Berlin has awoken from its new year hangover and there is lots to see, including some shows still from the end of 2016. George Condo is showing at the esteemed Museum Berggruen, home of the collection bequeathed to Berlin by the fabled collector-dealer, Heinz Berggruen. Condo mixes his psycho-analysis of modernism directly with Picasso, Paul Klee and Cézanne. He is the master’s apprentice and understands the lessons of Cubism better than anyone alive and the depth and vitality of this knowledge is on full display here. Sprüth Magers has long represented the US minimalist, Robert Morris. Famous for his soft felt sculptures, the new show concentrates on his experiments with mirrors and architecture. Also at Sprüth Magers is Kaari Upson, an L.A. based artist who works with video, sculpture and installation. Upson’s show looks at the relationship with her mother, specifically with how life in suburban America is defined by the major discounter hypermarkets, in this case Costco. At once funny, alienating, poignant and delicate, this is not so much about consumerism and its products but about the product of the products: us.
[scroll down for Elmgreen & Dragset-curated "The Others" and also Micol Assaël "Stone Broken Circuit"at König Galerie and Olafur Eliasson at neugeriemschneider and Lawrence Carroll "Under the Blue" at Buchmann Galerie]
George Condo “Confrontation” at Museum Bergruen
Robert Morris “Refractions” at Sprüth Magers
Kaari Upson “MMDP” at Sprüth Magers
“The Others” at König Galerie
Curated by Elmgreen & Dragset, who later this year will also curate the 15th Istanbul Biennial (16 September and 12 November), the show plays on catholic tropes (Johann König’s gallery is in the former St.Agnes church) and features works by Tacita Dean (in the gallery bell tower), Pepe Espliú, Martin Kippenberger, a whimsical stick figure by Kris Martin, Ron Mueck, Aidan Salakhova, Andres Serrano (of course), Santiago Sierra, Young-Jun Tak, Nasan Tur and Mark Wallinger as well as the curators.
Olafur Eliasson “The Presence of Absence” at neugeriemschneider
I am not a fan of Eliasson’s grand-designs. I prefer his smaller work with a more human scale. His current show is a perfect example of why the smaller work is so appealing. Firstly there are two classic metric cubes of modernism but hollowed out into caves, negative space created by a piece of arctic ice melting away, recalling earlier work, notably “Ice Watch“, a large piece of glacier ice left on Place Panthéon during COP 21, the UN Conference on Climate Change in December 2015. Adding contrast is “Late Light” 2016, an artificial beam of sunlight projected through a barred window, that casts a shadow on the wall – best seen not by daylight but in the gloom.
Micol Assaël “Stone Broken Circuit” at König Galerie
The installation is a game, an experiment, a time-waster and a spatial joke (and better than the Elmgreen & Dragset-curated show upstairs). Take your time. The only thing wrong with it is that it would be
good great if visitors could actually play with it themselves.
Lawrence Carroll “Under the Blue” at Buchmann Galerie
Lawrence Carrol (b. 1954) is an American painter who lives in Los Angeles and who has had a long relationship with Germany (he showed at Kssel in 1992). His works appear well-used and etiolated, relying subtly on light-play to transform their simple surfaces into poetic pauses. In this exhibition Carroll works in response to newspaper information, with various newsprint sheets over-layered with paint and includes the latest in the series of visual “newspaper” catalogues designed by the artist – free for anyone to take. Buchmann Galerie is showing “Under the Blue” at their Berlin gallery and “I want to go home” from February 18 at their gallery in Lugano, Switzerland. The gallery will be present at Art Basel Hong Kong.