gallery weekend preview

Niels Borch Jensen
Douglas Gordon
An April 12, 1999 solar eclipse serves as a visual framework and title for Scottish artist Douglas Gordon's exhibition at Niels Borch Jensen. Gordon has culled images from a variety of news sources in the day following the astronomical anomaly and has used these reproduced photographs in his 10 wall hanging works. The journalistic origins are apparent in the prints with newsprint text and titles that sit alongside the images. These slightly modified perspectives underscore a shifting perception of a singular event. The images themselves have been reduced to a light and dark binary, and Gordon has installed within the exhibition space objects and sound that further illustrate an ongoing battle between Good and Evil—a dichotomy that the eclipse has become a celestial metaphor for.

Buchmann Galerie
Zaha Hadid
April 27-June 23
Renowned for her architectural vision, Zaha Hadid is a powerhouse of modernist designs. Hadid's drawings and paintings have remained consistent explorations into her personal vision. These works, which utilise automotive paint and ink, represent cropped details or all encompassing bird's eye views of her architectural plans. The wash of synthetic color that tints Hadid's works divorces the depictions from the soon-to-be constructed realities allowing them to stand on their own as a visual entity.

Carlier Gebauer
Paul Graham
The Present
April 27-May 28
Although “The Present” consists of 20 large format colour photographs from the streets of New York City, the work of Paul Graham is far more than reportage. Grouped into diptychs and triptychs, the paired images only differentiate slightly. When viewed in conjunction with one another these somewhat similar moments mimic our own way of seeing and piecing together the visual world. Refusing the photographic cliche of "the decisive moment," Graham expands photography into a non-static experience. Breaking down the heroic notion that street photography is a singular authority, Graham allows the time-based humanity of street life to shine through.

Galerie Crone - Warhol
Adrien Missika - The Sun Is Late
Warhol / Arp - Drawings and Sculptures
April 28-June 16
The ground floor exhibition space of Galerie Crone presents 1950s Andy Warhol drawings side by side with the sculptures of French artist Hans Arp. Arp's oeuvre is categorized by its amorphous volumes that allude overt representation. This combination of works, seen for the first time at Galerie Crone, emphasizes and juxtaposes line and shape between two and three-dimensional executions. The second story space showcases the work of multi media artist Adrien Missika. Missika uses photographic images to explore popular culture and photography's art history in a practice that skirts the line between fiction and reality. This new body of work includes video, installation and sculpture.

Konrad Fischer Galerie
Richard Long
Flint Cross
April 27 - June 16
One of the originators of Land Art, Richard Long creates poetically minimal works that document his interaction with nature. The various approaches of archiving the ephemeral experience of wandering through the English countryside is both documented and symbolically brought into the gallery space. “Flint Cross” presents a Flintstone sculpture, a symmetrically perfect collection of stone that reads as an idealized embodiment of our natural world. This piece is paired with photographs that depict slightly altered landscapes that serve as evidence of the Long's hand in nature. Conversely, the framed text describe a factual interaction with the land based on distance and, together with the photographs, lead the viewer into a fictional space where time and the duration of Long’s work becomes evident.

Meyer Riegger
Armin Boehm
March 23 - May 19
Berlin based Armin Boehm's paintings are an exploration into urban and natural environments. Swatches of various materials (paint, fabric and paper) are used to create a collaged two-dimensional surface that fragments both spatial and figurative representation. Boehm's technique of adding and subtracting information through the process of over-painting leads to darkly toned and increasingly ambiguous subject matter in his work, and the new direction of increasingly incorporating geometric shapes into his oeuvre only furthers conflates subject with background.

Galerie Nordenhake
und Erich mittendrin
April 27-June 23
German artist Meuser's practice is most noted for its industrial aesthetic. Flatly opaque painted steel structuress are presented freestanding in the gallery space or hung directly onto the wall, blurring the line between sculpture, installation and painting. Often focusing on surface quality and materiality of the object, any minimalist tendencies Meuser exhibits are only contradicted by the artist's complex and humorous titles.

