and metaphors, she has illustrated his Critique of Judgment, thus allowing venerable philosophical concepts to turn sensual and contemporary. In the show’s other production, expanding on her performance-based work Piano Destructions, 2014, Büttner continues

  • Superflex

    “A GESTURE WISES YOU UP,” Brian O’Doherty notes in his famous critique Inside the White Cube (1976). “If it teaches, it is by irony and epigram, by cunning and shock.” Gestures in O’Doherty’s sense—as metaworks, détournements, game changers—seem central to the practice of the Danish collective Superflex, whose globe‑ trotting interventions were surveyed in a recent retrospective at Copenhagen’s Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Hovering at the limits of art, Superflex’s projects—referred to as “tools” by the group—oscillate between activism and a cunning, if not necessarily shocking,

  • “Elmgreen & Dragset: Biography”

    Comprising more than thirty of the environments, installations, and performances Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have created since 1997, “Biography” is set to be a category- defying retrospective replete with stylishly melancholic, context-sensitive work poised to detourn the Astrup Fearnley’s Renzo Piano–designed space. Descending on this new waterfront building, the Scandinavian duo will re-create “Too Late,” the solo show they opened at London’s Victoria Miro Gallery during the height of the 2008 credit crunch (its simulation of an after-hours

  • Kristine Kemp

    In his 1968 essay “Surrealism as a World of Signs,” Roger Caillois denounced “vacant metaphor” in the work of the most prominent Surrealists. Listing a repertoire of all-too-expected references, such as Yves Tanguy’s “giant amoebas,” de Chirico’s “dressmaker’s dummies,” and Dalí’s assorted obsessional motifs, he took Surrealism to task for its poetic looseness and indulgence in personal simulacra. Lord only knows what Caillois would have thought of the Young British Artists’ facile samplings of the movement in the 1990s, or of the portrayal in Documenta 13 of Dalí as a political painter and

  • Joachim Koester

    Hypnagogia, mystical languages, and anarchist free towns—this is the stuff transgression is made of, but in Joachim Koester’s hands such arcane interests aren’t accompanied by visionary claims or turned into symphonic Gesamtkunstwerke.

    Hypnagogia, mystical languages, and anarchist free towns—this is the stuff transgression is made of, but in Joachim Koester’s hands such arcane interests aren’t accompanied by visionary claims or turned into symphonic Gesamtkunstwerke. Instead, the artist’s nonspectacular explorations of esoterica address what has become imperceptible to culture. Koester turns these blind spots into images of what he calls “invisible indexes”: While some facts of social reality are affirmed and reinscribed by structures of power, others trickle down through history, formulating archives

  • Martin Erik Andersen

    The work of Martin Erik Andersen makes material and spatial schemas flip and multiply. His latest solo show, “from the source of a river to its mouth—with usura the line grows thick,” whose title derives from Ezra Pound’s 1937 Canto XLV, drew on morphologies of construction (concrete, steel tubes, silicone) and decoration (plants, shells, homespun fabrics), with light (UV, LED, disco) added to the mix, as well as sound, in the form of a bootleg recording of a live concert by Throbbing Gristle that played intermittently in the gallery. The distorted, spectral tune perfectly articulated the