The week of June 8 through 14 is loaded with top-tier events and exhibitions in Berlin, with artists such as Michel Francois, Marwan, Eva Lofdahl, Carsten Nicolai and many others headlining. Here is Blouin Artinfo’s list of these must-visit shows:
“Artists Books Edition” at Galerie Max Hetzler
June 8 through July 21, 2018
The exhibition explores the special place that books still hold in the digital age, of documenting, disseminating and exploring art in beautiful and collectible objects. “An artist book can come in many incarnations: it can be a work of art in its own right, a multiple produced in a limited edition, an artist’s take on their work, adding a narrative to individual images, or even a reinterpretation of the book as a medium,” says Galerie Max Hetzler. The exhibition pays tribute to the acclaimed gallerist Yvon Lambert. Lambert opened his Paris gallery in the late 1960s, and since then he has invited artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer, Giuseppe Penone and many others to conceive for his own series of limited edition bibliophile books, the entire range of which will be showcased in this exhibition. These will be presented alongside a selection of artist books created in collaboration between the book designer and publisher Hans Werner Holzwarth and artists such as Christopher Wool, Rebecca Horn and many others.
“Une Heterotopie” by Michel Francois at carlier | gebauer
June 9 through September 15, 2018
Marking his 12th solo with the gallery, the Brussels-based artist Michel Francois (b. 1956) presents his new four-channel video installation and a series of related sculptural works in this exhibition. “Like a game of hide-and-seek, a small reference that appears in one work will be transformed in another, just as the countless catalog envelopes that line labyrinthine rows of metal shelves in one of the channels of Francois’s new video installation appear again in sculptural form as an outsized golden envelope,” the gallery says in a description of the works. The video installations bring together footage shot by the artist in various locations ranging from Rajasthan to Rotterdam, permeating their sounds from one to another. The sculptural works depict quotidian objects such as a deflated soccer ball, a prison door and piles of ashes and debris. With these works, “Francois enacts a series of physical, conceptual, and perceptual displacements to create latent spaces of possibility, like a room within a room that functions as a nexus of material transformation,” the gallery says.
“formula” by Carsten Nicolai at Galerie EIGEN + ART
May 31 through July 7, 2018
The German artist Carsten Nicolai presents a selection of paintings from his ongoing series “formula” in this exhibition, where he manipulates mathematical formulas on gesso-primed canvases. A musician himself, Nicolai takes direct cues from the works of the
composer Iannis Xenakis, whose “music is explained by models of modern mathematics and physics, and creates a zone in which the exploration and application of mathematics, physics, statistics, game theory and randomized processes play an autonomous role in the arrangement and creation of these imagery,” the gallery says. Many of the works on view are also derived from the formulas of mathematicians and astrophysicists such as Carl Friedrich Gauss, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, Joseph Fourier and Jules Antoine Lissajous. Through these works, the artist “refers back to the classical concept of painting, as the process of making these works is very much reminiscent of it,” says the gallery.
Eva Lofdahl's “Respite” at Galerie Nordenhake
June 2 through July 28, 2018
One of Sweden’s most prolific and challenging artists, Eva Lofdahl, marks her debut in Berlin with “Respite,” showcasing her new works. Known for her often indefinable objects and installations, most of theworks on view consist of modified everyday objects such as umbrellas, safety pins, wooden broom heads, as well as a series of works on paper. “The title ‘Respite’ emerged from a collaborative dialogue and suggests a moment in time, an interval, a breathing space, or also a practice of allocating exceptional resources toward recovery,” the gallery says. Creating various shapes with these unique objects, the artist creates an eccentric and vulnerable landscape within the exhibition. “Lofdahl challenges our conventional ways of seeing things with paradoxical metaphors in the form of sculptures, objects, paintings and drawings, and site-specific works,” the gallery says.
Last Chance to See:
Pat Steir at Galerie Thomas Schulte
On view through June 16
The exhibition presents the New York-based painter and printmaker Pat Steir’s third wall drawing at Galerie Thomas Schulte, “Self Portrait”; along with other paintings created since 1987. The artist is known for her specific concept-oriented painting approach that has been compared to that of Jackson Pollock. In her case, she draws on her expertise in Chinese painting traditions. On view are Steir’s large-scale works such as “Dusk,” 2007, and “The Dark,” 2007 — which are examples of her “subtle method-driven practice where she employs the process of paint-dripping to create delicate interwoven curtain-like surface textures,” the gallery says; while works such as “So Long Black, Silver and White,” 2009, and “So Long Black, Red, Yellow and Blue,” 2009, take this approach into her so-called “Split Surface Paintings.” “Self Portrait” is constructed with various facial features taken from Renaissance sample books.
Marwan at Gallery Michael Haas
On view through June 16
This show features a cross-section of paintings by the German-Syrian artist Marwan, whose work is seen as a bridge between European and Middle Eastern traditions. Marwan, who died in 2016, is especially known for his portraits. “With coarse brushstrokes and Impasto paint application of red-brown, ochre, grey and black nuances, he created single or double portraits that come across as flickering landscapes” the gallery says. His practice also reflected elements of German Expressionism as well as Sufi mysticism. On view will be his “Marionettes” series (around 1980).
Also on View:
Kara Walker at SpruethMagers
Through September 8, 2018
The exhibition presents the New York-based multifaceted artist Kara Walker’s 2011 video work “Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale.” The artist is known for her silhouetted wall works, drawings, paintings, prints, illustrations and videos that weave through subjects like slavery in the United States, the evolution of historical narratives and cultural beliefs and contemporary race relations. The featured video in this exhibition is a 17-minute long tale of the "Southern Belle" Miss Pipi, whose tryst with a black slave leads to his abuse, humiliation and death at the hands of white men. The story is presented using the ancient art of shadow puppetry.
Photographs From the Collection of Carla Sozzani at Museum fur Fotografie
June 2 through November 18, 2018
For the past 28 years, Carla Sozzani has shown many photography exhibitions at her Milan gallery, featuring artists such as Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, Sarah Moon, Paolo Roversi, David Bailey, Hiro, and David LaChapelle. The former editor-in-chief of the Italian Elle and Vogue magazines has been collecting photographs for many years and has worked closely with Helmut Newton for several exhibitions. “Between Art & Fashion” at Museum fur Fotografie, “not only presents numerous icons, it also contains plenty of surprises,” the museum says. Photographs on view are not only limited to fashion pictures, but also include experimental photography, portraits, as well as still-lifes. The diverse collection was created over the course of many years, and with its focus on classic black-and-white photography offers a look back into a bygone era. Some of the featured photographers are represented through a single work, while others are represented through several works. “The selection is naturally not about completeness, but authenticity and visualization,” thematically adapted to the specific exhibition venue, the museum says.
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibitions.
Founder Louise Blouin