Modern Painters | September 2016 - Reviews in Brief (Berlin)
Jeremy Shaw | Konig Galerie // June 4–July 10 2016
Transcendental experiences play an important part in Shaw’s practice. Here, he shows kitschy pictures of religious motifs behind kaleidoscopic glass. The glass creates the same effect on each image, vignetting a single detail and distorting the rest. But in most of the pictures, this effect doesn’t serve an obvious or cohesive purpose— save Towards Universal Patter Recognition (Baptism Bayfront Center), in which an open mouth adds an element of terror in the repetition of the glass.
Michael Rakowitz | Barbara Wien // April 29–August 20 2016
Rakowitz conjures the void that was left by the looting of Baghdad’s National Museum of Iraq in 2003—not only in the museum itself, but also in the history of humanity. Since 2007, he has been “recovering” the missing artifacts via almost absurd-looking papier-mâché facsimiles, made of endless layers of Maggi bouillon packaging, Arabic newspapers, and candy wrappers. The loss can’t be undone, but by exhibiting and selling the transformed artifacts, Rakowitz inserts powerful reminders of the absence of the original into museums and private collections.
Petra Cortright | Societe // April 29–June 25 2016
Cortright plays with archetypes of art, her ornate flowers and landscapes rendered digitally in hundreds of layers of vibrant colors. The colors, shapes, and textures in these rambunctious paintings can seem like a happy accident. Two additional webcam videos are a collaboration with fashion designer Stella McCartney. It reads a bit like product placement, but the clothes hold equal importance to Cortright’s use of webcam video effects, the artist continuing to bathe in her surreal, girlish landscape of beauty.
Published in Modern Painters #September 2016