Nicole Rodríguez Woods

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Where Is the Beach? Is It Under the Paving Stones?   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Nicky Broekhuysen, Joseph Griffiths at Centrum July 22nd, 2016 - August 14th, 2016
Posted 8/16/16
The very notion is deeply romantic. A location of perfect tension, where the weather is honest and the sounds are cyclical. The Beach is that point in space where time and energy laps onto a surface, reworking it; constructing and deconstructing; giving and taking away. No less romantic is the notion that a “beach” surrounds us all under the tiles, asphalt, and paving stones of the city, beneath the constructs of our society. That it is always there, ever present, pushing up against the... [more]
The boisterous commotion of a packed opening dimmed to a murmur as the door to the back office slid closed, leaving Cecily Brown and me a brief escape from her current Berlin solo exhibition at Contemporary Fine Arts. Both jetlagged, having departed JFK only 24 hours earlier, we were grateful for the momentary calm. Often pigeonholed as what the artist herself facetiously refers to as some type of “fifth generation Abstract Expressionist,” London-born New York-based painter Cecily Brown’s... [more]
Independent project spaces have an inherently tenuous nature. But don’t misinterpret that as an inadequacy. Often working within more confines than their established gallery and institutional counterparts, project spaces leverage their upstart spirit by converting restricted budget, resources, and square meters into an enticing enthusiasm that yields lively results. Project Space Festival is proof positive of this resourcefulness. Recently, it’s hit its stride in maximizing the potential of... [more]
New York City and San Francisco guides too.  Berlin expresses its art scene in many different forms. Different spaces, missions, and structures. This is about the impact of non-profit spaces and the purpose they serve. Though market-driven galleries are growing in prominence, some non-profits have risen to great importance. KW, for example, started as a small artist run non-profit space and is now one of the more influential in the city. The following are some non-profits with varying... [more]
This interview really began in November over lunch at a neighborhood cafeteria in the arts district of Santurce, Puerto Rico, where I had been unwittingly served freshly grilled iguana rather than my anticipated chicken breast. Sitting across from me was Puerto Rican muralist Sofia Maldonado, whom I had spent the late and muggy morning with at her temporary studio at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC). After a stroll through the museums’ galleries we had gone down the street to grab a bite... [more]
Gallery Weekend Berlin Preview: The Unreliable Narrator at Campagne Première   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Karen Mirza and Brad Butler at Campagne Première Berlin May 2nd, 2015 - June 27th, 2015
Posted 4/29/15
Truth is complicated. We live in a world bombarded by coded messages that urge us to perk up, pay attention, take sides, and weed out those that are trustworthy from those that are less so. In film, television, print, and online we are in a constant state of self-definition: this is us, that is them. We define ourselves against a backdrop of trusted leaders, voices, guides, and influencers. But ultimately, how can you tell the truth? How can you the truth? As part of this year’s Gallery... [more]
Kill Your Gallerist! Art for All!   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Joseph Beuys, Dieter Hacker, Nam June Paik, Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke, Dieter Roth, Group Show, Klaus Staeck at Akademie der Künste - Hanseatenweg March 18th, 2015 - June 7th, 2015
Posted 4/2/15
Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Rosemarie Trockel, and Christo are just some of the artists included in the exhibition at Berlin’s Akademie der Künste in under the slogan  (“Art for All”). The comprehensive show encompasses over 300 works by more than 150 artists from the Klaus Staeck collection.  Stefan Wewerka, Homburger, 1970. ©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015. Photo: Roman März   Lawyer, graphic artist, political rabble-rouser, artwork publisher and most recently president of the Akademie der... [more]
#ArcoColombia: Colombia Across Madrid   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at ARCO Madrid February 25th, 2015 - March 1st, 2015
Posted 2/25/15
