Lillian Davies

  • Concetto 18.6 mm, 2007, copper and six bullet casings, 46 x 56 1/4 x 1".
    picks September 25, 2007

    Jochem Hendricks

    German artist Jochem Hendricks’s first solo exhibition in London betrays his deep suspicion of how society attributes material value and rewards materialistic behavior; it’s a distrust that triggers a body of aesthetically and technically diverse work. Hendricks maintains a consistent emphasis on process, undermining the authority of a finished artwork in favor of exposing the traces of its original form. On the ground floor, his ragged and spiky “Eye Drawings,” including watching Porn 1 (Eye Drawing), 1993, are the digital records of retinal movements made while looking at a particular object,

  • Schneemann (Snowman), 2007, oil on canvas, 17 3/4 x 21 5/8".
    picks September 20, 2007

    Thoralf Knobloch

    Fourteen new paintings by Berlin-based artist Thoralf Knobloch inaugurate Wilkinson Gallery’s expansive new space, engaging its dramatic dimensions and elegant proportions. Knobloch paints from photographs he has taken, certain details of which he has edited out or accentuated before carrying out the first brushstroke. Making lean compositions, he zooms in on commonplace objects, emphasizing color and perspective while leaving key indicators of location and narrative tantalizingly ambiguous. In Planke (Plank; all works 2007), Knobloch presents the inside of a small wooden rowboat with clothing

  • View of “Jean-Luc Moulène: Products of Palestine.” From left: 04 11 11  0,5 L'eau, 2004; 02 07 27 Gaufrettes au chocolat, 2002; and 03 08 11 Semoule, 2003.
    picks September 18, 2007

    Jean-Luc Moulène

    In a series of photographs shown together for the first time, Jean-Luc Moulène imports fifty-eight products made in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to this polished neoclassical gallery space in central London. Absent from global markets due to imposed sanctions, these items (olive oil, soap, lingerie, the glossy publication This Week in Palestine) are otherwise invisible to anyone outside of the isolated territories. The fifty-eight color photographs (taken between April 2002 and November 2004) are printed to uniform size and hung in a nearly unbroken line around three white rooms, as if each item

  • Untitled (Fence), 1992, conté on cotton, three parts, 71 x 52" each. Installation view.
    picks August 14, 2007

    Troy Brauntuch

    Levelling a steadfast gaze at the world around him, American artist Troy Brauntuch depicts a wrecked car from the 1992 LA riots and the mangled fuselage of Pan Am Flight 103, downed over Scotland in 1988, with the same cool detachment he employs when picturing his pet cat and stacks of pressed dress shirts. In his drawings and photographs, Brauntuch disengages from a distinct narrative and defined characters, withdrawing from the specificity of his subjects, exploring instead the space around their encounter with an audience. He establishes a visual distance, devises open and somewhat vacant

  • The Jungle in La Bayadère in London, 2003–2007, soil, tree trunks, moss, flowers, bark mulch, artificial ivy and branches, audio emitter, and fake birds, dimensions variable.
    picks July 05, 2007

    Karen Kilimnik

    A beguiling evocation of a tropical oasis, Karen Kilmnik’s installation inside this eighteenth-century row house’s greenhouselike front room is an imaginative display of collected details. The strong smell of mulch exudes from The Jungle in La Bayadère in London, 2003–2007, as the moist ground cover is laid thick beneath trees, live orchids, and rather fake-looking parrots and other “jungle bird” types. Speakers, installed above the entry door, wash the scene with sound: a delicate string piece, the climactic rumbling of a full orchestra, a lone howling wolf, birdsongs, and a chorus of crickets.

