“Jutta Koether: Tour de Madame”

Museum Brandhorst
Kunstareal Theresienstrasse 35a
May 18–October 21

Curated by Achim Hochdörfer and Tonio Kröner

Jutta Koether is an itch I’ve been scratching since 1992, when she summoned me, the then-new editor of this publication, to a room on a gold-coast block of Manhattan’s Ninth Street to announce her arrival as a painter on the New York scene. What to make of the canvas unfurled on the floor—its curiously hand-­hating facture and disagreeable neo-expressionist aftertaste? Something (begin with the fact that this “neo-expressionist” was improbably a woman) told me that the game was more evolved than said painted ciphers would admit. It involved the subtle but un­mistakable doubleness in the way Koether “worked” the ritual of the studio visit, just as she had the art-world network in luring me there. Two-plus decades later, the relationship of social stagecraft to painterly particulars remains central to her wager. The degree to which the latter materializes the former is the nut that this timely survey of more than 150 works will need to crack. Travels to Mudam Luxembourg, February–May 2019.