Critics’ Picks

Untitled (1 and 2), 2003. Installation view.

Cologne

Nicole Wermers

Galerie Borgmann • Nathusius
Moltkestr.32
October 29 - January 17

For the past few years Nicole Wermers has been making objects that walk a provocative line between autonomy and functionality—as in her 2002 series “French Junkies,” a group of elegant sculptures-cum-ashtrays. In her latest work, she draws closer to “pure” abstraction while continuing to explore the conventions of architecture and interior design. At Galerie Borgmann/Nathusius, a series of pseudo-Cubist collages feature cut-paper shapes whose recognizable finishes—wood grain, for example, or metallic sheen—seem to allude to glossy “shelter” magazines. Also on view are two large untitled sculptures, each consisting of a pair of slim, freestanding stelae made of black lacquered steel. Rounded convex shapes emerge at various heights from the pieces’ sides, breaking up the sheer verticality and setting off a rhythmic visual interplay. They are deceptively light and decorative interventions that seem to lend presence to space itself.

Translated from German by Emily Speers Mears.