In its 34th edition, ARCOmadrid has invited Colombia to participate as guest of honor under the moniker #ArcoColombia. Since 1996, the organization has presented a special focus on a different country each year (last year we covered ARCO's #FocusFinland, also furnished with a readymade hashtag). This year the special program encompasses a selection of 10 galleries curated by Juan A. Gaitán for the main fair alongside a broad repertoire of exhibitions and events that will parallel ARCOmadrid... [more]
If the films are the walls, what are the windows?   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ozlem Atlin, Lynda Benglis, Peter Coffin, Richard Hawkins, André Kertész, Manuela Leinhoß, Ann Lislegaard, Henrik Olesen, Harry Sanderson at carlier | gebauer January 31st, 2015 - March 14th, 2015
Posted 2/4/15
It’s laid out like an obstacle course of sensory imagination—works mindfully scattered throughout the space, hung on walls, towering like disembodied limbs amidst the void, protruding from their designated places threatening to shape shift. In conjunction with the German premiere of British filmmaker Emily Wardill’s at carlier | gebauer, the artist has curated an adjacent group show in conversation with curator Jesi Khadivi, who joined carlier | gebauer late last year. I hear your voice... [more]
Celebrity Artists and Their Protégés at CFA's You're Just Too Good To Be True   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at CFA Mitte January 7th, 2015 - January 31st, 2015
Posted 1/9/15
Hung salon style and packed to the brim for the opening, is Contemporary Fine Art’s most attended show to date. Outside in the cold, a long queue snakes around the block, steam rising. Inside, in a sea of tortoiseshell glasses, camel hair coats, and variations-of-rouge lipstick, Berlin’s art world glitterati coerce their way through the crowds and around the baby strollers that block the exits, entries, and quiet solitary corners of the rooms. More artistic madhouse than pristine salon, the... [more]
A while back during Berlin’s Indian summer, when the weather was more hospitable to a trio of tropics-born expats, I met up with the Doha-based artist duo Christto Sanz and Andrew Weir at a sleepy café in Prenzlauer Berg. Sanz, from Puerto Rico, and Weir of South Africa, have made waves lately with their vibrant and somewhat in-your-face surreal photographs that weigh in on power structures of culture in locations like their current home Qatar. Their artwork is almost camp, employing... [more]
Right on the heels of Berlin’s 1.5 million euro celebration marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a collection of iconic memorials—erected for those who perished during the Wall’s oppressive existence—have been stolen. For the last decade, white crosses have stood at various locations on the former border in remembrance of those who died trying to escape East Berlin into the West. As of last weekend only empty metal frames remained where seven of the crosses had stood on the bank... [more]
Seventy thousand citizens gathered on the streets of the East German city of Leipzig on October 9th, 1989, after churches opened to accommodate protesters disillusioned with the oppressive East German regime, the Cold War, and the structural and geographical scar the Berlin Wall had represented for the past 28 years. This massive confluence was the culmination of weekly prayer meetings organized by Christian Führer, the pastor of St. Nicholas Church. Some might call it a stretch to conclude... [more]
Taking Up POSITIONS: Checking In With Berlin’s Newest Art Fair   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Positions Berlin September 18th, 2014 - September 21st, 2014
Posted 9/14/14
Kristian Jarmuschek takes a shallow breath and almost disappointedly utters, “That is the second time I’m asked about the market today. What is with everyone wanting to talk about the market?” The POSITIONS team and I are seated in the center of one of the gallery rooms of Jarmuschek+Partner on the Potsdamer Strasse discussing the upcoming launch of Berlin's newest art fair incarnation, POSITIONS Berlin. The room is lined with neat bundles of VIP invite cards and press material stacked in boxes... [more]
Stretching across a city and climbing into the sky   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Otto Piene at Neue Nationalgalerie July 17th, 2014 - August 31st, 2014
Posted 8/6/14