  • Left: ICA director Ekow Eshun. Right: Noa Weintraub with musician Alison Goldfrapp. (All photos: Lillian Davies)
    diary June 04, 2007

    Swingin' Sixty

    London

    By 7:30 PM Wednesday night, paparazzi lined the red carpet outside the endearingly modest front door of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, eager for snaps of stars from the art, fashion, television, film, and music industries participating in the ICA and Sony Ericsson’s “All Tomorrow’s Pictures” project. A celebration of the institution’s sixtieth anniversary, and an effective publicity and fund-raising stunt, fifty-nine celebs and one mere mortal—Matthew Gordon (lifted from the civilian masses by a panel of judges)—were asked to capture a “vision of tomorrow” on a K800i Cyber-shot phone

  • Un Prologue et trois parties (Bayreuth Festpielhaus) (A Prologue in Three Parts [Bayreuth Festival House]), 2007, mixed media on paper, 17 x 54 3/8".
    picks May 14, 2007

    Guillermo Kuitca

    Seizing the epic structure of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle, Guillermo Kuitca engages its historic resonance in ruminations on legacy and evolution. Each of the four canvases that complete Kuitca’s The Ring, 2002—here installed independently, rather than as a continuous frieze as is sometimes the case—is paired with one of the operas and marked with production-company logos to resemble record sleeves or CD covers. Although connected by the expanding circuitry of a street-map-like grid, Kuitca matches each opera to a unique theater, conductor, and record label—recognizing the ongoing evolution of

  • Philippe Parreno, El sueno de una cosa (The dream of a thing), 2001, still from a 35-mm film, 1 minute.
    picks May 04, 2007

    “Slash Fiction”

    The coat of arms of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland marks the entrance with a double crown, symbolically overthrowing the sovereignty of the space. Each visitor must have her KREV-issued visa application approved before entering, indicating an appropriate “purpose of visit.” Inside, curators Nav Haq and Mia Jankowicz have brought together video, installation, and performance works that seek escape from the mechanics of the status quo. Wang Wei, one of six international artists included here, has provided a scaffolding construction that simultaneously restricts movement and emphasizes the

  • David Shrigley, Laundry, 2006, still from a black-and-white video with sound, 2 minutes 44 seconds.
    picks April 25, 2007

    “Momentary Momentum”

    Launching the intimacy of drawing into spectacular motion in a selection of films, videos, and animations, cocurators Ziba de Weck-Ardalan and Laurence Dreyfus have carefully installed work by twenty international artists across two floors of this showcase space. Headlining the exhibition in the first room, Christine Rebet’s Brand Band News, 2005, a triple-projection video installed inside a raw wooden cabin designed by the artist, is a magical vision of the Wild West. Bewitching music, composed by George Philip, with lyrics by the artist’s brother Frédéric Rebet, accompanies the narrative,

  • Darius the Great (detail), 2007, mixed-media costume and ink and watercolor on paper, dimensions vary. Installation view.
    picks April 03, 2007

    Marcel Dzama

    Marcel Dzama’s Ljubojevic (all works 2007), a life-size bear costume peering through a hole in the wall just behind the gallery's front windows, is a gatekeeper at the entrance to this iteration artist’s fantastic world. Inside, Dzama’s drawings and photo collages give life and dimension to his cast of characters, evocative of those in Roald Dahl’s playful tales. The ink-and-watercolor sketch for Ukuleter describes a tree with a thick trunk and spindly branches as a “day-time talk show king” who “popularized the ukelele which was named after him.” But his story ends in misfortune—he was “burnt

  • Christine Rebet

    In 1911 the Dreamland fairground on Coney Island was completely destroyed by fire, a tragedy foreshadowed by the fear-inducing entertainment that had been the amusement park’s top draw: Fighting the Flames, a terrifying show in which hundreds of performers staged the elaborate rescue of more than a dozen people from the top of a burning six-story building. In her exhibition “Tiger Escape,” French artist Christine Rebet (who lives and works in New York) has returned the surreal details of this seaside nightmare to the status of spectacle in twenty-three colored ink drawings, a sound installation,

  • Left: White Cube's Jay Jopling and artist Andreas Gursky. Right: Dealer Monika Sprüth and Andrew Silewicz, director of Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers. (All photos: Lillian Davies)
    diary March 25, 2007

    Rave Reviews

    London

    As I entered Mason’s Yard at 6:30 PM last Thursday, the cobbled square was already packed with youthful hipsters sipping beer under a green vinyl tarp. Do these revelers ever even make it into the gallery, I wondered? I navigated through the crowd and into White Cube’s latest annex, where all three levels had been given over to eleven of photographer Andreas Gursky’s new works—more than five thousand square feet of pure spectacle. But technically, this was only half of the show—Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers’s new Grafton Street gallery (officially opening that night) was hosting the rest.