Sabine B. Vogel

  • Gerwald Rockenschaub

    Gerwald Rockenschaub’s recent installation in the Secession asked us to go beyond the art object to consider the institution in which it is placed. The Secession was founded as a temple to art, and only Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven frieze remains as a testament to that goal. Because of Klimt’s work, this building has become a tourist attraction, an aspect of the site that Rockenschaub views as a basic condition of any exhibition installed here.

    As he did in his installations at the Venice Biennale and Zurich’s Galerie Walcheturm, Rockenschaub uses the particularities of the site as a point of departure.

  • Martin Beck

    Last year Martin Beck covered the walls of a Viennese pub with a questionnaire entitled “Gefällt Ihnen dieses Kunstwerk?” (Do you like this work of art?, 1993). If you said Yes, you were asked to respond to 14 more questions by choosing either “yes,” “no,” or “I don’t know” in an attempt to understand why you liked the work. By asking questions like, “Do you believe that your decision was influenced by other people’s opinion about this work of art?” Beck hoped to get at the various factors that influence a viewer’s response to a particular work.

    In this exhibition, Beck posed similar questions

  • Robert Rauschenberg

    No one’s work has embodied what is fascinating about art as much as Robert Rauschenberg’s works of the ’60s did. His placement of real objects both in and in front of the image, his witty combinations of materials and media, represented a break with academic traditions of artmaking and produced an independent order of the image that seemed to affect a seamless union between art and life, the polar opposites the avant-garde strove so hard to unite.

    In this survey of work, it was easy to place the early assemblages, like Quote, 1964, in relation to his later works from 1987–92, which were shown

  • Thomas Schütte

    This exhibition presented what are usually considered Thomas Schütte’s first figurative works: the kneaded busts and figures as well as Mann im Matsch (Man in mud, 1982). Additional pieces included his proposal Monument für einen verschollenen Seefahrer (Monument for a lost sailor, 1989); and his proposal for a fountain entitled Weinende Frau (Crying woman, 1989). Lager (Stock, 1978) and Hauptstadt II (Capital II, 1984) are both nonfigurative works; in the context of this show they functioned as commentaries on the underlying purpose of the institution. Lager was installed at the foot of the

  • Gruppe 53

    Named after the year of its founding, Gruppe 53 was formed by a collective of artists not so much to address issues of content but to improve the exhibition situation in postwar Germany. With exhibitions in the Düsseldorf Kunsthalle from 1956 to 1959, they achieved this goal. A document from 1955 lists the 17 artists, most of whom dubbed themselves “Kunstmaler” (art painters). Many of the names are unknown today; many of their works, though, belong to our everyday visual vocabulary. Still, there is hardly a common denominator to the paintings. One could call it informal painting, and it is quite

  • Stefan Hoderlein

    Everything is covered with letters—e’s—in front of the door, in the room. “Everything starts with an ‘E’” is the title—e as in ecstasy, the magical word of techno-culture. Ecstasy also characterizes a passion for collecting because this exhibition is full of things that can hardly be categorized.

    In the flood of things that the viewer is supposed to pay attention to, there are only a few pathways to move through the installation. One pathway is built above documentation in which everything is given a permanent place. And then there is another path that leads to flooding. That may sound paradoxical,

  • Fareed Armaly

    The ceiling construction in the Hall d’Animation reflects the utopian notion, characteristic of the political climate of the ’70s, of the global village: at the point where this construction comes together, it can either support the entire building or bring about its collapse. Fareed Armaly centers his video and his exhibition, “BREA-KD-OWN” on the socio-political issues raised by this structure.

    The Palais des Beaux Arts has two entrances, both of which symbolize the promise and the shortcomings of institutions. One leads to the Hall d’Animation. In the ’70s, the Hall of Sculpture was transformed

  • Lothar Baumgarten

    When Lothar Baumgarten applied the names of Indian tribes to the walls of the Guggenheim Museum, some visitors were offended. They didn’t understand why a German artist would tell Americans about their own history. The crux of the matter lies in how one approaches the artist’s use of words: the subject of this work is not American history, not the Indians or their customs; it is the words themselves. When Baumgarten uses words in his installations, he is not interested in what they signify, but, rather, in what social constructions they reflect.

    On the interior walls of Portikus, pairs of words

  • Joseph Kosuth

    The floor was covered with gray carpet, the ceiling with penetrating, domineering tiles that created a gridlike pattern. I cannot think of another exhibition space in which I have seen less successful uses of the available space. Joseph Kosuth’s installation, A grammatical remark, 1993, is, by contrast, noteworthy. Though presented in his signature manner—a black room with white script—the connection it forged with the architecture of the space was more than just another declination of his concept of art. The viewer entered a boxing ring. The carpet floor became a floor of action. Surrounded by

  • Gary Hill

    At the last Documenta, Gary Hill’s installation was one of the few works that appealed to a wide audience. In a long, narrow space, figures moving toward the viewer were projected with the slow, sometimes halting movement of people of various ages. Hill adressed the question of perception in two ways: the viewer saw himself confronted with his own activity (passing by images); and in going toward the exit, after his eyes were accustomed to the darkness, the other people in the space also became part of the work. The equipment also played a dual role: on the one hand video screens projected

  • Peter Hutchinson

    Peter Hutchinson is well-known for his Earthworks, with their subtle interventions into the landscape. In his recent show, he exhibited photographs or, better, photo-collages. Various images of gardens, flowers, snow-covered mountains, etc., were cut into little pieces and then reassembled, sometimes also overpainted at connecting places. His theme remains the landscape and here, as in his previous works, he alters what he finds. The actual interventions rely on the suggestive power of photography. Mounds of different colored flowers—flowers that perhaps have never simultaneously bloomed

  • Bill Viola

    The theme of this exhibition of Bill Viola’s work was nothing less than birth and death. Entitled “Unseen Images,” it brought together seven installations. The central work was Nantes Triptych (all works 1992), in which he projected images of the slow birth of his child, his dying mother, and lastly of himself under water. In order to understand the significance of these images of birth and death, the other installations must be considered.

    Heaven and Earth and The Sleepers can also be understood as variations on his fundamental theme. In the former, two black and white monitors hung vertically.