Max Wechsler

  • Armando

    The centerpiece of this show of recent work by the Dutch-born artist Armando (mounted in collaboration with West Germany's Kunstverein Freiburg) was a group of paintings from the “Melancholie” series, 1986. With the theme of melancholy, Armando specifically addresses a mood that has pervaded and dominated his work and through which the characteristic union of beauty and horror in his work finds ideal expression. This means, among other things, that the painterly richness of these works must be seen against the background of World War II and the nature of Nazism, issues that Armando has been

  • Lothar Baumgarten

    Lothar Baumgarten’s recent installation/exhibition “El Dorado” evoked the fabled “gold country” of the “New World” where the conquistadors of the “Old World” hoped to discover an endless supply of treasure as a reward, so to speak, for all their troubles. The installation conjured up the misery-filled and ongoing history of the meeting of these two worlds, the brutal clash of their very different cultures and value systems that resulted in the infiltration and occupation of the “New” by the “Old World” and its subsequent transformation into a “third world” region. What has remained intact is

  • Robert Mangold

    The addition of an entire floor to the available exhibition space at the Hallen für neue Kunst now enables it to mount temporary exhibitions alongside its magnificent permanent collection. Rather than adding to the ever more hectic, international exhibition carousel, the museum hopes to make clear “statements” intended to be “read” in close connection with the permanent collection. The aim is to activate the potential of the high-powered clusters of works by European and American artists that this institution has assembled (particularly by Joseph Beuys, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Carl Andre,


    MÜNSTER RHINELAND—WESTPHALIA Pop. 266,000 Alt. 62m. 13C restored cathedral, 14C town hall, 18C palaces, Landesmuseum “Skulptur Projekte in Munster 1987” June 14–October 4. Hannover 186 km—Cologne 152 km—Osnabrück 57 km.

    Donald Kuspit ????
    Max Wechsler ????
    Dan Cameron ????
    Pier Luigi Tazzi ????
    Ingrid Rein ????

    TEN YEARS AGO IN MÜNSTER, Klaus Bussmann curated a large outdoor sculpture exhibition under the title “Skulptur 77.” And now Bussmann and Kasper König have organized a second such show, “Skulptur Projekte in Münster 1987.” The works, by a total of 53 artists from Europe and North

  • Al Meier

    Al Meier thinks of himself fundamentally as a painter, even though there has always been a clear tendency toward objectness in his pictures. That is, painting is for Meier not only the object of his actual artistic activity, but also the object of his reflections about art: painting thus becomes a kind of meta-painting, which acts as the comprehensive background of his work. With this process it is the poetic moment that is of primary importance, for despite all the thought involved, these paintings are not really conceptual works; rather, they are playfully intuitive approximations of precise

  • Anselm Stalder

    Anselm Stalder’s sculptural work is closely connected to his painting in that his sculptures transpose the illusionism or fictionality of his two-dimensional, pictorial reality into object-reality. It’s by no means a matter of simply making certain image motifs or figurations more palpable in a three-dimensional form, but rather of a kind of literal projection of a mysterious image on a higher plane of reality, where the tension between projection and sculptural realization can be concretely intensified and articulated.

    Stalder’s sculptures don’t primarily grow out of formal questions but out of

  • Jean Pfaff

    During a stay in Rome in 1983–84, Jean Pfaff made a series of small-format, mostly postcard-sized watercolors. These watercolors capture intuitive moods in subtle colors that build on a single, dominant tone, at times recalling the hues of late afternoon shadows or the tonal richness of a weathered facade. Only after his return from Rome did Pfaff assemble these watercolors—originally conceived as individual, abstract pieces—into collages. The watercolors thus became the starting point for new, different works, thereby losing their autonomy but gaining a new dimension. By overlapping the

  • Gilbert & George

    This new exhibition of work by Gilbert & George, the idea of Jean-Christophe Ammann, director of the Basel Kunsthalle, has blossomed into an impressive European tour: it began in Bordeaux and will continue on to Brussels, Madrid, Munich, and London, presenting a survey of work done by this artist couple since 1982. In these new works Gilbert & George demonstrate breathtaking mastery of continually developing visual means. The esthetic fascination these pictures exercise derives not only from their beauty, but also from the way they harness technique to their larger goals.

    Above all, these works

  • Sigmar Polke

    Sigmar Polke’s installation in the West German Pavilion was experimental in the truest sense of the word. The title of the project—“Athanor,” the alchemist’s kiln—indicated its alchemic thesis. However, the radical character of Polke’s undertaking sharply distinguished it from the casual treatment of this theme in the Biennale exhibit “Arte e Alchimia” (Art and alchemy). Polke’s alchemic art has little to do with the systematic pursuit of a hermetic science; it is meant, rather, as a metaphor for a way of understanding reality that is truly receptive and hospitable to the unknown. The goal of

  • Daniel Buren

    An international art biennial, a city like Venice, summertime, a pavilion in a park—this was the setting into which Daniel Buren placed his work. This context played a major role in the festive character of the work, and functioned as a background against which the intellectual concepts behind the work could materialize into sensual form. It was like a frame into which Buren put his "pictures,” using as his visual tool alternating stripes in various colors and materials. These in turn drew their own contextual web over the given setting, for Buren’s stripes, which he has been using for over 20

  • Gilberto Zorio

    This exhibition of Gilberto Zorio’s work united older and newer pieces, but not in the manner of a retrospective. The show was not concerned with a respectful backward glance at established works, but with their manifestation in the present. Yet however well an individual piece may work on its own, here it always had a relationship to its predecessors and descendants. This was not just a consequence of the show’s well-conceived installation, which seemed in and of itself a work of art that incorporated and transcended the individual works.

    This structural cohesiveness at the level of installation

  • Max Wechsler

    Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

    Situations in need of clarification, or unknown circumstances surrounding an event that have to be brought to light, or a renewed inquiry, in an ontological sense, into the nature or essence of things or ideas, usually involve questions, but questions, except for didactic or rhetorical ones, are quite unusual in the context of scholarly art-historical exhibitions. In fact, such shows are often intended to nip questions in the bud, and even to provide answers to questions that hover in the air. Now along comes one of this genre of huge,