Louisa Elderton

  • Kitty Kraus, Untitled, 2022, aluminum, mirror, LED, cable, wood, tape and table, 4 x 18 5/8 x 18 1/2".
    picks November 29, 2022

    Kitty Kraus

    In the context of computing and engineering, a “black box” is a system with manifest inputs or outputs that does not reveal its internal workings. It is opaque. Such are the structures (all works 2022) in Kitty Kraus’s first solo exhibition at Galerie Neu in a decade: Dark rectangles, mounted on small tables or gypsum slabs, project tight grids of light, which then expand into seemingly infinite space. On the one hand, these contraptions embody mathematical and geometric precision, while on the other, they look “magical,” their internal mechanisms of LEDs and mirrors deliberately concealed.

  • View of “Alice Morey: Conditioning Demands,” 2022.
    picks August 18, 2022

    Alice Morey

    Delicate yellow spores floating like lily pads in a lagoon of yogurt; curdled dairy separated into strata of bright turquoise blue; creamy rose rivulets coagulating on the sides of glass vessels, giving rise to condensation that collects above. Sometimes we are attracted to the repellent. Such is the case with Alice Morey’s first institutional exhibition, “Conditioning Demands,” in which the artist mixes pigments with probiotic bacteria to foster the growth of mold, proposing decay as a proxy for transformation.

    The show’s eponymous installation comprises six hand-blown glass receptacles hanging

  • Mary Ramsden, Gegenschein (Counterglow), 2022, oil on canvas, 82 5/8 x 55".
    picks July 01, 2022

    Mary Ramsden

    If Henri Matisse’s The Red Studio, 1911, is a paragon of artists depicting their own interiors—the contents of his suburban Parisian atelier superbly flattened, floating upon a joyous crimson plane—where is the genre more than a century on? The answer may lie in Mary Ramsden’s latest exhibition, “For newness of the night,” a selection of small- and large-scale canvases which trace spaces that come from the artist’s memory, though with a darker resonance than the vivid hopefulness of the avant-garde.

    Ramsden is known for abstract paintings that wink at the digital world—layering cropped quadrilaterals

  • Zoe Leonard, From the Puente Colombia, Looking Downstream, 2017/2022, gelatin silver print, 26 1/2 x 37 1/2".
    picks April 04, 2022

    Zoe Leonard

    A flowing river is also a body bearing witness. Over the past five years, Zoe Leonard has followed a river with two names: Río Bravo and Rio Grande, photographed over a stretch of 1,900 miles along the border of the United States and Mexico. The series also has two names, “Al río / To the River,” and comprises over five hundred black-and-white silver gelatin prints and approximately fifty color C-prints, with the selection here titled “A View from the Levee.” A sensitive exploration of the ideology of Manifest Destiny that captivated early American photographers—the idea that nature’s splendor

  • Grace Weaver, Puff Puff, 2021, oil on canvas, 49 x 45".
    picks July 21, 2021

    Grace Weaver

    Slow down; savor life’s small moments. It took a global pandemic for many of us to ditch our addiction to busyness and heed this noble, if clichéd, advice. Grace Weaver’s suite of ten new paintings, “Droop,” produced during lockdown, depicts a repertoire of the hitherto unexceptional: taking out the trash, slowly sipping a beer, pulling on a cigarette and relishing the smoke rings. Their titles often conjure distilled sounds, like the plosive breath of Puff Puff, 2021, which portrays a pallid woman watching two clouds of cigarette smoke rise into the air.

    Shaped like disks, these puffs wink at

  • Rebecca Ackroyd, Trawler, 2020, epoxy resin, fiberglass, wig, 29 1⁄8 × 21 1⁄4 × 7 7⁄8".

    Rebecca Ackroyd

    Rebecca Ackroyd’s show “100mph” seemed still in a process of becoming. The gallery was filled with modular walls and temporary scaffolds wrapped in dust sheets. From the outside, the space looked closed for refurbishment; inside, the plastic rustled as you walked past, swelling with air and then receding. The twenty-seven drawings and sculptures that comprised this show were hung over the plastic and depicted metal air vents, grilles, and drains. There were also fishnet stockings as well as tights so ludicrously full of runs that they, too, were apertures as much as membranes. For Ackroyd,

  • Monika Maurer-Morgenstern, Es brennt (Fire), 1976, watercolor on paper, 7 x 5".
    picks March 19, 2020

    Monika Maurer-Morgenstern

    Sometimes you just need to have a quiet word with yourself. German artist Monika Maurer-Morgenstern’s works conjure such a psychological space: a many-colored penetrating self-dialogue, by turns calming and castigating. In her works on paper in pencil, crayon, pastel, and watercolor, from the 1970s to the present, Maurer-Morgenstern—who was formerly referred to as an outsider artist—suggests power plays within the self.

