Letter from Berlin – March 26, 2021
This Letter from Berlin is dedicated to our current Art Basel OVR: Pioneers presentation.
After a short essay on the history of the term pioneer, we introduce the works by General Idea, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Ann Veronica Janssens, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala, and Hito Steyerl featured as part of our selection in Art Basel OVR: Pioneers, and present a conversation with Tino Sehgal and Svetlana Marich on the artist's practice.
As part of our series All Access, a video takes you into Sun Rise | Sun Set with Pierre Huyghe's aquarium work at Berlin's Schinkel Pavillon. David Claerbout's solo exhibition opened yesterday at the Garage Museum in Moscow. Karin Sander's sole presentation opens tonight at the Kunsthalle Tübingen. Find the links to attend the digital opening and exhibition tours with the artist below.
Letter from Berlin – February 26, 2021
Welcome to this month's Letter from Berlin which presents two major solo exhibitions, Liam Gillick's just-opened The Work Life Effect at the Gwangju Museum of Art in Korea, and Ryan Gander's Natural and Conventional Signs installed in his impromptu Kunsthalle-like space Solid Haus, part of his studio complex in Suffolk and currently only accessible virtually.
Our dedicated Online Viewing Rooms for Isa Melsheimer and Rosa Barba remain open and our new series Spotlight and All Access highlight works and exhibitions accessible virtually.
Under the title Sun Rise | Sun Set an ambition group exhibition with a multi-layered responses to the fast unfolding eco-catastrophe opens exclusively digitally today at Berlin's Schinkel Pavillon with a major work by Pierre Huyghe.
Rounding up our Letter is a selection of publications, among them a beautiful new catalogue for the 2017-2018 group exhibition Like a Moth to a Flame curated by Liam Gillick, Tom Eccles, and Mark Rappolt. Details can be found below.
Letter from Berlin – January 29, 2021
Welcome to our first Letter from Berlin in 2021!
We begin with a short introduction to the work of Cemile Sahin whose representation the gallery has just announced.
As much of Europe remains on lockdown, we highlight exhibitions and the extensive materials which makes it possible to visit and to engage with these remotely.
Our overview includes Simon Fujiwara at the Blaffer Art Gallery, Ugo Rondinone at SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, AA Bronson and Simon Fujiwara at the Schwules Museum, and our exhibition with Isa Melsheimer.
A charming short video on Philippe Parreno's work Echo at the Museum Modern Art, a recent interview with Esther Schipper, and our book recommendations round up this January edition of the Letter from Berlin.
Read the entire Letter from Berlin here
Letter from Berlin – December 18, 2020
To conclude this extraordinary year, we present a special film screening from Rosa Barba whose representation we just announced.
Take a tour alongside Isa Melsheimer and Jan Kage who met last weekend in the artist's exhibition at the gallery in Berlin for a lively conversation.
We present our first online exhibition with Hito Steyerl and introduce materials from K21's digital guide.
Projects by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Jean-Pascal Flavien have real-life iterations and a strong digital presence: Steegmann Mangrané's work is currently on view in Madrid, Flavien's will be accessible in Hannover in 2021.
And don’t miss the online artists’ conversation on occasion of Jeanne Tremsal’s exhibition with works by Angela Bulloch, Isa Melsheimer and Christopher Roth taking place on Saturday, December 18th.
Letter from Berlin – October 9, 2020
This Letter from Berlin introduces new documentation for Philippe Parreno’s Manifestations and Ugo Rondinone’s nuns + monks. Both exhibitions remain on view through October 17.
This weekend the Lenbachhaus presents Ari Benjamin Meyers' K Club at Blitz Club in Munich. Also in Munich, Gabriel Kuri's exhibition as part of Various Others remains on view at Walter Storms Galerie through October 31. Please find detailed information below.
Letter from Berlin – July 3, 2020
This week we take the exhibition of several major works of Anri Sala’s (at ARoS, in Aarhus, the Kienzle Art Foundation in Berlin, and at the gallery) as occasion to focus on the artist and also screen his Take Over (Marseillaise) as our weekly online film.
As part of Festival! Isa Melsheimer and N.Dash’s exhibition continues through next Thursday. The following weekend, July 11th, Sala’s exhibition with Saâdane Afif will open.
We want to draw your attention to a comprehensive exhibition by Grönlund-Nisunen at the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum and reprint from an interview and an essay on the two Finnish artists.
And beginning July 14th, Simon Fujiwara will exhibit Joanne as part of the 2020 Seoul Photo Festival. Details can be found below.
The weekly Letter from Berlin will break for summer! After a travel issue in late July, we will return with new stories in the fall.
Letter from Berlin – June 26, 2020
This week we continue to focus on new projects and re-opening exhibitions.
