Sabine B. Vogel

  • Edgar Honetschläger

    Those who make the pictures rule the world: By shaping our view of reality and informing our desires, pictures control what we do. Few institutions have exploited this power more expertly than the Catholic Church. For many centuries, images were the primary medium through which it disseminated its messages. In the twentieth century, however, Hollywood ousted the Vatican as the global capital of visual production. Near the beginning of Edgar Honetschläger’s new feature-length film Los Feliz, 2016, three cardinals congregate in Rome to confer about the Church’s fall from supremacy; they decide to

  • picks April 23, 2014

    “Love Me, Love Me Not”

    Organized by the nonprofit YARAT Contemporary Art, this exhibition debuted in the arsenal of last year’s Venice Biennial and is now on view in the futuristic Zaha Hadid–designed Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. The show’s curator, Dina Nasser-Khadivi, has gathered works by sixteen artists—from Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Georgia—some of whom currently live in New York or London, and the artists’ homelands are a main theme in all the works.

    Aida Mahmudova, founder of YARAT, presents her sculpture Recycled, 2012–13—made with ornamentally crafted mirrors that produce a dizzying

  • picks December 28, 2013

    Adel Abdessemed

    Adel Abdessemed’s Spring, 2013, is an emotionally overwhelming video that documents chickens burning. It caused an outrage when it was originally shown, sending people about Doha into umbrage over its explicit contents—though the burning is actually a special effect. Noteworthy for the defensive reflex it provokes, Spring bolsters the premise of Abdessemed’s latest exhibition, ironically titled “The Golden Age,” which summons a world marked by violence.

    At the museum’s entrance, a vase crowns a pedestal made of bombs; behind it is an expansive sculpture of two cars smashed into each other, made

  • picks November 04, 2013

    Inci Furni

    The image-world of the young Turkish artist Inci Furni is strange. In her previous watercolors she presented a single scene on paper or an isolated motif, including flying superwomen, space architecture, birds, and mummified beings with leaves as protective shields. In her exhibitions, Furni has arranged these pages into personal and ultimately cryptic narratives, like visual diaries, often offering the suggestion of a planet that appears to support life. While a definitive deciphering of these images is not possible, their common points of reference seem to be social transformation and gender

  • Nilbar Güreş

    Blood trickles from a potted plant into a puddle of water lapping at a blow-dryer. A magician’s hat floats above the dryer’s electrical cord, from which razor blades, revolvers, and a bottle of poison rise into the air. Farther to the right, we see a stage curtain, a folding screen, a dark and ghostly creature in an armchair, cockroaches, a sea horse. All these details have been painted in textile inks with a fine brush on various fabrics that have then been sewn onto a large piece of dark-blue cloth; some are fragments of fabric stitched onto the backdrop. This piece, Artist’s Home Studio (all

  • Sudarshan Shetty

    A man juggles three ceramic jars in slow motion—the action is insignificant, a piece of entertainment. With this video—all works Untitled (from the show “the pieces earth took away”), 2012—Sudarshan Shetty invited us into his exhibition, which was indeed titled “the pieces earth took away.” Only with time did this reveal itself to be the concentrated image of a big theme: death. While the five works in this exhibition were not conceived specifically for Vienna, they together formed an effective rejoinder to the city’s famous “Wienerlieder,” its folk songs in local dialect, which

  • picks December 16, 2011

    Edgar Honetschläger

    Perhaps best known as a filmmaker, Edgar Honetschläger makes work that often features sparse and symbolically charged actions. The Austrian artist’s latest film, AUN – The Beginning and the End of All Things, 2011, forgoes a linear narrative and instead seduces the viewer into a search for a livable future via a wondrous and poetic sci-fi world. His current exhibition, “framboise frivol,” features new drawings and large-scale paintings. These are humorous, philosophical works in which small and repetitive figures are arranged on wide, white, and empty spaces.

    Here, the artist, who lived for many

  • picks August 18, 2011

    Anne Schneider

    Long, thin iron rods emerging from amorphous cement forms rise throughout Anne Schneider’s latest exhibition. Around them are stacked blankets, a stool, and a ladder. Each of these sculptures plays on associations, because the materials, as well as the forms, are familiar from everyday life. But their appearance is strange: In some works the concrete forms cling to the rods, while in others the rods appear to hover off their concrete bases. How can something so heavy float? How can something so hard as concrete appear, again and again, so soft? And how is it that these unpoetic materials become

  • William J. O'Brien

    Chicago-based artist William J. O’Brien’s sculptures, drawings, and paintings are shrewdly insouciant.

    Chicago-based artist William J. O’Brien’s sculptures, drawings, and paintings are shrewdly insouciant. Whether rendering enchantingly naive patterns in colored pencil or sculpting ceramic heads that combine the tacky craftsmanship of a ’70s vase with the exaggerated features of a mask, O’Brien often flirts with kitsch. But the artist’s engagement with the ornamental, and his intuitive combination of found and handmade forms, are in fact fascinating reflections on the contemporary art object’s complex identity. This exhibition will focus on O’Brien’s ceramic sculptures,

  • picks March 15, 2011

    Gavin Turk

    Many of the works in this carefully assembled exhibition examine transience: A cone of ash is all that remains at a human’s end; a brick is reminiscent of long-gone street demonstrations; one of the maps of the world is plastered with brightly colored marketing logos, while on another they are peeling away like old paint. “Before the World Was Round” is the title Gavin Turk has given to this latter white map piece, and it also serves as the title for his solo show at Galerie Krinzinger. With this phrase, he refers not to the Dark Ages but rather to one––or many––changes of perspective. Each work

