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

  • Can Altay

    The appearance of public art is often the result of top-down decision-making or capital-driven urban regeneration. In “COHAB: An Assembly of Spare Parts,” Can Altay reviewed the genre, examining its reception at street level by the people who live with it and, in turn, addressing what he evocatively called the “agency” of artworks that persist in our environment.

    As his object of study, Altay took Utrecht, a city famous (or notorious) in Holland for its more than four hundred public artworks. His exhibition was structured around “assembly points”—wooden units echoing the architecture of

  • “Carsten Höller: Experience”

    Part science-fair project, part theme-park attraction, and part Oldenburgian baroque, the installations of Carsten Höller are somatic adventures. The viewer may find herself immersed in a flood of strobe lights, a sensory-deprivation tank, or an inter-species exchange with reindeer, canaries, and houseflies. Whether Höller provides spiritual hallucinations and out-of-body experiences or simply a fun-house version of contemporary art, he never fails to deliver a spectacular, crowd-pleasing presentation that derives its frisson from positioning art audiences as guinea

  • Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen

    Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen is a painter with a demythologizing relationship to painting. Whether his canvases are ironic, cartoonlike, or deliberately fast and sloppy—or executed with some other style or strategy—they resist the medium’s historical gravity. On top of this, the image never stands alone, but is typically accompanied by narrative. In this midcareer survey, “Daywalker, giv slip” (Daywalker, Let Go), it is clear that blood is currently agreeable to his imagination. In an eponymous semiautobiographical diary that functioned as an exhibition catalogue, the artist confesses to having

  • Bjarne Melgaard: Jealous

    Even Edvard Munch’s madness is no match for the outpourings of Bjarne Melgaard.

    Even Edvard Munch’s madness is no match for the outpourings of Bjarne Melgaard. Compounding his work’s surplus of feeling and confessional tone, Melgaard proceeds in a multitude of media, from furniture and wax figures to video and text-based neo-expressionist painting—as well as the odd carved tree trunk. A midcareer survey, “Jealous” will present more than one hundred works tracking the past fifteen years of Melgaard’s artistic adventure. The emotional charge of his work will no doubt also surface in the coinciding film series

  • Matts Leiderstam: Seen from Here

    Matts Leiderstam’s exhibitions generate historical and visual networks as seductive as they are complex—forms of entanglement here incarnated in fifteen or so series.

    Matts Leiderstam’s exhibitions generate historical and visual networks as seductive as they are complex—forms of entanglement here incarnated in fifteen or so series. Take this show’s central work, Neanderthal Landscape, 2009–10: Based on the artist’s research in local archives, museums, and related sites, the installation traces the history of mid-nineteenthcentury Düsseldorf School painting and filters it through slide projections, computer animations, optical instruments, and the artist’s own paintings and drawings, producing delicate

  • “1ΔO”

    A number of recent exhibitions have reflected on 1960s psychedelic art, but “1∆0: Explorations psychédéliques en France, 1968 – ∞” took a radically different approach. Curators Axelle Blanc, Tiphanie Blanc, and Yann Chateigné Tytelman mounted a conceptual, counterintuitive exploration of the French side of psychedelia by not dwelling on the full-bodied experience we would automatically expect. In the CAPC’s imposing, sparingly lit exhibition hall, the beholder was instead met by a few documentary slide projections, a memorabilia time line that demonstrated how psychedelia was also the pathetic

  • Erick Beltrán

    Erick Beltrán’s “Serie Calculum” (Calculum Series)—“an essay about the concentration, the density and the creation of value,” as he puts it in the gallery press release—is a curio collection, compiled by the artist between 2006 and 2008. Because it refers back to idiosyncratic and arbitrary findings, a Wunderkammer such as this is meant to produce amazing and surprising effects. And since its premise is one of subjective categorization, it is also a way of actively generating provisional theories about our classification of the world and our writing of history.

    Apart from a few large maps and a

  • Christian Vind

    Tegn og underlige gerninger (En Silkeborg for tolkning)” (Signs and Strange Deeds [A Silkeborg Interpretation]) was a special kind of solo show, taking the form of a tribute to Asger Jorn (1914–73). The artist Christian Vind assumed the role of curator and “embedded exhibitor” to engage with the multifaceted Jorn, who, beyond his achievements as a painter, participated in the Situationist movement, collected art and artifacts, wrote art theory, and researched cultural history. Silkeborg Kunstmuseum was built around Jorn’s oeuvre and the thousands of works he collected from colleagues in the