New York

Dieter Appelt

Sander Gallery

Dieter Appelt’s surfaces look pathological—hurt—particularly in his photographs of his own head and hands, but also in his close-up, time-exposure photographs of the wood beams of an attic in an old Berlin Künstlerhaus, Bethanien, 1984–91. At the same time, they seem eminently rational, for he is also a determined constructivist, obsessed with rigidly fixed primary structures. The attic is a construction he breaks down with pseudo-scientific detachment into a number of implacable, Rodchenko-like “demonstrations” of geometry. The head and hands are equally anonymous, if organic, gestalt structures.

The exhibition included a number of eccentric, freestanding geometric constructions based on those Appelt builds in his outdoor performances. The contrast between a very solid, stable, permanent-looking structure of black metal—a profane machine part in which a sacred cross is “embedded”—and the

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