reviews

  • Stephan Balkenhol

    Johnen + Schöttle

    The sight of Stephan Balkenhol’s 57 penguins is overwhelming: the smell that (temporarily) emanates from them is peculiarly fishy, originating in the wood. The birds—mostly alone, sometimes in twos, occasionally with an egg—are on pedestals of various heights, roughly at the viewer’s eye level. And they assume all the positions that penguins are known to or thought to take on land. Many of them are upright, using their stiff tail feathers as supports, a few are prone; others, peering sideways, down, or back, raise a wing in penguin fashion. Here, as in nature, the sexes are the same color, and

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  • Maria Lassnig

    Galerie Busche

    Throughout her long career as a painter Maria Lassnig has focused her work resolutely and relentlessly on her own body. Since the late ’40s she has questioned how she can experience her body as a part of her perception, her thinking, her inventiveness, and her pain; it is not merely the object of her work, it is part of her self. Lassnig sinks, so to speak, into her body, using paint to communicate the results of what she finds. Her methods of painting have changed over the decades: sometimes she paints more abstractly, sometimes almost realistically—and then abstractly again. But Lassnig has

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  • Nils Norman

    Friesenwall 120

    The main component of Nils Norman’s exhibition was an approximately one-hundred-minute audiotape on which he discusses his evolution from student to exile to artist with his friend Merlin Carpenter, an artist who underwent a similar transition. The tape consists of an intimate, jokey art conversation, and it shifts from a “we are old friends” routine, to a “conversation on art” routine, to a “two allies in a foreign world” routine. Norman and Carpenter play a special role in that sector of the Cologne art scene that uses Friesenwall 120—a space that is not so much a gallery as a video/magazine

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