Hanne Darboven

Tanja Grunert Gallery

If you’ve seen an installation by German artist Hanne Darboven, her signature style will likely have stayed with you: wall-to-wall grids of page-size panels, marked by wave-like rows of what appears to be crossed-out cursive script. This gnomic stand-in for legible text is punctuated by series of numbers or passages of German prose, black-and-white photographs, or stamped labels reminiscent of the return address and postmark on envelopes. The panels are often framed identically, and a bureaucratic palette of black and red ink on white, buff, or green paper maintains throughout. The result is information overload expressed as precisely edited monotone.

Darboven is, in her cryptic way, a game-player, and her embedded mathematical, historical, and pop-cultural details challenge the determined sleuth with polyvalent epistemological and chronological puzzles. The Dia Foundation’s website even

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