Steven Warwick

  • picks December 20, 2019

    Agnes Scherer

    In her solo exhibition “Orlando Tussaud,” Agnes Scherer references the playful shift of historical personae that occurs both in a Virginia Woolf novel and the museum franchise specializing in wax copies of celebrity figures. From the so-called didactic operetta performance work The Teacher, 2019, in which paintings served as the backdrop for a hysterical puppet show, to the sculptural series of guillotined French Revolution–era monarchs exhibited earlier this year at Horse and Pony, Scherer’s work has a conspicuous theatricality running throughout.

    In this exhibition, constructed walls obscure

  • picks May 10, 2019

    Mathieu Malouf

    Mathieu Malouf presents seven new oil paintings in “At The Gates of Eternal Market Success: The Suffering Of The Artist,” five of which he has augmented with shitake mushrooms. Typical of Malouf’s practice, the canvases abound with appropriations of pop culture, social media, and art-historical references—for a start, his subjects’ afflicted, viscerally disturbing countenances draw comparison to those in Julian Schnabel’s plate paintings. Then there are his immediately recognizable antagonists, including Mr. Bean, Kermit and Miss Piggy, and Willem Dafoe, and art-historical motifs like Andromeda

  • picks April 08, 2019

    Timothy Davies

    Walking into Sandy Brown gallery, one is confronted by several bears. No, one hasn’t stumbled into one of Schöneberg’s gay bars, though it’s hard to discount a certain element of homoeroticism in Timothy Davies’ freestanding plywood sculpture We 2 Bears (Double Beach Bum) (all works 2019). Alluding to David Hockney’s painting We Two Boys Together Clinging (1961) and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, these two bears wearing red shirts (modeled on a collaboration between the toy manufacturer Steiff and Ralph Lauren) have their hands tucked into the pockets of their white briefs, creating suggestive

  • picks November 20, 2018

    James Whittingham

    Coyly titled “Bed und Breakfast,” James Whittingham’s current exhibition consists of three small pencil drawings on paper, framed with rudimentary plastic foil and Sellotape. The press release is similarly austere, with just three lines describing the works in a literal fashion. A banqueting table is laid with breakfast under a vaulted ceiling. (all works 2018) depicts coffee and croissants laid on an exaggerated medieval table. The palatial, church-like structure evokes a feeling of sanctuary, yet the recently extinguished candle accentuates the emptiness engulfing the room, as if a houseguest

  • picks November 01, 2018

    Henrik Olesen

    Continuing his interest in Foucault, which has featured heavily in his work since the 1990s, Henrik Olesen has staged his first solo show in Berlin in some years in the panopticon-like room of the Schinkel Pavillon, a former GDR building offering a panoramic view of the city center. Today, the room is filled with sculptural objects, including Plexiglas and wooden boxes silk-screened with images in neon colors, as in No Mouth No Tongue Box (all works 2018), alongside mundane consumer products such as cardboard boxes and milk cartons that function as ready-mades, painted over by the artist. The

  • picks May 16, 2018

    Danny McDonald

    Danny McDonald’s latest exhibition appears to be informed by the program In Search of… by Leonard Nimoy. It is an extension of the artist’s established oeuvre, which consists of pop culture splattered over various ready-mades altered or detourned to make absurdist commentaries on the toxic American landscape, all while laughing at it, like a late-night comedy skit. Here, toys based on male cinematic icons largely associated with the baby boom are recontextualized to equal parts banal and horrifying effect.

    An amputated hand swears an oath on a bible, guillotined by a paper cutter as a naked

  • picks January 19, 2018

    LaKela Brown

    The jewelry and body parts that make up LaKela Brown’s exhibition resemble, on first glance, the kind of historical artifacts that one might find in a prestigious museum. However, upon closer inspection, these plaster reliefs present a meditation on how such objects are historicized, represented, and abstracted in a museological context. Embedded in the eleven individual works are different casts of objects commonly associated with hip-hop culture in the 1990s, when the artist was growing up, including bamboo earrings, gold-capped teeth, rope necklace chains, and chicken heads taken from a