On occasion of Isa Melsheimer's exhibition with N.Dash as part of Festival!, we introduce her short video Wasserballett für Marl and reprint from her interview with Collectors Agenda. Isa Melsheimer's solo exhibition at the KINDL closes next weekend, on July 5th.
We want to draw your attention to an exhibition with Karin Sander opening this weekend, present recent interviews with Gabriel Kuri, and also take a closer look at the artists' works in our exhibition PS81E.
Letter from Berlin – June 19, 2020
This week we continue to focus on new projects and re-opening exhibitions.
On occasion of Angela Bulloch’s exhibition with Gerwald Rockenschaub Festival!, we introduce her collaboration with David Grubbs The Wired Salutation with an excerpt from Grubbs essay.
This coming Sunday, June 21, the gallery will be open as part of SUNDAY OPEN, as we also continue participating in the now extended Basel by Berlin.
Please visit our new Online Viewing Room for PS81E and the presentation of our Art Basel Online Viewing Room.
We want to draw your attention to exhibitions with Simon Fujiwara and Roman Ondak opening next week in Bonn and Aalborg, respectively, and also take a closer look at their works in our exhibition PS81E.
Letter From Berlin – June 5, 2020
This week we take the film screening Christoph Keller’s 3 Self-Experiments as occasion to present an essay on his practice which focuses on the way in which knowledge is gathered and organized across disciplines.
Letter from Berlin – May 29, 2020
This week we focus on the work of AA Bronson and General Idea in this Letter from Berlin. There is much to discover: a film, God is My Gigolo, two recent interviews the artist gave on the parallels of the health crises regarding AIDS and COVID19, past exhibitions, his ongoing project A Public Apology to Siksika Nation, presented in an excerpted essay by Ben Miller, and notes on the recurring motif of the poodle in General Idea’s oeuvre.
Another highlight is AA Bronson’s powerful text I Love Berlin!
The weekly film screening features General Idea’s God is my Gigolo from 1969-70. (Please note these weekly viewing links are temporary: The film is available to view only through Sunday night, Berlin time.)
We also want to draw your attention to the opening of Karin Sander’s major solo exhibition at the Museion in Bolzano and to the online screening by the Berlin-based project space Scharaun of films by Anri Sala premiering today.
Letter from Berlin – May 22, 2020
This week we take the launch of our Ari Benjamin Meyers Online Viewing Room as occasion to loosely focus on music in this Letter from Berlin.
We introduce Meyers’ with a film streaming of his 2018 Four Liverpool Musicians and a text by Alexander Abdelilah. You can also find Meyers recent talk with Michael Langer in German public radio linked. (Please note these weekly viewing links are temporary: The film is available to view only through Sunday night, Berlin time.)
In a recent conversation with the Vienna-based curator Alexandra Grimmer, Liu Ye spoke about listening to music in his studio.
Ryan Gander has practiced his DJ-ing skills. See, and listen to, his broadcast, recorded on his birthday.
Letter from Berlin – May 16, 2020
This week we continue our film streaming with Tao Hui’s Mongolism from 2010. (Please note these weekly viewing links are temporary: The film is available to view only through Sunday night, Berlin time.)
As Spring turns into Summer, in this Letter from Berlin Isabelle Moffat presents two outdoor projects: Martin Boyce’s 2019 commission at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute and Pierre Huyghe’s La Saison des Fêtes from 2010, including an exclusive screening of Huyghe's film on his Documenta project, A Way in Untilled!
In four short videos, Isa Melsheimer speaks about her transformative experience on the coast of Newfoundland.
This week’s theme was loosely inspired by Para Site’s large-scale group exhibition entitled Garden of Six Seasons that includes Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s work Gloria. More information below.
Letter from Berlin – May 7, 2020
This week we continue our weekly film streaming with David Claerbout’s Die Reine Notwendigkeit / The Pure Necessity and also highlight the artist’s recent interviews and lectures. The film is available to view through Sunday night, Berlin time.
This Letter from Berlin introduces three recent projects across magazines and the internet: Thomas Demand’s covers for the Italian architecture magazine Domus, Anri Sala’s contribution to M, the magazine of Le Monde, and the enthusiastically received "polite hack" of the website of this year’s Copenhagen Architecture Festival.
We also want to draw your attention to an online screening of a work by Hito Steyerl, the Guggenheim Museum’s offer of virtual backgrounds and our new German language Online Viewing Room for Angela Bulloch.
Letter from Berlin – April 30,2020
This week we focus on film in our Letter from Berlin. As this is a holiday weekend in Germany, we have assembled a program that adopts the format of a magazine. We hope you enjoy browsing its sections. The films are available to stream through Sunday night, Berlin time.
In a postscript to last week’s book-themed edition, Etienne Chambaud introduces another format of films on books: the film on a book about a film.
Letter from Berlin – April 24, 2020
The gallery has re-opened and we have extended Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s exhibition Fog Dog. We look forward to welcoming you at the gallery again soon!
