• Katharina Wulff, Die Verbindung (The Connection), 2008, oil on canvas, 48 x 68 1/2".

    Katharina Wulff

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

    In Sheila Heti’s recent book How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life, the central character culls a list of international cities most populated by “Important Artists” from a digest of biographies. Finding that New York, natch, tops the tally, she promptly hops a bus from Toronto to Manhattan. I thought of this episode—and the novel’s attendant musings on the self-consciousness of creative ambition—while viewing this intimate exhibition of paintings by Katharina Wulff, who has, with as much apparent deliberation as Heti’s protagonist, charted a reverse tack. Born in East Germany in

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