PRINT December 2004

Daniel Birnbaum


1 “Louise Lawler and Others” (Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel) Says Lawler in the catalogue accompanying this splendid exhibition organized by Philipp Kaiser, “Art is always a collaboration with what came before you and what comes after you.” Somewhere in between the before and the after, something seems to emerge that we want to call the present. Theorists have questioned whether there is such a thing, and Lawler’s art could easily be read as a confirmation of a philosophy of difference claiming delay and displacement as more original than immediacy. And yet the clashes in Lawler’s work—sometimes subtle, sometimes violent (and often funny)—no doubt create radiant sparks of an ever-new Now.

2 “Sturtevant: The Brutal Truth” (Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt) Clement Greenberg once expressed his doubts that humor could ever play a major role in art. Too bad he

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