Sabine B. Vogel

  • Christoph Schlingensief

    Since his production of Parsifal at Bayreuth in 2004, Christoph Schlingensief has become for some the enfant terrible of the theater world, for others a contemporary descendant of Joseph Beuys. Schlingensief takes Beuys’s idea of an expanded art and turns it into expanded theater—something he has done even more successfully now, at the Burgtheater Wien in his installation Area7, than in his Parsifal. Based on Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Schlingensief’s production, which combines theater, opera, film, visual arts, and “happenings,” selects but one theme from this setting of the crucifixion story,

  • Still from All together now..., 2005.
    picks April 12, 2006

    Hans Op de Beeck

    The party is over. Atop the oversize Table 1, 2006, some extra-large leftovers and crumpled napkins remain. Having arrived too late (the guests and even the colors in this remarkably white room seem to have disappeared), we can only guess at the cause of the celebration. Pencil drawings of ridiculous people sporting party hats (Party Animal I-VI, 2006) hang in front of the tables, offering potential clues to the preceding events.

    Alone this installation is spooky enough, but up-and-coming Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck piles on the menace. In the accompanying All together now . . ., 2005, a

  • La educacion (The Education), 2006.
    picks April 05, 2006

    Sandra Vásquez de la Horra

    For the third show at this three-month-old gallery, Rupert Pfab has chosen Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, a graduate of the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. The artist grew up in Chile, and consequently many of her drawings incorporate the terror of the Pinochet regime, portraying, for example, schematic figures of men wearing dark glasses that evoke the persecution of her family, alongside motifs lifted from the Catholic church and South American mythologies. Much of de la Horra’s work depicts children crawling, reminding us that, even recently, children grow up among (and take on characteristics of)

  • Collective wishdreams of upperclass possibilities, 2002.
    picks April 04, 2006

    Plamen Dejanoff

    Plamen Dejanoff first gained notoriety for his collaborations with Swetlana Heger under the slightly variant surname “Dejanov.” Their most notable project together was Quite Normal Luxury, 1999, a piece that consisted largely of a contract with BMW that traded brand exposure for the artists’ use of a new Z3 Roadster. Dejanoff changed his last name after parting ways with Heger, and is now presenting new works both here and in a just-closed exhibition at Galerie Meyer Kainer. A Porsche Cayenne situated in the middle of the museum and surrounded by heavy bronze railings evokes his earlier work,

  • Herwig Weiser

    Hanging in the middle of the room was a most fascinating cylindrical object. Sound issued from it; something moved within. Its title, Death Before Disko (all works 2005)—also that of the show as a whole—plays on its association with the familiar disco ball. Of course this is an updated version, one made of Plexiglas, stereo speakers, LEDs, a computer system, magnets, and magnetic fluid, all activated by the movement of a motor, the pulsing of the sound system, and the programming of the lights. Movement is created not by the many small mirrors of the disco ball but by a mass of hectically

  • Alpenlandschaft (Alpine Landscape), 2004.
    picks December 17, 2005

    Lei Xue

    Lei Xue's series of abstract paintings, “Alpine Landscapes,” are reminiscent of snow, barren countrysides, and deep mountain lakes. Xue explains that the exceptionally long panoramic formats he employs evoke Chinese artistic traditions, while his painting emulates the glazing techniques of Dutch masters. This combination of diverse cultural elements is Xue's central theme, a focus that may arise from his unique personal history. Born in 1974 in Quigdao, he studied oil painting in Shandong before moving to Germany to begin studies at the School of Art in Kassel under the tutelage of Urs Lüthi.

  • Untitled, 2005.
    picks November 23, 2005

    Franz Graf

    After dipping below the radar for a few years, Franz Graf is now back with new and older work in “Love My Dream,” an enormously impressive solo exhibition. It’s a title that’s easier said than done, but the artist convinces, with delicate branches wrapped in rubber, mounted on the wall, and surrounded by paintings of numerals, arrows, and organic forms. Sometimes Graf uses language as a graphic element; sometimes it provides content or marks a path. The word “NOT” appears in large letters on a battered wardrobe: German for “misery” or English for “not”? Primarily black and white, with hints of

  • Installation view, 2005.
    picks November 03, 2005

    Alexandr Rodchenko

    In the 1920s, Alexandr Rodchenko built finely detailed, free-floating, geometric cardboard models and massive sculptures made from squared-timber pieces. His interest lay in spatial investigation rather than completed objects, however, so he destroyed these works immediately after photographing them. Now his grandson, Alexander Lavrentiev, has rebuilt some of these models and is exhibiting them for the first time, along with an extremely varied assortment of hitherto unseen sketches and architectural designs by his grandfather. The work includes free forms, studies for a tea set, cover designs

  • Erwin Bohatsch, Untitled, 2000.
    picks September 22, 2005

    “New Abstract Painting from Austria”

    Thanks to the economic liberalization of China and that country's ambitions to become a superpower, the fine arts have gained in meaning—and in freedoms. One consequence of this development is that there are new possibilities for showing Western works in China. And so it comes about that the exhibition “New Abstract Painting from Austria”—organized by Edelbert Köb, Director of the MUMOK in Vienna, and Yvonne Weiler, widow of Austrian painter Max Weiler—is currently on a tour of four Chinese cities. Audiences who have had little exposure to Western art, who instead are acclimated

  • Roman Ondák

    As his contribution to the Secession exhibition “Ausgeträumt” (The End of Dreaming), 2001–2002, the Slovakian artist Roman Ondák had Skodas—Czech cars—parked behind the Secession building in Vienna; at Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 2002, he set up a fake radio broadcast asking visitors to please, as a gesture of solidarity with recent world events, not interrupt their present activities; and for a show in 2003, he arranged for huge queues of “visitors” to wait half an hour each day in front of the Cologne Kunstverein beginning at 4 PM. So what would he do for his first substantial exhibition in

  • Exhibition view, 2005.
    picks July 15, 2005

    Otto Mühl

    Viennese Actionist Otto Mühl hit a very sensitive nerve several decades ago, and he's still doing so today. In Hamburg this summer, you can see filmed documentation of the works that first put Mühl on the map: his truly radical “Matieralaktionen” (Material Actions) of the '60s. For the first time, all eighteen films of these carefully staged actions are on view, along with around two hundred drawings and photographs dating from the '60s to the present. In the films, naked bodies—smeared with flour, mud, excrement—are the focal point. Often, the borders between desire and violence,

  • Exhibition view.
    picks July 01, 2005

    Alice Creischer

    Alice Creischer's experiences in Argentina and India inspired the theme of her Bremen exhibition—the monstrous discrepancy between poverty and wealth. Her central questions are: What happens between the observer (the wealthy) and that which is observed (the poor), and what social and political factors creep into the discussion of poverty? She thus proposes the construction of an apparatus that gives the exhibition its title: “Apparat zum osmotischen Druckausgleich von Reichtum bei der Betrachtung von Armut” (“Apparatus for the osmotic pressure equalization of wealth through the observation