  • Thomas Wrede

    All that can be seen for miles is an undefined milky white surface. Amid a welter of footprints, two tiny figures meander toward the horizon. Im Nebel (In the Fog), 2004, is part of Thomas Wrede’s series “Am Meer” (Seascapes), 2001–2007—images that show people seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes we see these figures strolling by the waterside or just standing in the shallow waters of the river Watt. Sometimes the people are barely visible between the tufts of grass poking out of the dunes, as in Dünengras mit Sitzenden (Marrram Grass with People Sitting in the Sand), 2005; sometimes

  • picks October 28, 2010

    Christian Philipp Müller

    For nearly five centuries, the coarse woolen fabric called loden has been produced in Styria, a state in southwest Austria. The material is primarily used in Trachtenkleidung, a type of traditional Austrian clothing that is often produced in olive green and gray-brown. Originally intended to protect against inclement weather, today Trachtenkleidung clothing has become a symbol of conservative values such as a nativist devotion to one’s homeland. What happens, then, when the shape and color of the loden garment are altered? For his 2010 project BURNING LOVE (Lodenfüßler), the Swiss artist Christian

  • picks October 18, 2010

    De frente al sol

    “What is that great territorial region we know as Latin America?” This question serves as the point of departure for Mexican curator Patrick Charpenel’s exhibition “Del frente al sol” (Toward the Sun), which includes eighteen artists from eight countries. Among the participants are the duo Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, who designed an alphabet out of the futuristic architecture of Brasilia and deployed it to write about the failures of utopian movements. Minerva Cuevas’s work alters Wilhelm Busch’s 1862 slide showThe Elephant’s Revenge by dispensing with the captions and changing its original

  • Ana Torfs

    The video installations in Ana Torfs’s exhibition “Album Tracks A” work by way of overlappings and oppositions. Whereas the figures in the black-and-white sequences at first seem to be acting in complete isolation, suspended within abstract spaces, their stories soon prove to be powerfully interwoven with European political and intellectual history. In Battle, 1993/2009, the earliest work in the show, we see three singers statically juxtaposed in a video triptych as they sing Claudio Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1624). On a separate screen, we can read the subtitles isolated

  • picks April 29, 2010

    Tarek Al-Ghoussein

    A man strides across an airfield toward a plane. A Palestinian scarf is wrapped around his head; his face is obscured. This is Tarek Al-Ghoussein’s best-known photograph from his series of “Self-Portraits,” 2002–2003. We immediately presume the subject is a terrorist—the very association which Al-Ghoussein himself provokes in some. The artist was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, and went to school in the US. With his “Self-Portraits,” he is not only answering the prejudices that continue to misrepresent Palestinians as terrorists, but also plying a sense of solitude and wanderlust. These

  • picks March 09, 2010

    Dorothee Golz

    Dorothee Golz is well known for her humorous drawings of women whose social roles she intensifies to the point of absurdity. Take, for instance, Telekinetische Haushaltsbewältigung (Telekinetic Housekeeping), 2002, which depicts three women juggling pots, brooms, and coffee cups. Similarly, in a new series of works, the artist uses digital manipulation to investigate historical images of women. These pictures begin with famous Renaissance-era portraits, from which Golz isolates the head of the subject and then transposes it into a contemporary, sometimes highly provocative, context. One of

  • picks March 09, 2010

    Tatiana Trouvé

    Tatiana Trouvé, an artist who was born in Italy, grew up in Senegal, and studied in France, now lives in Paris and has become an important player on the international contemporary scene. One of her early works, Rock, 2007, a large boulder with locks scattered across its surface, appears as a familiar image (reminiscent of mussels) and yet also seems completely bizarre. Such uncanny, paradoxical combinations also characterize her exhibition in Graz. With simple materials, Trouvé transforms the show into a landscape. One can meander through a “forest” of metal trees whose branches are tied with

  • Mithu Sen

    Mithu Sen is known above all for her erotic sculptures, photocollages, and drawings—and she herself often stands at their center, for instance in her photographic portraits from the series “Half Full,” 2007. As she humorously explains, using her own image allows her to avoid copyright problems. Yet this stylistic device is also clearly in line with her aesthetic position. Since her early sculptures made of hair (“Unbelongings,” 2001–2006), Sen’s work has made use of autobiographical experiences, perceptions, and feelings, which she transforms into images rich in ambiguity.

    Preparing her show for

  • picks December 05, 2009

    Daniel Richter

    One of Germany’s most successful young painters, Daniel Richter made a name for himself in the 1990s with large abstract paintings. Since the turn of the millennium, he has become known for his large figurative works. Now, canvases from both these phases meet in an excellent exhibition at the Essl Museum.

    One of the show’s most captivating pieces is Horde, 2007. It is a frontal view of a group of people painted in cold blue hues, with black contours and a burning red cleft between them. Here, Richter channels aggression itself and our awe of it into a deeply powerful image. These people are not

  • Clemens Wolf

    For more than ten years, Clemens Wolf’s studio was the street. He eventually switched from street art to painting of an almost classical kind. His technique and subjects are still reminiscent of graffiti, but his conceptual ambition has deepened: “I wanted to engage with ideas, and for that graffiti/street art didn’t seem quite the right medium.” In the works in his recent exhibition, “Hinter der Freiheit” (Behind Freedom), he applied oil paint to canvas via spray gun and stencil; he took his motifs from photographs of derelict buildings and industrial ruins—the very places where the artist,