Simon Baier

  • Nic Aluf, Portrait of Sophie Taeuber with Dada Head, 1920, gelatin silver print, 8 1/4 × 6 1/2". From “Dadaglobe Reconstructed.”

    “Dadaglobe Reconstructed”

    This small exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich, where curator Adrian Sudhalter presented a meticulous reconstruction of Tristan Tzara’s book project Dadaglobe, uncovered two urgent desires on Tzara’s part: He aimed at an artistic production that could circulate, not only with mercurial ease, incorporating diverse forms and materials, but also—as the title suggests—on a truly planetary scale. Tzara planned to publish the anthology in 1921, conceiving it in close collaboration with Francis Picabia, but it was never realized. Both Tzara and Picabia were prolific editors of magazines, a

  • View of “Jutta Koether,” 2014. From left: Fiorentino Rosso Sansepolcro, 2014; Cosimo Piero Gemäldegalerie, 2014.

    Jutta Koether

    The paintings in Jutta Koether’s recent exhibition “Maquis” could be hard to bear, not least because they are so overloaded with history. Nearly all of them refer to works of art from the past, ranging from Botticelli and Piero di Cosimo to Mondrian, Balthus, Florine Stettheimer, and—perhaps most unlikely in this strategically inconsistent list—Lucian Freud. At the center of the show were three horizontal paintings, each installed on a pillar, thereby creating a series of cross shapes, which could be walked around. Koether does not shy away from religious connotations. One of these

  • View of “Pamela Rosenkranz,” 2014.

    Pamela Rosenkranz

    Eleven matte aluminum sheets were leaning against the walls of the gallery, which were covered from floor to ceiling with thin transparent plastic sheeting, making the space resemble something like a cross between a construction site and a quarantine ward. The natural light coming in through the gallery’s big display windows was rivaled by blue and red beams emanating from six projectors placed on the floor, which reflected as two differing horizontal strips on the aluminum surfaces. The sheets’ surfaces had been smeared with various fleshy hues of thin, drippy semitranslucent polyester paint

  • View of “Lutz Bacher: SNOW,” 2013–14. Photo: Stefan Altenburger.

    Lutz Bacher

    IN 2013, New York–based artist Lutz Bacher staged three separate surveys of her work in Europe: at Portikus in Frankfurt; at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts; and at the Kunsthalle Zürich, where “SNOW” was the last and most comprehensive to go on view. Though each exhibition could be considered a retrospective, none presented itself as a historicizing look back at the artist’s oeuvre. Rather, the independent shows, linked only by a catalogue and a shared time frame,tended to liquefy contours between individual works, imploding tout court any notion of Bacher’s work as a coherent body or