shows 2015 - 2019

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Sigmaringer Str. 23 | 10713 Berlin

VERZEICHNEN | Ursula Döbereiner und Harriet Groß

23.11. - 20.12.2019 |


"Verzeichnen" (miss-drawing comes close) presents new works by Harriet Groß and Ursula Döbereiner and is a prelude. We intend to make it an exhibition trilogy, presenting in a loose sequence works emanating from that vast area of drawing. For the programmatic stance of the gallery it is an important field and we have been playing on this pitch many times, in different line-ups. Once again we felt it would make sense to have a title where we bend the verb drawing by adding a prefix. Just over a year ago, we opened our new space in Berlin with a group exhibition under the title "aufzeichnen" (meaning mainly recording). Döbereiner and Groß already participated in that show. "Aufzeichnen" was still about some sort of objective representation. It was amongst other things about documenting, if only the process of drawing. The title "Verzeichnen" is meant to open other perspectives. On the one hand, it obviously refers to the Freudian slip, which, as we all know, is about the unconscious chipping in and delivering a most meaningful slip. However, in the works on show in "Verzeichnen" other gremlins come in and surely also artistic strategies putting them on stage and integrating the slip into the artistic process. On the other hand there is the “Verzeichnis” (the directory), which creates order and direction, but only its own. The entries tend to resist and irritate this order by bringing in sense.

Opening: 23.11.2019 from 6 pm.

RICHARD VAN DER AA | Every now and then

5 October - 2 November 2019


Every now and then" is one of these idiomatic expressions, which, mostly as a sort of bad and difficult to fight habit, slip into the conversation. They are often perceived as some kind of embellishment of the language, but in many cases boil down to little more than a bizarre lack of precision. At the same time, one may find a downright poetic pleasure in how the literal meaning of the composite words resists their idiomatic meaning. There is little about the combination of "every now" with, on top of that, "(every) then", that suggests for the full phrase to somehow mean: occasionally. A not untypical idiomatic nonsense but again one can find pleasure in this linguistic mischief.

Richard van der Aa does. And the 'every now and then' isn’t just somehow slipping into his talk. Quite the opposite, he puts it most prominently as the exhibition title for his second show at Vincenz Sala, this time in Berlin. And the title can stand for his undertaking as a painter, which, contrary to the first appearance, is not at all about the desperate reeling off of some rigid program. Most delicately varied in colour, composition and choice of material, van der Aa is working on a recurring square with cut corners and edges in ever new twists. Minimalism and even more so hard edge painting are obvious references. Only van der Aa slips off the edge. He almost constantly paints over the rim. Maybe it needs a New Zealand childhood and youth and Dutch roots to spark this form of ironic refraction. But it is precisely this calculated failure, which, with inimitable understatement, sets the scene for the meticulous drawing, shaping and colour composition in his work. Van der Aa has an exquisitely balanced comedy, which is at the very cen­­tre­­­ of the profound seriousness of his work. Every now and then, he would probably add.

Opening: 5.10.2019 from 6 pm.

BARBARA STEPPE | Montag, 9:30

24 August - 21 September 2019


Balls are at the centre of Barbara Steppe's show. At first glance they suggest being in a ready-made paradigm. However. Faced with these lingering, pumped out, where there were once colours, now already faded remnants of sporty and playful desire one senses at once that they are not what they pretend to be. They do dominate the space and not just because they turn up in packs, four or five of them. It is also this physical desire to respond to the almost urgent invitation to try a pass, a shot on goal or a basket throw. And yet, one knows, these balls are not out of service, they have never been able to serve. The closer examination confirms the first irritation: they are ceramic casts of found balls and only the elaborate watercolour painting, which perfectly imitates the represented object, has given them access to the art context. It is only through this trompe l'oeuil that the desire to kick or throw finds its peculiar physical inspiration, which does not just sit on the deceit of the eye. The body is wrong. And yet at the same time suspects that for even better reasons than the presentation in the gallery room suggests, it would not be advisable to try to kick the appetizing ceramic casts.

