Alexander Forbes
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Alexander Forbes' Berlin Art Brief

Toptermine: Amy Granat, Joel Sternfeld, 80s Painting, and more from the Berlin Art Scene

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“Believers” at KOW
Combining artists within their stable with other complimentary positions KOW curated “Believers” in order to expose the distortions within the very concept of belief, that which we fall down in front of when rational explanation fails. Works by Joseph Beuys, Alice Crischer, Barbara Hammer, Chris Martin, Christoph Schlingensief, Santiago Sierra, and many more, question the deities both named and iconized in objects of our contemporary mythology. Director, Alexander Koch wrote a poignant essay on the topic, which can be read here.

Joel Sternfeld at C|O Berlin
For what very well may be its last exhibition in the legendary Postfuhramt, C|O Berlin presents American photographer, Joel Sternfeld. In partnership with the Museum Folkwant and the European Month of Photography, C|O brings together some of Sternfeld’s most significant series: “American Prospects”, “Sweeth Earth”, and “Stranger Passing” and “On This Site”. Born in 1944, Sternfeld is recognized as one of the pioneers of the color photograph’s acceptance into artistic discourses and is noted for his rather romantic documentation of American landscapes and individuals.

Amy Granat at Galerie KAMM
In “Cowfingers and Mosquitopie” New York based artist Amy Granat shows new abstract photographs and 16mm film portraits. The ten black and white photographic works in this second solo exhibition at Kamm pick up something of previous abstract video works. Created in complete darkness, Granat spills chemicals, and arranges various objects, including fragments of films she has previously destroyed, directly onto the photo paper. However, the three films, at the exhibition’s center move outside of her typically frenzied practice, taking a cheetah and landscape as subjects in meditative portraits.

Malerei der 80er Jahren at Sprüth Magers
Though there is an endless list of reasons to love the 80s: Pac-Man, Madonna, and E.T. among them, one can’t also forget the radical resurgence of painting that the decade brought upon us. Sprüth Magers invited painter and musician Albert Oehlen, known for his seminal role in the 80s Cologne art scene, along to curate a show of his favorite peers and competitors from the decade: Richard Artschwager, Ashley Bickerton, Malcolm Morley, and Andreas Schulze.

“Archetypen” at Reh Kunst
Curated by Clemens Klöckner, “Archetypen: The End of the World as We Know It” brings together works by Henrike Daum, Rohini Devasher, Stef Heihues, Isa Melscheimer, and Katharina Moesinger to converse about the apocalypse, just before the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world will be upon us. The Berlinische Galerie associate curator, who most recently worked on Tue Greenfort’s GASAG prize exhibition, questions our anthropocentric characterization of the world’s end as an absolute, when in fact it would more accurately be simply the end of our species.

[Images: (left) Alice Creischer, o.T., 2007, Cholorierte Fotografien, Holz, Papierstreifen, Beistift, Hantel, Ø 80 cm, Tiefe: 5 cm ; (right) Santiago Sierra, NO (Pope), 2011, C-Print, Diasec, 250 x 180 cm; Courtesy the artists and KOW Berlin]

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