Sabine B. Vogel

  • Fernando Ortega, N. Clavipes meets S. Erard. Mov. 1, 2008, color photograph, 20 x 14”.
    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

  • Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Self-Portrait 5, 2003, color photograph, 23 5/8 x 31 1/2”.
    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

  • Dorothee Golz, Holbein vor Cy Twombly (Holbein Before Cy Twombly), 2010, color photograph, 57 x 48".
    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

  • Tatiana Trouvé, Untitled, 2008, bronze, black patina, 106 x 88 1/2  x 69".
    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

  • Daniel Richter, Horde, 2007, oil on canvas, 110 x 177".
    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,

  • Krijn De Koning, Het zwaartekracht museum, 2009, wood, dimensions variable.
    picks September 23, 2009

    Beaufort 03

    There are forty miles of North Sea coast in Belgium. Like a watchful guardian, Wim Delvoye’s steel backhoe with gothic chiseling stands near this strip of land (now overrun by apartment buildings): a reference to the architectural sins committed here, and a call for their cessation. The sculpture was created for the first Beaufort Triennial. This year, in the event’s third edition, thirty artists have continued the tradition, situating their works—formulated as unexpected physical experiences and intellectual challenges—on the beach, in the towns, on dunes, or on promenades. Some works, such as

  • View of “Beginnings, Middles and Ends,” 2009, Christine König Galerie, Vienna. From left: Lawrence Weiner, As long as it lasts, 1992; Valentin Ruhry, 23:40, 2008.
    picks May 18, 2009

    “Beginnings, Middles, and Ends”

    The four galleries that Gianni Jetzer has curated in the extraordinary collaborative exhibition that forms part of the Curated By project are located next to one another. Financed by Departure, an economic-development program in Vienna, the Curated By project, which coincides with the Viennafair 09, is an experiment in cooperation: Eighteen galleries were clustered into four units, each of which chose one curator. At Schleifmühlgasse, Jetzer, the director of the New York–based nonprofit Swiss Institute, renders convincing the concept of a fragmented exhibition: “Beginnings, Middles, and Ends”

  • View of “Correspondences,” 2009, Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna.
    picks May 18, 2009


    The challenge for the Curated By project is to bring together four different streets or neighborhoods, each with four or five galleries, in one exhibition. The winner for the Eschenbachgasse area, the unit (whose members are all independent gallerists) that lies between the Vienna Secession and the Museumsquartier, was Matthew Higgs, director of White Columns in New York. Some selections are tailor-made for the space: At Galerie Steinek, B. Wurtz’s filigreed object-architectural works interact with Noam Rappaport’s minimalist collages. Galerie Meyer Kainer houses large, wild portraits by Rita

  • Adriana Czernin, Untitled, 2009, watercolor, ink, pencil on paper, 40 x 26".
    picks March 30, 2009

    Adriana Czernin

    Adriana Czernin is well known for her detailed pencil drawings that depict women concealed in dense ornamentation. Clenched fists and flexed feet express great discomfort in these works, while floral forms appear restrictive and imprisoning. However, her recent watercolors indicate that she is now on a totally different path. The women have disappeared, and in their place are rigid ornaments slung around thick ropes. At once abstract and completely objective, these compositions have an unfathomable force; they seem to break free of any pictorial restraints and make room for themselves on the