BY frieze in Exhibition Reviews | 15 SEP 23

The Best Exhibitions to Visit in Europe

From Anri Sala’s marbled explorations of divine time at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris to the first show dedicated to Wanda Czełkowska outside of Poland

BY frieze in Exhibition Reviews | 15 SEP 23

Anri Sala

Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

2 September – 7 October 

Anri Sala, Surface of Air V (Cipollino/Morning), 2023, fresco pinging, intonaco on acrolam, Cipollino marble, 50 × 36 × 5 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; photograph: Jiayun Deng

Anri Sala’s latest exhibition explores the architecture of divine time. The show presents a stratigraphic reimagining of the heavens that draws on the myths humans create about themselves. Fragments of both are here repurposed and reassembled into sublime renditions of non-human temporalities. In two cycles of murals, ‘Surface to Air’ and ‘Legenda Aurea Inversa’ (all works 2023), Sala merges slithers of mother of pearl, marble and volcanic rock with intonaco – plaster bound with pigment while still wet. – Andrew Hodgson

Natascha Sadr Haghighian

Lenbachhaus, Munich

23 May – 8 October

Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Natascha Sadr Haghighian with Zeynab Izadyar, Now that I can hear you my eyes hurt (Tumult), 2023, collage. Courtesy: the artists

 A giant whistle decal plastered above the main entrance to Lenbachaus signals the central motif of Natascha Sadr Haghighian’s exhibition ‘Now that I can hear you my eyes hurt (Tumult)’. Both used by authorities and to warn against them, whistles demand attention yet don’t necessarily require action. In the hallway leading to the show’s main space hangs another red whistle, printed on a textile banner, while the sound of one blowing can be heard echoing from an eight-channel audio installation in the main hall (Tribute to Whistle, 2019).

On the opposite side of the banner, after which the show is titled, is a photo of a man blowing the same whistle alongside fragments of text, including ‘by whistles / stop the foxes … the whistles / of self-organization’. The man is Hassan Numan, an activist from Sudan who died last year and was known for using whistles as a call for solidarity in the fight against deportation from Germany, where he lived. Throughout her practice, Sadr Haghighian – who was born in Iran and now lives in Germany – explores questions of collectivity and community. Here, the sound of the whistle, alongside a selection of other works addressing migration (as well as the surrounding contexts of race, climate change and neo-coloniality), continuously calls the audience to attention while visually signifying, as the exhibition text explains, a ‘tumultuous feat of collective action’. – Emily McDermott

Nathanaëlle Herbelin

Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

25 August – 21 October

Nathanaëlle Herbelin, Elisha, 2022, oil on canvas, 1.8 × 1.1 m. Courtesy: the artist and Xavier Hufkins, Brussels

Nathanaëlle Herbelin’s debut presentation at Xavier Hufkens, ‘Undivided Attention’, comprises a series of paintings of quotidian encounters. As the show’s title implies, the artist dedicates considerable time to creating her works, which often feature herself, other individuals from her private circle or, occasionally, strangers engrossed in daily rituals and routines. For instance, she portrays her partner, Jeremie, reclining in a bathtub (Jeremie au bain, 2023) and herself during pregnancy (Elisha, 2022). Set in unassuming spaces – bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, the artist’s studio – the scenes are painted in muted tones. – Laura Herman 

Isa Genzken

Neue Nationalgalerie

13 July – 27 November

Isa Genzken
Isa Genzken, Spielautomat, 1999–2000, slot machine, paper, chromogenic colour prints, tape, plastic foil, 160 × 65 × 50 cm. Courtesy: Galerie Buchholz and © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Since the early 2000s, I’ve looked to Genzken time and time again: her unique aesthetic and her commitment to her practice are impressive to witness. There is risk and range in her work, which encompasses sculpture, installation, photography and collage. While Genzken has and does discuss her practice beautifully, she doesn’t seem to want to define it. There is a fluidity across her career in her not being definite, not stopping, not explaining – in moving on. There is a conceptual depth to Genzken in her exploration of consumerism, globalization, architecture and identity, and her engagement with socio-political responses. – Phoebe Philo (as told to Marko Gluhaich in issue 237) 

Wanda Czełkowska

Muzeum Susch, Zernez

15 July – 26 November

wanda czelkowska table
Wanda Czełkowska beside her installation Stół (Table, 1968–1971) during 4th Kraków Meetings at the BWA pavilion in Kraków, Poland 1971. Courtesy: Szarota Nowak; photograph: Wacław Nowak.

‘I am a sculptor, not a sculptress,’ artist Wanda Czełkowska told gallerist Ewa Opalka in an unpublished interview conducted between 2014–19. ‘I am beyond male and female. [Being a sculptor is] a form of existence.’ Working largely during the second half of the 20th century in an era dominated by monumental public sculpture designed by men – whether in socialist Poland, where she was based, or in the West – defining herself as an artist living outside of the patriarchy might seem like wishful thinking. Yet, this show, deftly curated by Matylda Taszycka at Muzeum Susch, reveals Czełkowska to be a larger-than-life character who consistently punctured expectations. – Agata Pyzik

Main image: Nathanaëlle Herbelin, Claire et Cécile, 20222023, oil on canvas, 1.3 × 1.40 m. Courtesy: the artist and Xavier Hufkins, Brussels

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