• Tobias Pils, Untitled (flowers), 2016, mixed media on canvas, 12' × 6' 8".

    Tobias Pils

    Capitain Petzel

    Tobias Pils paints with a reduced palette of black, white, and gray. If at first glance his pictures have a graphic, drawing-like character, however, this turns out to be deceptive: As paintings, they are as opulent as they are subtle. The Austrian artist’s recent exhibition demonstrated that he has developed an idiosyncratic pictorial language in which figurative and floral elements seem to have been set loose among latently abstract, free-form ornamental structures such that each of these aspects—representation and abstraction—interpenetrates and interprets the other. The paintings

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  • KwieKulik, The Monument Without a Passport (Police), 1978/2016, ink-jet print, 35 3/8 × 25 5/8".


    Zak | Branicka

    Mobility—of both people and art—was the primary focus of a recent show of the Polish team KwieKulik, composed of Zofia Kulik and Przemysław Kwiek, who collaborated between 1971 and 1987. Several works in this show, “The Monument Without a Passport,” referred to travel restrictions imposed on the couple by the Polish government. The ban was occasioned by documentation, in a Swedish exhibition catalogue, of works (A Bird of Plaster for Bronze – Malmö, 1974, and Man-dick, 1968–74) by both artists that, like other works for which KwieKulik are well known, found the pair using their official

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  • Paweł Althamer, MAMA I, 2016, clay, wristwatch, bracelet, knife, horn, textile, sand, earth, grass, wood, water, coal, plants, stone, glass, elephant skull, netting, seventeen zebra finches, grasshoppers, iPhone, camera. Installation view.

    Paweł Althamer


    In 1993, to complete his master’s degree at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts, Paweł Althamer dodged his oral examination, instead presenting his professors with a realist sculptural self-portrait fashioned from grass, straw, and animal skin and intestines, and a video of himself stripping nude and running into the woods. Twenty-three years later, in MAMA I, 2016, we saw the Polish artist sitting naked, grizzled, and mud-caked, in nature—or, rather, we gazed upon a plaster simulacrum of Althamer, positioned cross-legged within an indoor wilderness. Clusters of real trees, albeit dead and smeared

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