• Alicja Kwade, Etwas Abwesendes, dessen Anwesenheit erwartet wurde (Something Absent Whose Presence Had Been Expected), 2015, marble, dimensions variable.

    Alicja Kwade

    KÖNIG GALERIE | St. Agnes

    Alicja Kwade clearly meant to address some pretty grand concepts in her most recent solo show. Most of the works on view dealt with the materials of an existing system––the hands of a clock, the trade in antique jewelry, this gallery’s lighting fixtures. Their titles referred to ideas as universal as time (Die Zukunft des Vergangenen betrachtend [Contemplating the Future of the Past], all works 2015), value (Relikt und Bedarf [Relic and Demand]), and physical reality (The Heavy Weight of Lively Light). But the results were polite, clunky riffs on product design rather than the lofty experiments

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  • View of “Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen,” 2015. From left: Sensei Ichi-gō, 2014; Sterile, 2014.

    Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen

    Schering Stiftung

    A few months before I left New York, someone gave me a goldfish he had won at a funfair, thinking that having a pet would help me feel more rooted in the Big Apple. I left my tiny Brooklyn apartment shortly after, but not without learning that goldfish, too, can suffer from loneliness and stress and are ill-suited to living in small bowls. I was reminded of this episode at the opening of “assemble | standard | minimal” by London-based duo Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, where the first thing viewers encountered were three solitary goldfish in small, barren aquariums in a work titled Sterile,

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