Opening: 24.8.2019 from 6 pm.

ULLA HAHN | succès.

25.5. - 22.6.2019


Until today, Ulla Hahn's work is about the picture (in a way as opposed to the image), and Hahn’s pictures still find their peculiar, always contingent validity, their virulence, through an ultimately sculptural process of taking away, removing, cutting. The more recent works on show from the years 2018/19 make use of found pictures, mostly record covers, which are cut back to a postcard format. Cut means here, as in movies, also the montage. The title-giving and space-dominating work, 'succès', consists of 300 portraits of women and it looks much alike a turned around memory game. Faces from perhaps six decades that all seem familiar. Not because there are a number of 'celebrities' mostly from other times among them. Rather, because they are worn, appear with the faded color of an early piece of a vinyl record collection. They are pictures that already come in a state of being remembered, like the pictures of a collection that has been looked at time and again. However, by no means they follow the order of a collection. On the contrary, like any really passionate collecting, they oppose a final order. Collecting does not come to an end and pictures to their validity and virulence only as some kind of tilting figure. As a hinge and itself a tilting figure the term 'succès' returns across the 300 portraits in different typefonts and also in English spelling; and it drives the seefaring through this sea of pictures. And then one moves back and the almost 4 by 2 meter memory game of the 10 x 30 faces turns into a complex composition of muted color-fields.

Opening: 25.5.2019 from 6 pm


12.4. - 17.5.2019


Drawing, collage and all kinds of finds play a prominent role in Hendrik Krawen's work. Nevertheless, it is a painterly work and not only at the core. In its complexity, it always revolves around a break-in of reality. In the double sense: the break-in of reality into the picturesque space but also the break-in of the pictorial into reality. A mutual interplay of depiction and depicted, with moments of trompe l'oeuil, that is, the deception of the eye, taking also an enlightening turn, and at the same time the entry of real objects taking a pictorial turn.

The brownish-dirty patina of a small, wall-cut rectangle of layered wallpaper encounters an oil painting of medium format, presenting 6 different ornaments and giving the impression by primer and paint application, as if a piece of leather wallpaper had been stretched on a canvas frame. In the play on perspectives, too, the ever-subtle staging of the real exhibition space, which may incorporate works suspended far above the height of the head into a complex syntax of the exhibition scene, enters into a calculated interplay with the sometimes extreme shortening of the top and lower views in Krawen's highly suspended pictorial spaces. And he draws his horizons. In front of his large-scale oil paintings with meticulous drawing of giant tankers floating on the sea one looks into a greenish shimmering sky that leaves at the bottom of the painting not even a strip of water. In the exhibition space, the deep horizon, hidden in the picture, returns as a discarded baseboard covered with ox blood or otherwise brightly colored; remains here again of some old flat with the greasy patina of many decades.

Reality in Krawen's work is not depicted but simulated in that perfectly real materiality of a painterly and graphically exquisite parallel universe. Like 'Alice in Wonderland' one falls into a fundamentally different perspective on the world, and returns with it.

