Noemi Smolik

  • Cornelia Parker

    Cornelia Parker’s installations tear individual objects out of their temporality. Her works are single attempts to stop time, but they do not deny the decaying and destructive effects of time. To the contrary, destruction is a conscious act. For this reason, Parker’s work was ideal here, for this gallery exists in the ruin of a Swiss bank. The poorly painted walls and the patched wood floor as well as the rusty water pipes reveal the scars of time. It is also proof that the gallery will exist for a certain length of time—that it is merely a station on the temporal continuum.

    In one part of the

  • Christiane Richter

    Christiane Richter’s large-format color photographs reproduce no recognizable objects; they could be called “painted photographs.” She began her career as a painter. but when she was in a creative crisis she turned to photography, which offered her new expressive possibilities. Hers are not traditional photographs; they are joined areas of color that don’t necessarily have a photographic negative. The tones dictate the length of exposure; dark areas have a shorter exposure than light ones.

    In Helpline, 1989, for example, a yellow stripe is followed by a dark-blue one that moves into a lighter

  • Mischa Kuball

    In early Christian painting light stood for revelation; what it revealed, however, was not the world but something transcending physical reality. Light was the source of a vision, and the world became truly visible only in the light of this vision. The light in such paintings followed the principles of this vision and was not subject to the laws of physical reality. Thus the saints, as the source of spiritual revelation, of vision, glowed with light, and this light flowed over into the ordinary world.

    After the Renaissance, light increasingly lost its visionary significance. It no longer radiated

  • “Concrete Jungle”

    For centuries, artists regarded nature as a source of beauty and harmony, an endless equilibrium of form and color, life and death. They kept returning to nature in quest of solace; it was the symbol of paradise. Today, nature offers little solace, however, and much less than paradise is revealed by Alexis Rockman, Bob Braine, and Mark Dion here. They present a world that has seldom appeared in art; their paintings, photographs, and installations tell of a destroyed nature, with which we are quite familiar, but whose existence we keep trying to block from our minds.

    Rockman’s paintings show a

  • Klaus Rinke

    In Germany, at least, Klaus Rinke, now fifty years old, is gaining long-overdue recognition. His mostly sculptural works are marked by an independent artistic approach and a unique execution. Furthermore, after years of teaching at the Düsseldorf academy, Rinke has influenced several young sculptors, including Tony Cragg and Asta Gröting, both better known than he. This exhibition covered work of the past two years. These are quiet pieces, which, upon contemplation, reveal the essence of Rinke’s oeuvre. His works defy the usual categories of sculpture, and perhaps that’s why they have lurked in

  • THE HEART OF IT ALL: ASTA GRÖTING

    IN 1982, WHILE STILL a student at the Düsseldorf academy, Asta Gröting made a six-foot-high scallop shell, perfect in detail, out of mother-of-pearl-toned polyester. Although it was one of Grating’s first sculptures, Pilgermuschel (Pilgrim shell), as the piece was subsequently titled in 1990, is characteristic in its grand scale and almost obsessive materiality. It also introduces a theme that runs like a thread throughout her body of work: the attempt to isolate the creative moment. The Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli embodied this effort in The Birth of Venus, ca. 1485, that painting of

  • Vulto

    Smoke emerges, accumulates, and dissolves. It usually exists only if something is being destroyed, which is why it also stands for the transformation of matter into the immaterial. Though smoke is always intangible, it permeates everything. Indeed, it is these traces that Vulto pursues.

    He smokes fish, whole fish or just their heads, loose fish, and also fish that are gingerly wrapped in cloth, which makes them look injured and bandaged. These fish are then lined up in boxes and vitrines, hung up close together on strings stretched on a wooden frame, or suspended very casually on threads attached

  • Miroslaw Balka

    What strikes one immediately upon entering the gallery with Miroslaw Balka’s works is the emptiness. In the gallery itself there seems to be nothing. The few objects displayed along the walls include: a wooden frame that could be a bed but is filled with salt; a nearly two-meter-long steel tube attached to the wall, its interior likewise filled with salt; other steel tubes of various lengths, filled with salt, salt water, or ashes. These objects produce an impression of absence marked by ascetic purity and rigor, an almost physical absence. Yet what or who is missing here remains a question for

  • Kirsten Ortwed

    What is a piece of sculpture? According to Kirsten Ortwed, it is a solid three-dimensional form and the space surrounding that form. She investigates the interplay of fixed form and space in her work with amazing persistence. Her view of space is not monolithic; it is not simply the area surrounding the sculpture, it is also the space taken up by the work itself. She places a simple cube of untreated plaster on the floor, next to it a steel construction that traces the volume displaced by the cube. An empty space and a space filled with matter face-to-face: this is a simple gesture, actually

  • Maria Lassnig

    Throughout her long career as a painter Maria Lassnig has focused her work resolutely and relentlessly on her own body. Since the late ’40s she has questioned how she can experience her body as a part of her perception, her thinking, her inventiveness, and her pain; it is not merely the object of her work, it is part of her self. Lassnig sinks, so to speak, into her body, using paint to communicate the results of what she finds. Her methods of painting have changed over the decades: sometimes she paints more abstractly, sometimes almost realistically—and then abstractly again. But Lassnig has

  • Mic Enneper

    A long, enclosed black ramp, the walls of which are topped with 20 round steel pipes lying across them, forms a space that narrows as it recedes, exerting a powerful suction that ends somewhere in the darkness. Wondering where it will end, we walk along the almost 65-foot-long wall, eventually coming upon a second structure, in back of the ramp. This structure consists of two cubes linked to the ramp by a ceiling plate. The blocks form a rectangular interior that cannot be entered. A sheet of glass separates the viewer from its leaden-gray inner walls, on which five steel tips on two facing

  • Karin Kneffel

    Karin Kneffel’s paintings negotiate the boundaries of painting—not that they are not paintings—they are unequivocally paintings and good ones at that. But this is the kind of painting that initially makes you wonder. Are these portraits of cows, sheep, dogs, or poultry, which have a vaguely human gaze; are these herds of cattle peacefully placed under a tree in a mountainous landscape; are these paintings and not sentimental kitsch? They are rendered realistically, with energetic brushstrokes. Details such as the eyes or ears of cows and the feathers of chickens are carefully and lovingly worked.