Reviews In Brief: Berlin

Various Locations, Berlin.

Steve Reinke
Isabella Bortolozzi // March 15–April 9

With his postcard-size needlepoint works and found Polaroids of masturbating men, Reinke revisits the parallels between an artist’s “creative act” and la petite mort (“the little death”), or the moment of orgasm. Themes of self-exposure continue in two films that mix archival footage with video diaries and poetic or psychoanalytic voice-over. They screen in a room lined with drippy ink inscriptions on paper (“Semen is the piss of dreams,” “Aspergery Sphinx”), while in another back room, a selection of older films, characteristic of Reinke’s self-effacing style, lightens the load.

Adriana Lara
Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler // February 27–April 9

For “The Interesting Theory Club,” Lara has created a “meeting room” arranged with frumpy leather couches and a fake window. Viennese porcelain plates and ashtrays sit on cardstock boxes that are scattered among Moroccan rugs lying on the ground, while a Formica counter- top and the pages from children’s coloring books of Aztec icons are mounted on the walls. Lara crowdsources anonymous “theories” and translates them into graphic permutations of abstract shapes, which are printed on or embedded in the objects she produces—a literal visualization of thought with form, left open to hypothetical debate.

Pavel Pepperstein
Kewenig // January 23–April 16

In his paintings, Pepperstein takes abstract forms developed by the Suprematists for an intergalactic ride, combined here with the sculpture The Flying Ammonite, 2015, a yellow seashell hoisted high on stilts, and a room of illustrations on paper of fantastical characters and animals. With a childlike curiosity, Pepperstein imagines black holes as monuments to Stephen Hawking, the color yellow, a giant DNA spiral, and the journeys of astronauts or immortal humans encased in crystals who inhabit a parallel universe the future will ordain.

—ARIELLE BIER

First published in Modern Painters, June/July 2016: Print.
Link to PDF

 

arielle bier