Opening: 12.4.2019 from 6 to 10 pm

KNUT ECKSTEIN | stupid // wonderful

23.2. - 23.3.2019


If one wanted to try the tempo indications of classical music it would be the range from vivace to presto. Which is obviously not just about the beat, it’s about how to perform the piece. Eckstein‘s pieces are of the temporality of the provisional: Quickly mounted - rather presto than vivace - and one could think only temporarily, like tents, always already anticipating their dismantling. Found card boxes, a diversity of discarded pieces of plastic, but also the bamboo canes that are iconic for Eckstein’s work, are among his more prominent construction materials. Rigged with strings, wired, glued with tape, they are turned into wall-mounted card box assemblages, into towering bamboo scaffolds, and more recently large wall drapes. Eckstein upcycles urban rejects drawing deliberately on what remains inscribed into these rejects: the aesthetics of carton packaging, global logos, which he retraces with colorful flashing LED queues, but also the imagery of faded glossy magazines. What has resisted time and weather is built into an architecture that could be inspired by the inventive poorness and necessity of refugee camps. A dystopian minimalism, that, however, indulges in baroque excesses, gives these rejects with a few quick brushstrokes a colorful make-over and with some stage accessories, such as the recurring plastic palm, a kind of homely touch. Bound by the lineation of strings, wires, cables and tape, the rejects blend into bizarrely dense interiors of extraordinary material and also physical coherence. It is tempting to come at Eckstein's work with a number of narratives, but none of them quite catches it. In the end his work is a strangely proliferating outgrowth of these urban rejects, surely his very own breed, and as the show‘s title puts it: stupid // wonderful

Opening: 23.2.2019 from 6 to 10 pm.

MYRIAM EL HAÏK | The figure in the carpet

8.12.2018 - 18.1.2019


Myriam El Haïk borrowed the show’s title from a Henry James novel. James’ “The figure in the carpet” got famous (even made it to an idiomatic expression) for its delicate lambasting of literature critics and its first-person narrator, in particular. Quite possible that there is a bit of a gentle jostle addressed to the wisenheimer of the art critics profession in El Haïk’s borrowing. However, when it comes to her art work there is good reason to take the metaphor of “The figure in the carpet” literally. Given her upbringing in Rabat and the continued ties to the Moroccan culture the production and aesthetics of Moroccan carpets have been an important point of reference for her work ever since. There is however a striking turn in the more recent work on show. El Haïk has taken some important liberties from the disciplined work of repetitive setting of invented signs in her earlier minimalist drawings and notations. This by times extremely laborious work (in particular when it comes to her wall drawings) much resembles the physically exhausting weaving of carpets. El Haïk is now taking shortcuts and replaces the stringent, perhaps even compulsive order of minimalist repetition by a fast, apparently joyful, and surely colourful play. This play runs  across floaty small-size drawings, hardly larger hard edge collages using 2 or 3 rectangles of diverse materials incl. coloured cardboard, origamipaper and plywood, but also paintings and frottages that explore vertical dual colour combinations and their tonal values. Her approach is unmistakably still minimalist with strong formal links to the aesthetics of Moroccan carpets but she is now walking under a bright Moroccan sun taking in the full and still evolving colour scales of Moroccan textiles.

Opening: 15.12.2018 from 6 to 10 pm.


Paris | 4.11. - 9.12.2017

Vernissage le 4.11.2017 de 18h à 21h.

aufzeichnen ... | group show

6.10. - 3.11.2018


with works by: Richard van der Aa, Fritz Balthaus, Anne-Flore Cabanis, Ursula Döbereiner, Knut Eckstein, Myriam El Haïk, Tobias Eyferth, Hans Hemmert, Jochem Hendricks, Natalia Jaime-Cortez, Lucia Kempkes, Käthe Kruse, Ulla Hahn, Isidore Hibou, Harriet Groß, Hendrik Krawen, Simone Lanzenstiel, Axel Lieber, Markus Linnenbrink, Damien Marchal, Jean-Christophe Norman, Gilles Raynaldy, Jacob Reymond, Tilo Riedel, Marc Rossignol, Christiane Seiffert, Carsten Sievers, Alberto Sorbelli, Barbara Steppe, Pierre Sportolaro, Benedikt Terwiel, Barbara Wille, Peter Wüthrich, Georg Zey

Opening: 6.10. 2018 from 6 to 10 pm.

MYRIAM EL HAÏK | Into the Loop

Paris | vitrine d’été 2017

Vernissage le 8.7.2017 de 18h à 21h.

