reviews

  • Reena Spaulings, Bonjour! 1–3, 2017, oil on Dibond and mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Britta Schlier.

    Reena Spaulings

    Museum Ludwig, Cologne

    AFTER MORE THAN A DECADE of caustic yet playful teasing of the contemporary art apparatus, Reena Spaulings has been granted a retrospective—sort of. To offer some historical background for the uninitiated: In 2003, writer John Kelsey and artist Emily Sundblad opened Reena Spaulings, a gallery on New York’s Lower East Side, which has since launched the careers of many influential artists. In 2004, artworks made by Kelsey and Sundblad under the moniker “Reena Spaulings” began appearing in group shows. Audiences then learned a great deal about Reena—as both artist and gallery are usually

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  • Caleb Considine, Pigs blood for a painting I didn’t make, 2017, oil on canvas, 13 x 19".

    Caleb Considine

    Galerie Buchholz | Cologne

    The eight small paintings in Caleb Considine’s exhibition “Cancelled” might at first have seemed a bit lost in the gallery’s spacious rooms, but they gradually made their presence felt. The generally pale colors—attaining, here and there, a passing luminosity—lent them a dreamlike pellucidity, but also conveyed a sense of determined and prosaic effort. Considine’s art bespeaks genuine devotion to painterly subtlety: Though his craftsmanship was evident, the work was the opposite of mere technical display and razzle-dazzle.

    It also took the viewer a while to understand that the irreducible

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  • View of “Christian Freudenberger,” 2017. From left to right: o.T. (tic 2, doppelt) (Untitled [Tic 2, Double]), 2017; o.T (tic), 2017; o.T. (leer, tic 3) (Untitled [Empty, Tic 3]), 2017. Photo: Simon Vogel.

    Christian Freudenberger

    DREI

    In his recent exhibition “‘tic,’” Christian Freudenberger presented three paintings, all dated 2017 and Untitled, with differing parenthetical subtitles containing the French word that also named the show as a whole. Denoting, as in English, a nervous twitch or tremor caused by involuntary muscle contractions, the term may bring to mind a syndrome that disrupts everyday activities; the power of the unconscious, which eludes deliberate control; or any anomaly that calls normality into question. The titles are programmatic, because these three dimensions—the disruption of ordinary perception,

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