reviews

  • View of “Imi Knoebel,” 2015. From left: Bild 31.01.2014; Bild 09.12.2014. From the series “Bild,” 2013–.

    Imi Knoebel

    White Cube | Bermondsey

    Imi Knoebel has been worrying away at the problem of abstraction for decades. His 1968 painting Schwarzes Kreuz (Black Cross) paid witty, wonky homage to Malevich’s Black Square of 1915, still a touchstone for the German artist, who, surprisingly, has only just recently had his first London solo exhibition. As if to remind Londoners of what they’ve missed, the show included new additions to his “Kite” series of 1971: white-painted quadrilateral works hung near the top of a small, high-ceilinged gallery, jagged floating shards that, depending on the light and the viewer’s position, became almost

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  • Ellen Gronemeyer, Liebe Liese (Dear Liese), 2015, oil on canvas, 62 1/2 × 47 1/4".

    Ellen Gronemeyer

    greengrassi

    Keine Minute Ruhe” (Not a Moment’s Rest) was the title of Ellen Gronemeyer’s recent solo exhibition, and it served as an apt description of any encounter with her paintings. Reminiscent in style of both James Ensor and Jean Dubuffet, the twelve richly encrusted figurative paintings in this show, with a predominantly black palette, possessed a cloying charm.

    For example, Liebe Liese (Dear Liese; all works 2015) one of the larger pieces, shows two roundheaded, porcelain-faced children, seated with their arms bent around their legs; depicted in a cartoonlike manner, they fit snugly into the picture

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  • Larry Johnson, Untitled (Raven Row Giraffe), 2015, C-print, wood, 5' 5“ × 10' 8 3/4” × 2 3/4".

    Larry Johnson

    Raven Row

    Untitled (Raven Row Giraffe), 2015, is a wall-spanning photograph of a cartoon giraffe with an image of a pencil inserted in its asshole as it sucks on another—the pencils manipulated by images of two human hands. The animal’s pouty lips are clasped tightly, its eyes popping out. Another photograph, Untitled (Ass), 2007, depicts a line-drawn donkey whose anus is being poked by a pencil eraser as it makes dopey, sexy, come-hither eyes at the hand that wields the writing implement. In Untitled (Kangaroo), 2007, a female marsupial has a pencil sticking erect from her pouch, which she grips

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