PRINT December 2009

Martin Herbert


1 “Isa Genzken: Open, Sesame!” (Whitechapel Gallery, London) A double event: One of London’s best-loved institutions reopened, and this stellar retrospective—the renovated Whitechapel’s inaugural show—landed in the East End like a disheveled but highly advanced spacecraft. This was a public service to most of us, who had previously been unable to consider Genzken’s achievement at full historical stretch. Curated by the Whitechapel’s Andrea Tarsia and by Kasper König and Nina Gülicher of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, the show connected the dots (and illuminated the leaps) within three decades of roving artistic activity, roping together sleek sculptural ellipsoids, frottage abstractions, gaudily framed mises en abymes, photographs, and more, then modulating confidently into an extensive showcase for the German artist’s recent assemblages. This sea of glittering wreckage

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