• Albert Oehlen

    Galerie Max Hetzler

    The paintings in this exhibition don’t have titles, just small parenthetical indications that serve to identify them, such as “American flag,” “Lichtenstein,” “Weapon,” “Cross,” and “Street.” Not only do they offer disclaimers of classical techniques (for example, the flag painting alludes to Jasper Johns), they also stabilize the artist’s work. The path Albert Oehlen has taken is made up of countless salient advances, activities (including nonartistic ones), and revisions, which, almost imperceptibly, but more and more powerfully, have exposed one of today’s most convincing responses to the

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  • Asta Gröting

    Galerie Sophia Ungers

    The absence of content is iridescent in these untitled works by Asta Gröting. They do not announce a new direction, nor do they produce spectacular effects, but they are astonishing. One is amazed by, say, the elegance with which the artist arranges and juxtaposes materials, such as dried sunflowers with a Plexiglas vessel containing a glass pane. One is similarly amazed by a screen of shaped Plexiglas, standing on a custom-made chromium base; a brownish spot, the size of a cow pat, is placed on either side, and inside it, we can see the glass bodies that Gröting often uses. These bodies, with

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  • Udo Lefin

    Galerie Daniel Buchholz

    Udo Lefin showed five large-format paintings in his first one-man exhibition. He works extremely slowly: the five pieces in this exhibition constitute his entire output of the past three years. His working method may be, in turn, a result of the complicated nature of the paintings themselves. All of these paintings were done with lacquer pigments and transparent varnishes on canvas and wood; their surfaces are dazzling and reflective. His goal is obviously to create an intense color-surface effect—fiery red and sunny yellow, deep black and midnight blue. The complexity of Lefin’s paintings is

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  • A. R. Penck

    Neue Nationalgalerie

    Since 1980, when A.R. Penck moved from East to West Germany, he has become one of the most important painters in contemporary German art. The 137 paintings, drawings, and watercolors in this retrospective impressively document his development. From its start in the early ’60s, Penck’s oeuvre as a whole has constituted a discourse, for the works coalesce into something like an overall text. At the core of Penck’s art is a yearning for a universal human sign-language. The “system paintings,” as the artist calls them, transmit signals and information concerning social as well as historical conditions.

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