    Wein doch nicht (Don’t Cry), 1997, sees a scarlet apparition looming angrily over a cowering, wide-eyed figure, wild scribbles propelling outward from their chest, anxiety made

  • A.K. Burns, Leave No Trace (Negative Space 000), 2019, Still from the 28-minute, 15 second five-channel HD color video component of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising a 48 × 48 × 85 1⁄4" cube, speakers, a plastic skull, used tires, and ratchet straps. Clara López Menéndez.

    A.K. Burns

    A nosebleed, a thick pipe from which liquid drips, a juicer spilling pools of bejeweled color, the hazy aura of a sun eclipsed by the moon—these were among the images of leakage in the three video installations, a silent film, and twenty-one collages in A.K. Burns’s exhibition “Negative Space.” Another kind of leakage was evoked by Chelsea Manning’s military jacket, which reappeared throughout the series of sci-fi films on view, including two older works, A Smeary Spot (Negative Space 0), 2015, and Living Room (Negative Space 00), 2017; and the more recent Leave No Trace (Negative Space 000),

  • Cecily Brown, Untitled (After Beckmann), 2012, gouache and water color on paper, 12 x 16".
    picks July 03, 2019

    “Max Beckmann in Dialogue: Cecily Brown, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Dana Schutz”

    “We are all tightrope walkers,” navigating the lines between art, grief, and passion—or so wrote Max Beckmann in “Letters to a Woman Painter,” composed for a 1948 lecture at Stephens College, the US’s second-oldest women’s college, in Columbia, Missouri. That same year, he arrived in the United States following his long exile from Nazi Germany and painted Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), a portrait of opera singer Minna Tube, his first wife and muse. Beckmann’s depiction of her as the spear-wielding principal from Wagner’s eponymous opera is a keystone work in this exhibition, which places the German

  • Gallery Weekend Berlin dinner at the Postbahnhof. (All photos unless otherwise noted: Louisa Elderton)
    diary May 21, 2018

    From Bratwurst to Bulgari

    THEY SAY YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL. When it came to the fourteenth edition of Gallery Weekend Berlin and the second iteration of ArtMonte-Carlo—both of which opened on April 27 and ran until April 29—I did as much as I could. The organizers of the latter attempted a collaboration, ferrying collectors between the two sites via private jet and helicopter—not very Berlin, but very Monte Carlo. The idea was to coax the most coveted collectors from Monaco’s principality to Germany’s capital and vice versa. Not a bad idea given Berlin’s desire to entice the international elite.

    The New York Times hosted the

  • View of “Elham Rokni: The Seven Abdulkarims,” 2018.
    picks February 27, 2018

    Elham Rokni

    Iranian artist Elham Rokni confronts a subject that has been increasingly sidelined in the mainstream media of late, namely, the displacement of peoples due to war and conflict. After interviewing refugees from Eritrea and Sudan seeking asylum in Israel, the artist made mixed-media works on paper, a book, and a video recounting their folktales and oral histories, rendering stories as dreamlike images.

    Refugees’ rucksacks stored in treetops open the video The Seven Abdulkarims (all works cited, 2018) before we are introduced to Khamis Elshaikh/Abdulkarim, a Sudanese actor. Rokni and he visit the

  • View of: “Leonor Antunes: the frisson of the togetherness,” 2017–18.
    picks February 16, 2018

    Leonor Antunes

    Leonor Antunes’s exhibition here, “the frisson of the togetherness,” thrills as rapturously as an eagerly anticipated kiss. Her materials, forms, and techniques coalesce to stirring effect, producing an atmosphere that carefully weaves the viewer into her mesmeric installation.

    Soft light from freestanding lamps, which casts gentle shadows, caresses the perforated shapes that divide the gallery. Leather horse bridals sit within tangled trellises; teak panels, reminiscent of room partitions, are laced together and fan out (permutations, all works cited, 2017). They’re punctured with large, triangular