“Our sky was destroyed during World War II,” creaks a white-bearded eighty-six-year-old Otto Piene from in front of the lens of a video created on the occasion of his Berlin multi-sited exhibition . He explains his lasting impression with the light phenomena that would permeate his art practice for upwards of six decades, his desire to establish a new launching point for his practice, for the role of art to act as rebuilder. In conjunction, the Neue Nationalgalerie and the Deutsche Bank... [more]
An invitation to re-draw conclusions; the editing of Karl Larsson   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Karl Larsson at Galerie Kamm June 28th, 2014 - August 9th, 2014
Posted 7/9/14
In October 2013, Joanna Kamm hosted the Karl Larsson exhibition at her Berlin-Mitte gallery, Galerie Kamm. In 2014, a metaphorical twelve months later, the title has appeared in the gallery once again, playing host to a familiar roster of works save for select new additions. One such alteration is a shallow scratch in the plaster wall at the gallery’s entrance. The gash, Form Was Not Born From An Idea, It Was An Idea Vanishing, sets the tone for this re-visitation. The exhibition’s... [more]
This articles was originally published as part of ArtSlant's Special Edition: Street, on the Berlin site in the summer of 2012. When I first arrived in Berlin I noticed the bananas. Bright, yellow Warholian markers by Cologne-based stencil artist Thomas Baumgärtel, known worldwide for his unofficial seals of approval emblazoned on what the artist deems the best galleries, museums and institutions. Since 1986, under the alias “Bananasprayer”, Baumgärtel has been conflating insider and outsider... [more]
Berlin, July 2012: There is a scene in the Ridley Scott’s movie Alien (1979) where Executive Officer Kane (played by John Hurt) is lowered into a derelict ship and discoverers a chamber filled with hundreds of alien eggs lined up in neat little rows, laid and waiting to hatch. This is the vision Takashi Murakami took as his inspirations for the Chamber — a little room at the Kaikai Kiki studio where Murakami stores and nurtures a batch of young talent until, presumably, with enough TLC, they... [more]
There are two walls in Berlin. The first, the historic and notorious Berlin Wall of Honecker and Kennedy that bisected a nation, dividing families, constructing prejudices and casting an XL cloak of doubt and shame on a people. This, the much loathed and bemoaned geographical scar, was observed on television sets worldwide with elation and danced upon as it came crashing down in 1989. A city’s demons seemingly exorcised. A new frontier rolling out the red carpet. And then there is the... [more]
GAY TOWN: Starring James Franco as James Franco   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
James Franco at Peres Projects (Temporary) February 9th, 2013 - March 9th, 2013
Posted 2/20/13
The obvious needs to be stated before anything else can be said: We are avid consumers of celebrity fanfare and pop culture. It’s an inescapable fact of the cosmopolitan lifestyle. Tabloids give us the dirt, paparazzi provide the candids, while exhibitions and premieres put it all on a pedestal in a glitz-grunge cocktail of truth and fiction. The proportions of each may vary from drink to drink, but be it ambrosia or swill, we can rarely resist celebrity libations. James Franco’s second Peres... [more]
It’s a game and we’re playing it.   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at De Joode & Kamutzki January 27th, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Posted 2/9/13
Launched in the early Spring of 2011 the young Berlin-based auction house DeJoode & Kamutzki set out to lay a foundation for bourgeoning art collectors and play host to a series of younger emerging artists by striving to increase the accessibility of contemporary art on the whole. Less a “house” and more a nomadic performative purchasing experience, the founding duo artist/curator Rachel DeJoode and artist/auctioneer Maria Kamutzki branded themselves as abolishers of the idea of art as... [more]
Twenty Twelve proved to be an event-saturated year for Berlin. We heard the announcement of the Guggenheim’s departure from the scene, we observed the launch of the first Berlin Art Week, and we celebrated the canonization of Germany’s own Gerhard Richter with his transnational exhibition. The Berlin Biennale reflected the grassroots political fervor that swept the globe, our favorite local bunker introduced the first rotation of its semi-permanent collection, and dOCUMENTA(13) drew scores... [more]