JACOB REYMOND | Cage 4’33 (et d’autre partitions)

Paris | 15.4. - 13.5.2017

Depuis plusieurs années une ligne importante de la programmation de la galerie Vincenz Sala se situe dans l’exploration des liens qui existent entre l’écriture, la notation musicale, le dessin et la performance. Les expositions de groupe « De l’écriture de l’écriture » (en Mars 2015) et « Notation »  (en Mai 2016) ainsi que les expositions personnelles et les performances de Myriam El Haïk (en 2011, 2012, 2014 et 2016), d’Anne-Flore Cabanis (en 2013), de Natalia Jaime-Cortez (en 2013, 2015, 2016), de Marc Rossignol (en 2013 et 2015) et de Jean-Christophe Norman (2015) en ont été à ce titre l’illustration.

Loin d’avoir épuisé le sujet, la galerie présente à partir du 15 avril Jacob Reymond (qui avait déjà participé à l’exposition « Notation »), avec une exposition personelle sous le titre « Cage 4’33 (et d’autres partitions) ». Pour characteriser l’espace particulier qu’occupe le travail de Jacob Reymond entre musique et art plastique, le musicologue Jacques Amblard écrit dans son essai « Jacob plasti(musi)cien » consacré exclusivement à l’artiste: « … le caractère personnel n’est pas dans le décodage du temps, qui reste potentiellement l’universel - de gauche à droite et de haut en bas. Ce que perd Jacob en personnalité du code temporel, il le gagne en évidence du décodage. Or, ce décodage est celui d’une nouvelle (et là est le caractère personnel) révélation de l’interface musique/peinture (et non plus seulement musique/couleur). »

Vernissage le 15.4. de 18h à 21h.


Paris | 12.12.2015 - 9.1.2016

Vernissage le 12.12. de 18h à 21h.

PETER WÜTHRICH | Peter Wüthrich & friends

Paris | 7.11. - 5.12.2015

Vernissage le 7.11. de 18h à 21h.

MINIMAL EXTENSIONS | sixties versus contemporary

Paris | 10.9. - 25.10.2015

avec Getulio Alviani, William Anastasi, Gary Kuehn, Charlotte Posenenske, Peter Roehr, Remy Zaugg versus Georg Herold, Gregor Schneider, Jochem Hendricks, Myriam El Haïk, Jean-Christophe Norman, Pierre Sportolaro, Axel Lieber, Barbara Steppe

Dans le programme de la galerie le minimalisme des années 60 est une référence incontournable et récurrente. D’ou l’intérêt de confronter dans cette exposition collective deux générations d’artistes. Il s’agit d’explorer les correspondances et les tensions entre des oeuvres représentatives des avant-gardes des années soixante et des oeuvres plus récents entre autre des artistes clés de la galerie. Ce caractère historique donnera la possibilité de porter un nouveau regard sur les ruptures formelles opérées durant les années soixante et, dans le même temps, de découvrir comment elles continuent à marquer fortement la production artistique d’aujourd’hui.

Vernissage le 10.9. de 18h à 21h.

PIERRE SPORTOLARO | ça pourrait être moi

Paris | 30.5. - 20.6.2015

Le travail de Pierre Sportolaro pose obsessionnellement, et à travers des séries toujours en cours, des questions sur le temps, le voyage et les métamorphoses. Des thèmes qui par amalgame, récurrence et recoupement permanent élaborent notamment une quête identitaire que révèle l’intitulé de l’exposition:ça pourrait être moi.

Une identité qui se perd dans le temps et dans l’espace social, qui se déplace, qui s’efface dans le souvenir pour renaitre sous d’autres traits. D’où cette dimension de la trace présente dans cette série de travaux. Réalisés avec une économie de moyens, ils ont valeur d’indices qui dessinent une sorte de portrait dispersé de l’artiste dont est absente toute affirmation de soi voire une affirmation fragile, fragmentée, tourmentée lorsqu’elle tente de se cristalliser. Une conception de l’identité proche de la formule rimbaldienne «Je est un autre».

Vernissage le 25.4. de 18h à 21h.

TOM FRÜCHTL | reverb

Berlin | 20.6. - 11.7. 2015

Opening 20.6. from 7pm.