Magazine article Artforum International

Sabine Hornig. (Reviews)

Magazine article Artforum International

Sabine Hornig. (Reviews)

Article excerpt

TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY

In Germany modernism arguably found its fullest expression in architecture. In a land without a Picasso or a Matisse, a Malevich or a Rodchenko, it was figures like Mies and Gropius who supplied the Teutonic part in the great avant-garde fugue of the twentieth century. This may be one reason that contemporary German artists have consistently trained their cameras (postmodernism's favored tool) on the built environment. Architectural photography has been coming out of Germany steadily for decades now, first from Bernd and Hilla Becher, then from the procession of star graduates from their master class at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf. More recently a lesser-known generation of Germans--including Candida Hofer, Oliver Boberg, and Heidi Specker--has used photography to subvert the social claims of modernist architecture in new ways. In her second New York solo exhibition, Berlin-based artist Sabine Hornig built on these critiques while setting off in a different direction: mixing straight photography with archite ctural sculpture to create a suite of works with complex phenomenological import.

Hornig presented four new pieces here: one large photograph and three sculptures. Like her other recent photographic offerings, Hornig's Window with Door (all works 2002) is a life-size image of a window whose frame is congruent with the edge of the Perspex-mounted print itself. Literalizing the Albertian idea of the picture-as-window, Hornig's photograph looks strikingly like an aperture in the wall. On closer inspection, the highly detailed image yields more nuanced readings. It is full of deliberately disorienting reflections: Are we inside a building looking out or outside looking in? The unexpected absence of the photographer's silhouette among the murky forms adds to the confusion. …

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