Hi there!

We are now over the worst of the January blues and are ready to accept that our New Year’s resolutions never were going to be more than bitter regret for signing up for a full year’s gym membership. We’ve also hand-picked five of the best shows on the planet this month just for you, you lucky people. Though don’t take our word for it. Go and check them out for yourself!

Best wishes from Berlin
The Exhibitionary Team


1. Wong Ping at Kunsthalle Basel

Wong Ping – Golden Shower (installation view). Courtesy Kunsthalle Basel, photo: Philipp Hänger
Golden Shower – No, fortunately nothing to do with Donald Trump. It’s the title of Wong Ping’s first institutional solo show at Kunsthalle Basel. The somewhat phallocentric exhibition presents the playful and colorful aesthetics of Ping’s video work in a retrospective, alongside new installation pieces. The show exists somewhere between dry humor and straight up creepiness. This serves Ping’s preferred label of ‘comedian’ well, chosen because he is unsure how to define the term ‘artist.’ At first glance, you find yourself thinking of a children’s book brought to life, but on closer inspection, you probably won’t be telling your kids this one come bedtime. Lucky cats waving their dildo arms and around 2,400 golden chattering mouths lined up on the walls are among works that complete Ping’s videos. Ping’s work has a cartoon style but deals with very real topics inspired by his hometown, Hong-Kong. From sex work to police abuse, Ping’s detached depiction offers an original outlook on contemporary society. And did we mention the gigantic phallic sculpture named Boner (2019), with attached screens showing a selection of three works with the overtly evocative titles Slow Sex (2013), Doggy Love (2015) and Who’s the Daddy (2017)? “Golden Shower” is definitely the hottest tip of this list, and fully deserves the hype it’s been getting!

Kunsthalle Basel, Steinenberg 7, 4051 Basel

2. Morag Keil at ICA London
Morag Keil – Moarg Kiel (installation view). Courtesy ICA London, photo: Mark Blower
Morag Keil went for the playful, typo-friendly title “Moarg Kiel” for her first major solo show in the UK. Taking place at ICA London, it is of a retrospective of Keil’s career over the last eight years. What we find is an extensive critique of mass data capitalization, the influence of digital technologies on our society and diverse social media advertisement techniques. Drawing from the boundaries separating off and online worlds, the exhibition articulates itself around four central installations interconnected with smaller and lesser-known works. Dizzy (2019) will attract any Londoner’s attention as it showcases original Underground seats alongside a papier-mâché house, highlighting the ever-expanding margin between private and public spheres. “Moarg Kiel” delves deeper still, into video works such as Passive Aggressive (2016 - Present) or a sound installation overlapping the whole exhibition. Shopping (2011/2019) creates a dystopian background score with a soundtrack of mixed advert announcements and roller coaster noises straight from a neo-liberal theme park, throwing the viewer into a constant state of disorientation. We think that the distance and the outlook that Keil takes on the post-internet world we now live in is particularly interesting: Boundaries are becoming blurred, data farming is reaching all-time highs, and we are arguably over connected. Yet “Moarg Kiel” is IRL only until the 14th of April 2019, so don’t miss out!

ICA | Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

3. Sharon Lockhart at neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Sharon Lockhart – Movements and Variations (installation view). Courtesy neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Ikebana is a Japanese tradition which literally translates into “make flowers alive,” in “Movements and Variations,” the ninth solo show by Sharon Lockhart at neugerriemschneider, the artist presents a most interesting take on the ancestral tradition. Replacing the flowers for branches that were gathered in the far reaches of California’s Sierra Nevada and then cast into unique bronzes, crystallizing every detail. This approach might bring back to mind Lockhart’s previous attachment with the NO-No Ikebana movement, taking a more radical and austere path, replacing flowers by rougher natural elements such as crops. Those sculptures are complimented entirely by the photographs of the very same works being manipulated in different positions by the amazing Sichong Xie, an artist working through a multitude of mediums and with whom Lockhart worked on this project. The collaboration reinforces the strength of the exhibition in a way that seems accurate for what is very much needed right now in the art world, empowerment and shaking up existing structures. “Movements and Variations” is a retreat from the bustling streets of Mitte’s gallery district. The show works as a transcending place for the viewer, almost comparable to a holistic experience. Between serenity and action, the exhibition offers an intimist approach of Lockhart’s practice and should not be missed if you are in Berlin this month.

neugerriemschneider, Linienstrasse 155, 10115 Berlin

4. Adam McEwen at Lever House, New York
Adam McEwen – 10, feels like 2 (installation view). Courtesy Lever House Art Collection and Petzel Gallery, photo: Jesse David Harris
Adam McEwen’s solo show at the Lever House is a work of art in itself. It’s a moment frozen in time – taken from the title “10, feels like 2.” The floor of the exhibition was custom made to cover the original marble and now gives the impression of a thin layer of ice. The whole show was produced as a site-specific installation and features iconic objects of Americana. McEwen has all the required talent to transform banal objects into discursive topics, making every day that bit more exciting and addressing the viewer through their own relationship with the represented items. A BBQ hood, an empty bank vault, a pickaxe or a telephone booth are the graphite sculptures that one can recognize, not unlike the conceptual work of Joseph Kosuth. McEwen presents, in his own words “three-dimensional drawings of the idea of a thing.” He succeeds in creating a tension between two antagonists, mystery and banality. “10, feels like 2” offers a privileged dive into McEwen’s artistic process and we definitely recommend this as a valuable insider tip. Last but not least the show takes place in an exceptional location, the lobby of Lever House, a modernist office building at Park Avenue opposite the Mies van der Rohe's landmark the Seagram Building. So now you know what to do in New York before the 30th of May!

Lever House, 390 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022

5. Petra Cortright at 1301PE, Los Angeles
Petra Cortright – Lucky Duck Lights Out (exhibition view). Courtesy 1301PE, Los Angeles, photo: Marten Elder
The enigmatic title “Lucky Duck Lights Out” marks the second solo show by Petra Cortright at 1301PE. Visitors can discover an exclusive new series of the artist’s trademark digital paintings. Except that this time around, they have a very organic origin of Cortright’s own garden. The starting point is in fact dahlias that the artist photographed in her garden and then retouched with her custom Photoshop brushes. We have come all the way back round from when Cortright’s was using the world wide web’s gigantic database to source images to stepping out of the front door and snapping a picture. The series has all the brilliant colors, explosive aspects, and details that the discerning viewer will recognize as Cortright’s own. Whether produced on aluminum, linen or rag paper, the works have in all regards the intriguing aesthetics of a floral still life paired with the incomparable frenzy that Cortright brings to her unconventional canvases. We were pretty reassured that the works still find a way to celebrate their digital origins, the roots of her outstanding artistic genius. We highly recommend this eerie yet uplifting experience to anyone in L.A. The show is on until the 9th of March, so be quick and get lifted!

1301PE, 6150 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Copyright © 2019 Exhibitionary UG, All rights reserved.

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