Artforum

Review: Viktor Pivovarov, “The Snail’s Trail”

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow. Despite the suffocating grip on culture imposed by the Soviet state, a rich literary scene continued to thrive underground. This fecundity was the starting point for artists such as Viktor Pivovarov, whose long-awaited retrospective “The Snail’s Trail” includes paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and installations. Pivovarov was a founding […]

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Artforum

Review: Erwin Wurm, “Bei Mutti”

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin. Erwin Wurm has a knack for finding eureka moments in the most mundane circumstances. Domestic objects as activated by everyday people define his current exhibition, bringing together three bodies of work ranging from the early 1990s—including printed instructions on paper outlining fattening recipes—to the present, with oversize bronze and polyester sculptures that […]

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Artforum

Scene & Herd: Art Cologne, “50 Shades of Great”

“ARE YOU HERE to buy a car?” asked a dapper Frenchman waiting in line last Wednesday for the fiftieth anniversary of Art Cologne. He was referring to Stuart Ringholt’s compact automobiles bearing cynical license plates like CURATOR or ART CRITIC parked at the entrance to the shiny Koelnmesse. There was a time when such “critical” […]

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Artforum

Review: Bunny Rogers, “Columbine Cafeteria”

Société, Berlin. The number of school shootings in the US continues to rise unfettered. Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Columbine High—sites of the most fatal of these killings over the last two decades—are emblazoned across the collective American consciousness. For every generation, another trauma tops the list. As a young child, Bunny Rogers was deeply […]

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Artforum

Review: Laura Lamiel, “L’Utopie Préserve Du Cynisme”

Silberkuppe, Berlin. Laura Lamiel’s variety of Minimalism is one of intimacy. With her sculptures and installations, she reduces structural forms to elemental traces. Figure, 2013, is a room framed by three sterile, white, enameled steel walls assembled in the center of the gallery’s first room and simply held in place by a scattering of C-clamps. […]

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Artforum

Review: Karl Haendel, “Unwinding Unboxing, Unbeding Uncocking”

Wentrup Gallery, Berlin. Karl Haendel’s exhibition posits the practice of yoga as an alternative to accelerationism. Citing the anxiety around self-optimization, Haendel presents lifestyle- and body-enhancement products marketed to reinforce the need for self-betterment to question the ways these objects aid or inhibit our sense of self-worth and identity. A maze of built-in walls—each painted […]

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Artforum

Review: Melike Kara, “In Your Presence”

Peres Projects, Berlin. Painting is a lonely activity—no two ways about it. But if the canvas could talk, would you want it to be your friend? Cologne-based painter and sculptor Melike Kara fills this gallery with coquettish figure drawings of gender-fluid imaginary friends, toying with the implicit sexuality of nature and human communication for her […]

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Artforum

Review: Cooper Jacoby, “Stagnants”

Mathew, Berlin. Raising the floor of the gallery with a platform of industrial steel grates—the kind avoided on urban streets for fear of falling into seedy underground tunnels—Cooper Jacoby sets his viewers up for a disorienting and portentous encounter with his sculpture series “Stagnants” (all works 2016). Four fiberglass sculptures cast from sections of decaying […]

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Artforum

Review: Marco Poloni, “Codename: Osvaldo. Two Case Studies”

Campagne Première, Berlin. Lest we forget, Marco Poloni demonstrates that global networks existed far before the Internet. The artist visualizes a sordid tale of murder among 1960s and ’70s radicals, in his current exhibition linking key political figures from Germany, Italy, and Bolivia. A potted prickly-pear cactus inscribed with the word “COIDADU,” Sardinian for “attention,” […]

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Artforum

Review: Lucy McKenzie, “Inspired by an Atlas of Leprosy”

Galerie Buchholz, Berlin. What happens when a little girl grows up and realizes that the world around her is a rotting illusion? In a biting critique of the creative upper class, Lucy McKenzie has converted the upstairs rooms of this gallery into the live-work quarters of an anonymous entrepreneurial woman. Each room, including a maid’s […]

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