- I spent most of my last summer’s afternoons accepting invitations to buzz about a spacious loft atelier with Berlin-based artist Chaveli Sifre, reviewing and discussing recipes for deadly concoctions—a collection that would make up her new project of perfumes. A recent addition on the scene in Berlin, her practice is an all-encompassing avalanche of ideas that dip into multiple mediums. The result is the fascination with a broad spectrum of concerns that scrutinize everything from human... [more]
Boros Bunker: Take Two   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Sammlung Boros September 17th, 2012 - September 17th, 2015
Posted 11/26/12
Colloquially referred to around town as the Boros Bunker, the Boros Collection & Residence is now one of the most coveted slices of architecture in all Berlin, though its current state of prestige has been hard earned. Considered a scar on the face of the historically conscious city until the not so distant past, the colossal 3,000 square-meter former air raid bunker was erected in 1942 by forced-labor under the direction of architect Albert Speer, based on plans by architect Karl Bonatz.... [more]
Transits and Masquerades: The Explorations of Simon Starling   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Simon Starling at neugerriemschneider September 15th, 2012 - October 20th, 2012
Posted 10/16/12
The soft-edged nylon rollers of the Steenbeck flatbed film editing table speed up and come to a stop, whirring as they coil and snake around, caught in a maze of modern technology and unable to escape. The hum of the machine pauses as disembodied hands appear on screen—they give a poised snip here, a snip there. The whirring starts again under the dry and authoritative narration of the craftsman who, presumably hunched over, is hard at work reconstructing a history. Unidentified, this... [more]
It usually happens moments after waking—lingering at the edge of our dreams, still held in suspended logic, before we’re jolted back into recognition and contemplation. Here, caught in the cross-tides of our wandering logic, we allow an uncanny process of rearranging ourselves, untangling our thoughts, fears, and desires. Interpretations become condensed and superimposed upon one another. Navigating this misty nether-time we let our minds wander. Past, present and future silently accordion,... [more]
On the cusp.   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at daadgalerie September 9th, 2012 - October 20th, 2012
Posted 10/1/12
While there exists endless research, and countless indexes and catalogs surrounding an artist’s quantifiable completed work, unrealized or half-baked utopian ideas abandoned at the worktable rarely make the cut or wander into discourse. But it’s these overtly utopian ideas—the unattainables—that would seemingly contextualize that oeuvre that comes to define the names attached to them. An ongoing venture devised by Serpentine Gallery director Hans Ulrich Obrist and co-director Julia... [more]
Art fair season is a delicate negotiation between time and interest: a balancing act between crowd surfing, booth gazing, chitchat and artwork hovering. Disparate events claim your schedule and force you to taxi around a city, time crunching it all in, arriving slightly damp everywhere you land. This year consolidation is king. While Berlin’s Kunstherbst is not exactly a novelty, with last year’s demise of famed fair Art Forum (R.I.P. 1996-2011) Berlin’s major institutions of contemporary art... [more]
In Roland Barthes' seminal work Camera Lucida, the philosopher inquires into the nature of the photographic image by examining an old photograph of his mother taken before his birth. Interested in the way an image can recall a lasting memory while simultaneously informing our history, Barthes explores the memory of his mother through documentary portrait images, but is at a loss when it comes to fully engaging with her memory. The image is not enough to sustain this encounter; instead Barthes... [more]
An Evening of Degenerate Art   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ondrej Brody & Kristofer Paetau at Gitte Bohr July 25th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Posted 8/14/12
As an exhibition-frequenting crowd, more often than not, we are a critical breed: perhaps even a tad harsh. However, we’re rarely given the chance to voice our disgruntled aesthetic opinions out loud no matter how severe—it just wouldn’t be apropos. In-your-face artist duo Ondrej Brody (CZ) and Kristofer Paetau (FN) not only give you the shock-and-awe but also provide a forum for you to voice your grievances—the harsher the better. On July 25, the duo inaugurated Neukölln gallery Gitte Bohr’s... [more]
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