Volker Hueller, “Happy Dog,” 2009, etching, watercolours, shellac on paper. Image size: 9.65 x 7.68.” Paper size: 11.81 x 9.45.” Image courtesy Eleven Rivington.
“Volker Hueller,” curated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers and organized by Augusto Arbizo. Salon 94, Upper East Side. Through Jan. 8. “Volker Hueller,” Eleven Rivington, Lower East Side. Through Jan. 8. Roberta Smith: German artists do nostalgia better than anyone. Perhaps World War II still inspires a sense of remorse and loss. Maybe their connection to history is more confident. Or maybe they simply understand that sincerity and irony are not mutually exclusive. You can be nostalgic without meaning it completely. The latest evidence is the double-gallery debut of the young Berliner Volker Hueller: a study in style-mongering that consists of large, abstract paintings and smaller, stylized portraits at Salon 94, and semi-abstract etchings at Eleven Rivington. Both shows are punctuated with painted porcelain vases and busts. Mr. Hueller has a delicate hand with etching and an amiable roughness with painting. But he seldom manages to be ironic and sincere at once. The ceramic objects function as props that whisper, “I don’t really mean this….”
Read the entire Art in Review column here.