Travis Jeppesen

  • picks October 06, 2009

    Ricarda Roggan

    Photographers are often praised for their ability to work with light; with Ricarda Roggan, one might say that it is her talent for isolating darkness that distinguishes so many of her images. The light in her large photographs typically emanates from mysterious, unseen sources—and like the series of interiors she depicts, it is often unremarkable. But the omnipresent force of darkness—whether it hovers threateningly, annihilates the background, or appears in shadowy splotches to sculpt her blunt arrangements of mundane household objects, furniture pieces, and cars—endows her work with its dramatic

  • picks September 13, 2009

    Ceal Floyer

    The recent profusion of sparseness in high-profile group exhibitions such as the 2008 Whitney Biennial and this year’s “Political/Minimal” at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin have suggested that we are indeed entering a new era of restraint, understatement, subtle irony, and small gestures. Following on this trend, the latter institution has aptly chosen to open the season with a Ceal Floyer solo exhibition, the artist’s fourth in her adopted city. Floyer has mastered a minimalist language of deceptive simplicity and quiet humor; her obvious affection for objects, language, and

  • picks July 31, 2009

    Bob Tooke

    “Please Don’t Give the Birds Money!” is the emphatic title framing the latest Berlin exhibition of the Louisianan artist and musician Bob Tooke. Like the paintings featured therein, the title revels in a dumb blatancy––a joke that serves as its own punch line, rooted in a slightly off-kilter phraseology that could equally please a young child and a loony drunk.

    Tooke funnels this earnest delight into works typically rendered in crude, thick blobs of acrylic on found pieces of wood rather than canvas. The paintings dish up a callous brand of trailer-trash satire: In one series of advertisements

  • picks July 16, 2009

    E. M. C. Collard

    E. M. C. Collard is an emerging London-based German artist whose combined interest in fragmentation and the messiness of the world is reflected in her chaotic paintings, currently on view in her first German solo exhibition. The title of the show, “20:1,” refers to the shifting of scale that occurs in many of the works, wherein depictions of paper dots made by a hole punch are enlarged and then represented as if they'd been sprinkled at random onto layers of images that include tacky vacation postcards, self-portraits, and simple graph paper. The title of one series, “Zahnderzeitpasta,” 2006–2009,

  • picks July 03, 2009

    Gilbert & George

    By sheer endurance alone, jovial gentleman anarchists Gilbert & George are inarguably most deserving of the rock-star status that the art world tends to arbitrarily confer on its denizens, and the “Jack Freak Pictures,” their largest series to date, may well be the duo’s Divina Commedia. Twenty of the 153 pictures, forming a dizzying kaleidoscopic meditation on the Union Jack and, unsurprisingly, freakdom, are on display.

    When one thinks of “nation,” inevitably the notion of the masses comes to mind. With great (mock) seriousness, Gilbert & George, often in heavily distorted guise, stand in for