Galerija Gregos Podnar
Alexander Gutke
April 28 - June 16
In an exploration of analog modes of technology, artist Alexander Gutke's ouvre is a self-reflexive analysis of the film process. Gutke’s films and slide installations are process-based investigations depicting the mechanic and chemical means by which they are produced. However, this review of the medium is inauthentic. Gutke's works have a controlled digital forethought in their execution, and as a result, when viewing, one becomes aware of possible inauthenticity and illusion.

Aurel Scheibler
Leon Golub "Knife to heart - Modernism is Kaputt"
David Schutter "Studies for an execution"
Michael Wutz "The Heavy Spring Rains of 1769, pawtuxed"
April 28 – June 23
For the late Leon Golub, the emotional landscape of violence is one of extremes. For the artist's paintings and works on paper, pigment is applied and etched away with butcher axes to evoke an aggressive tactile relationship that depicts both war and lust.

David Schutter has used Edouard Manet's Study for the Execution of Emperor Maximilian as a subject for his own study of painting. Having "re-made" several variations of the same painting, Schutter's exercise is more an exploration of perception than an homage to Manet.

Michael Wutz's body of work depicts complex dystopian landscapes. Violent symbols with fields of flowers have linked the dark with the gentle to create narratives that elude simple readings.

Galerie Thomas Schulte
Victor Burgin - Three decades
Alfredo Jaar
April 28-June 23rd
This Victor Burgin retrospective spans 30 years of the British artist’s exploration into photographic studies. Having been heavily influenced by philosophical theorists, among the likes of Freud to Marx, these black and white prints and video pieces often utilize sequence and text to illustrate Burgin's conceptual postulations.

Jaar’s succinct neon lettering that reads "Kultur = Kapital " pays homage to Beuys' theory of art as having an intrinsic social value, while additionally giving credit to a larger notion of a city's cultural currency. Situated in Thomas Schulte's prominent glass corner space, this statement is projected out into the street and becomes part of a larger urban dialogue.

Galerie Barbara Thumm
Jota Castro
Austerity Über Alles
April 28 - May 26
Perhaps one the most political shows during Gallery Weekend, French-Peruvian diplomat turned artist, Jota Castro appropriates everyday objects and loaded cultural signifiers into his solo show at Galerie Barbara Thumm. These three dimensional pieces speak to the current economic state and financial crisis in the European Union. With titles like Shengen and Love your Enemies, Castro wears his political agenda on his sleeve. Ranging from an immovable turnstile to a badly torn European flag, these subversive objects appropriately call into question both the financial and social well being of contemporary Europe.

VW (Veneklasen/Werner)
Michael Williams
This means something to my horse
April 27-|June 30
In these large-scale paintings, airbrushed line drawings and geometric patterns coalesce with thickly applied pigments and glazes. This diverse textured surface gives literal and conceptual depth to the light hearted and colourful works of artist Michael Williams. While these works flirt with the figurative, they are far from literal. Their doodle-esque appearance possesses a consciousness that is rooted much more in emotional cognition than factual representation.

Zak Branicka
Joanna Rojkowska
Born in Berlin A Letter to Rosa
April 17 - June 16
In an act of asserting a certain pre-ordained significance to the birthplace of her child, Polish artist Joanna Rojkowska chose Berlin as the biological hometown of her daughter Rose. It was after Rosa Luxumberg, the famous female political activist, and the artist's maternal great-grandmother Roza Stern, for whom she named her child, steeping her in a historical lineage. In this exhibition of over 100 drawings and collages, a form of maternal dialogue between artist and daughter begins to emerge. Rojkowska weaves the history of Berlin with her child's new consciousness in a symbolic union of past, present and future. “Born in Berlin” is a two-pronged project. The second half of the work is a film of the same title (which was produced for the 7th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art) and will be screened at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

[Image: Detail of Prototype for the O Hotel at Turks and Caicos, 2006; acrylic, indian ink onto gelatine and chrome-polyester. Varnished with UV resistance, polymer; courtesy of Buchmann Galerie]