reviews

  • Ina Barfuss

    Galerie Sprüth

    However much young artists today may strive to return their work to the traditional sites of art distribution, the gallery and the museum, the museum’s solemnity (often conveyed by the use of expensive media, as at 1982’s Documenta 7) is probably their least concern. In northern Europe, in opposition to art concerned with the mad, sensuous world of gods and demons, one finds indications of an angry settling of accounts with the outmoded norms of the petit bourgeoisie. This trend is not restricted to any one style, content, or medium, and these three exhibitions threw light on its development.

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  • Werner Buttner

    Galerie Max Hetzler

    Things are more peaceful with Werner Büttner of Hamburg, who, being born in 1954, is five years younger than Barfuss. His paintings on the theme of “Sozialstaatsimpressionen” (Impressions of the social state) may not be intended as the well-meaning niceties of the bourgeois quest for beauty, but they don’t really cause pain. For this exhibition Büttner published a catalogue about “The Problems of Miniature Golf in European Painting,” posing that recreation as a petit bourgeois pleasure pendant to the high pathos of the social state. He is also the author of a current book, Schrecken der Demokratie

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  • Thomas Virnich

    Galerie Reckermann

    Thomas Virnich’s objects, displayed in glass cabinets along the wall or freely scattered about the floor, are capable of being disturbing. It’s not that they are loudly provocative, or emit the flash of genius, but that they mingle the childlike delight in playing with trash with the legacy of sculpture in our century. Virnich’s lapidary frivolities provide an insistent counterpoint to the occasionally unbearable pathos with which the post-Modern spirit moves forward. For him, everything—cars, airplanes, ships—lends itself to being rebuilt, with a light touch—not perfectly, not so as to impart

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