This week everything turns around books in our Letter from Berlin. Our bookstore, opened in 2018 with an overview of the publications of General Idea and AA Bronson, has seen a number of very special artist projects and has also become a site for readings and book launches. As its function as meeting place is on hold for now, we highlight past projects and focus on our artists’ relationship to books.
Matti Braun presents a virtual reading, in image and sound. Our Head of Content Isabelle Moffat takes his video as starting point to write about a new type of looking at books. And Gabriel Kurispeaks about his particular fondness for the conception and design of his own books and catalogues.
We present a number of outstanding recent publications and end with the round-up of this week’s social media contributions from our artists.
Letter from Berlin – April 17, 2020
First off, we are very happy to announce that we plan to open our exhibition space middle of next week - pending the clarification of local governmental regulations.
This week’s letter focuses on new additions and long collaborations: we introduce Etienne Chambaud whose representation was announced this week and highlight Angela Bulloch’s thirty-year history with the gallery. Below you find excerpts from her interview with Suzanne Cotter and from an essay by Alexander Provan, as well as a dedicated Online Viewing Room detailing her exhibitions with Esther Schipper since 1989.
We continue our collaboration with Zapp Magazine which is making available rare footage from the landmark group exhibition in which Angela Bulloch and many more of the gallery's artists participated: Traffic, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud at the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux in 1996.
The theme continues as we present Jac Leirner’s recent work and Ugo Rondinone’s 2013 gallery exhibition from our social media posts.
This week we have two recommendations: Don’t miss Liam Gillick’s conversation with Peter Saville on occasion of the Manchester International Festival’s streaming of ∑(No,12K,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So It Goes..
And on Sunday Ari Benjamin Meyers is featured on German Public Radio.
Letter from Berlin – April 9, 2020
This week we are inaugurating several new features on our website.
Continuity, our new digital platform, features a variety of news, messages and online stories by our artists and the gallery staff. It also hosts our weekly e-mailing, Letter from Berlin.
We have added Selected Works section to each artist’s page on our website. It gives an overview of major works, spanning throughout the entire careers of the represented artists.
A separate section integrates of all historical exhibitions at Johnen Galerie since 2004. In the course of last year’s thirtieth anniversary of the gallery’s founding in Cologne in 1989, extensive archive material was published on the gallery’s website. The online-accessible exhibition history documents over 230 internal gallery and countless external institutional exhibitions.
Letter from Berlin – April 3, 2020
"A few years ago, I gave Nathan Carter a short text I had written on his work. He was visiting Berlin for the opening of the gallery’s new space and I was updating his profile. In response he gave me a list that I took as a kind of manifesto. Similar perhaps to the famous Pop Art list by the Independent Group, it is a mission statement, and as he recently noted,
“It was a defiant list of all the things that I as an artist will play with when I make art. The use of the word “play” means to experiment, touch, examine, alter and use in a fluid active way. The list is a license to be an artist and to make work about all of those things. Consequences n’all.” From abstraction to violence via bad weather, dancing, espionage, excitement, fear, love, pain, punk rock, shame, tequila & guacamole bar, among others—it’s all there.
I came across that list three weeks ago when I was preparing to work from home, and, on a whim, took it with me. It seemed like a good antidote to impending isolation.
The short video Carter sent last week, a behind-the-scenes view of his studio where he is currently working on a new film entitled LA GNARLIES, has a similar exuberance, a defiance of darkness."
Letter from Berlin – March 27, 2020
Isa Melsheimer’s works are quite fun to unpack: clusters of far-reaching associations--personal, literary, historical, philosophical, architectural—are massed into their intense materiality, as unexpected details pop out and demand an immediate response which can include curiosity, disbelief, laughter—and even a bit anxiety when the works are colossal mountains made of shards of glass.
This is why my virtual visit will focus on a few works: heaping the detailed references onto each of them undermines the artist’s light touch, the playful arrangement she has created at the KINDL. The references—which building is cited and why—and, many more views and close-ups of details can be found in our dedicated Online Viewing Room.
Letter from Berlin – March 20, 2020
By now a tenuous routine begins to set in and many of us may very well begin to miss our outings into the world of art and ideas. To give respite to the unsettling onslaught of coronavirus news we want to visit exhibitions with you. If you cannot come in person, we will accompany you on virtual tours. In the Letter from Berlin we will bring you stories about exhibitions, our artists, about works that have touched us, hidden gems and all-time favourites of our team.
For our first Letter From Berlin, our Head of Content Isabelle Moffat takes you into Fog Dog, Daniel Steegmann's exhibition at the gallery. Leah Turner, Director and Artist Liaison remembers her experiences at Art Basel Hong Kong, and we watch the wildly popular K-Pop band BTS disappear in Ann Veronica Janssens' fog room, Green Yellow and Pink, currently installed in Seoul as part of the Connect, BTS project.