Born one year apart and both based in New York, Julie Mehretu and Jessica Rankin are known for their highly personalized approaches to abstraction. Here, Mehretu’s gestural and chaotic compositions evoking urban energy appear in stark contrast with Rankin’s astronomy-inspired skyscapes.
Julie Mehretu and Jessica Rankin Struggling With Words That Count
Proposing a new approach for depicting the disorienting space/time compression wrought by digital communication, Pieter Schoolwerth’s latest series of works are created via a complex process involving photography, drawing, digital manipulation, and sculpture, which together function, as the artist described in his 1000 Words feature, like an operating system. Playful and vibrantly colorful, the final results feature figurative ciphers in various stages of relief—both models for producing further paintings and sculptural artifacts of a painterly process completed with flourish.
Pieter Schoolwerth Model as Painting
A pair of large-scale works by Rirkrit Tiravanija describes two different, but not unrelated, political struggles in Asia. Untitled 2014–2016 (Curry for the Soul of the Forgotten) features a large bronze pot surrounded by projections of cooking which were recorded in Chiang Mai, Thailand (where, notably, the artist helped found the Land Foundation, an art and environmental project, in the late 1990s), and alludes to recent uprisings and political struggles in the country. Installed in a separate room, the multipanel painting Untitled 2016 (Freedom Cannot be Simulated, South China Morning Post, September 26-27-28-29-30, 2014), 2016, across which are emblazoned the words FREEDOM CANNOT BE SIMULATED, features collaged pages from the South China Morning Post dating from the time of the so-called Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong, during which protestors challenged the Chinese electoral system.
Rirkrit Tiravanija (curry for the soul of the forgotten)
The first-ever large-scale exhibition of contemporary art at this modern art museum pairs George Condo’s paintings, made between the 1980s and today, with works by the likes of Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, Klee, and Giacometti culled from the collection of Berlin’s Nationalgalerie. The loaded context heightens the impact of Condo’s peculiar perspective on art-historical styles and movements—alternately ironic and reverential.
George Condo Confrontation
Schloßstraße 1 / +4930266424801 / smb.museum/
Tue - Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat - Sun 11am to 6pm
For her latest self-portrait series, Cindy Sherman impersonates past-their-prime 1920s-era Hollywood stars, posed as if for glitzy studio publicity shots. Set in relief against digitally manipulated backgrounds, her elaborate costumes, heavy makeup, and studied poise turn away from glamour, treading into the ridiculous, strange, vulnerable, and poignant.
After rising to prominence in the 1950s LA art scene, where he cofounded the Ferus Gallery with Walter Hopps, Edward Kienholz spent much of his time collaborating with his wife, Nancy, in Hope, Idaho, near his friends and patrons Monte and Betty Factor. Key works on view from the Factor Family Collection include preparatory drawings for important installations such as the sickening Five Car Stud, 1972, and the early, articulated assemblage The Medicine Show, 1958–59.
Edward and Nancy Kienholz A Selection of Works from the Betty and Monte Factor Family Collection
The second part of Alfredo Jaar’s trilogy exploring the emotional power of a single image, Shadows, 2014, describes the atrocious final days of the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua in 1978, as captured by Dutch photographer Koen Wessing. The installation’s wrenching centerpiece features Wessing’s photograph of two sisters who have just been told of their father’s murder.
Alfredo Jaar Shadows
In advance of their major retrospective to be held at London’s Tate Modern this fall, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov are treating Berlin to a selection of recent paintings. Typical of the couple's work, these pieces depict their Soviet homeland using dual (and dueling) realities, which conflate historical periods and blend personal and collective memories.
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov Paintings 2012 - 2015
This presentation of Ian Wilson’s work examines the South African Conceptual artist’s practice in relationship to work by Hanne Lippard, Adam Pendleton, and Paul Elliman. Wilson’s largely ephemeral oeuvre, which often takes form only through discussions and other modes of spoken discourse, is complemented by three solo exhibitions of the younger artists. In the spirit of Wilson’s dematerialized abstractions, a weekly program of performances, readings, lectures, and events will take place at this institution and around different locations throughout Berlin for the duration of the show.
Recently acquired by the German Nationalgalerie, of which this venue is but one affiliated institution, Adrian Piper’s installation and participatory group performance The Probable Trust Registry: The Rules of the Game # 1–3, 2013–15, proposes that visitors sign a contract with themselves pledging to act ethically, honestly, and reliably, in return for which they receive a registry of people who have made the same promise by the end of any iteration of the performance. A resource that, given the current political climate in the US and Europe, could hardly be more timely.
Adrian Piper The Probable Trust Registry: The Rules of the Game #1-3
Invalidenstraße 50-51 / +4930266424242 / smb.museum/
Tue - Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat - Sun 11am to 6pm, Thu 10am to 8pm