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Petzel Gallery is proud to participate in Galleries Curate: RHE, a collaborative exhibition formed by a new global initiative compiled of 21 galleries from around the world. Designed to express the dynamic dialogue between the participants’ individual programs, Petzel is pleased to present the online exhibition Hydrosphere, organized following the inaugural curatorial subject of water, on view beginning March 22, 2021 – World Water Day.

The word RHE is borrowed from the Heraclitan aphorism panta rhei, meaning “everything flows.” Evoking the characteristics and effects of water: transience and interconnectivity, the new platform brings together galleries online and circulates exhibitions all over the world. Initially held together by the connected theme of physical bodies of water, the works on view in Hydrosphere speak to the nature of play, voyage, marvel, and even threat (of degradation and catastrophe), that the people, creatures, and lives existing in proximity to water embody. Here we see water represented in relation to landscape: the vastness of the sea, the mysteries of the ocean floor, the longevity of an iceberg, and the travels of objects and individuals across the many different bodies of water that we live amongst. Like the natural and near-constant movement and fluctuations of water itself, these disparate works range from poetic, humorous, wry, to lively – the animated sculptures of Cosima von Bonin, monumental seascapes meticulously painted by Sean Landers, and the absorbent cellulose structures of Adam McEwen coming together like tributaries to a larger body.

Hydrosphere features work by Cosima von Bonin, Andrea Bowers, Christian Jankowski, Sean Landers, and Adam McEwen.

About Galleries Curate 

Galleries Curate is an informal group of contemporary galleries from around the world, formed as a result of the universally felt global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition focuses on a supportive sense of community and cooperative interactions through collaborative exhibitions designed to express the dynamic dialogue between our individual programs. RHE is the first chapter of this collaboration, an exhibition and website themed around a universal and, we hope, unifying subject: water. Like culture, water is never static but always in flux.

What Can I Write To Truly Move You,

To Reach You With These Words.

I Want You To Recognize Yourself In My Paintings,

For You To See This Fellow Voyager And Say Ahoy

—Sean Landers

Sean Landers
Around the World Alone (Epilogue I), 2011
Oil on linen; Captain's wheel: wood, brass, bronze
Painting: 108 x 174 inches, 274.3 x 442 cm. Captain's wheel: 65.75 x 11 inches, 167 x 27.9 cm

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Sean Landers
Ahoy, 2020
Oil on linen
30 x 36 inches 76.2 x 91.4 cm

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Sean Landers
The Sum, 2020
Oil on linen
30 x 36 inches 76.2 x 91.4 cm

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Andrea Bowers
Clean Air Pure Water Healthy Land Tree Sitting Platform for Forest Defense, 2012
Recycled wood, rope, carabiners, miscellaneous equipment and supplies
76.5 x 64 x 48 inches 194.3 x 162.6 x 121.9 cm

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Adam McEwen
Itch That Can’t Be Scratched, 2017
Inkjet print on cellulose sponge, graphite
56.7 x 87.6 x 5 inches 144 x 222.5 x 12.7 cm

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Cosima von Bonin
KILLER WHALE WITH LONG EYELASHES I (RHINO* VERSION) *Rhino by Renate Mueller, Germany, 1960s, 2018
Fabric, leather, canvas, wooden chair
42 x 105 x 39 inches 106.7 x 266.7 x 99.1 cm

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Cosima von Bonin
Glass reinforced plastic, wool, fabric, scarfs, trolley, steel base, ukulele, and chains
81 x 36 x 45 inches 205.7 x 91.4 x 114.3 cm

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"As a kid, I was always a hermit. I think of myself as a hermit crab. We had a monkey, Mr. Nelson, and we had dogs and cats. Once a day I walked alone on the beach. I was three years old, and I wore shorts fastened with elastic, and I stuffed everything I found in them—crabs, jellyfish, everything. Then I put them on the lunch table. I never had anything to do with art, it was always the beach and animals, animals, animals. I love strange animals. I love aardvarks and snails and all creatures. In fact I just freed two lobsters. Lobsters are very intelligent and some grow to 140 years old. I went to the fish shop. A guy in front of me bought five lobsters and I knew how they were going to die. So the next day I went there and got the biggest ones. I paid $200. I said please don’t harm them, because their legs break easily. I couldn’t say I was going to free them. The ocean is ice cold, so I was afraid, maybe they won’t survive. But I looked it up on the Internet, and they will be fine. When they are in the tanks, they hate it. They get over-crowded and eat each other."

— Eleanor Heartney, “In Conversation: Cosima von Bonin with Eleanor Heartney,” The Brooklyn Rail, April 4, 2018.

"We can pull a moral pulse from von Bonin’s gimmicks and diversions, but it’s an ambivalent one—her sculptures, while dressed for a party, also reference the cost of unchecked consumption, reckless pollution, and state violence. Indeed, she often sneaks a political volt among works that are bluntly impassive…like the ocean, a longtime subject of von Bonin’s work, her project is nothing if not elusive."

— Annie Godfrey Larmon, "Cosima von Bonin," Artforum, Summer 2018.

Installation view, Cosima von Bonin, WHAT IF IT BARKS?, Petzel Gallery, 2018
Installation view, Sean Landers, Around the World Alone, Petzel Gallery, 2011

“Together, they suggest the traditional theme of the voyage of life…as we navigate the wide seas of existence. Landers makes this point explicit in a piece subtitled Epilogue 1 by placing a real captain’s wheel in front of the show’s largest painting: a boldly cinematic expanse of empty ocean that invites us to step up and set course.”

— Joseph R. Wolin, “Sean Landers: The Artist Sets sail on Stormy Existential Seas,” Time Out New York, June 2-8, 2011

In the summer of 2012, Christian Jankowski created the installation Review as part of his second exhibition with Petzel, titled Discourse News. For Review, Jankowski invited art journalists and critics from different parts of the world to write a hand-written review on the artwork he would eventually make with their reviews. After finishing with their texts, they were asked to place the pages inside an empty bottle of their choice and deliver them to the gallery. The final installation consisted of approximately 100 bottles, sealed with red wax and spread across the main room of the gallery. With the reviews sealed, they were forever bound from being read, rendering their intended use into ghost-like forms.

The series of photographs in Review – Waterproof Test (also 2012) documents the bottles used in the Review installation on a journey down New York’s East River, which enters the Atlantic Ocean. But the bottles will never reach the open water. Jankowski placed them in the river only briefly to test their water resistance. The somewhat anachronistic messages in a bottle – with their sealed, secret contents intended for an unknown recipient – were allowed to bob up and down in the waves. In the end, Jankowski fished them all out: they passed the test. Each of the photographs depicts a single, floating bottle framed in close-up; nothing is shown beyond the bounds of the water. The only points of reference are handwritten on the photograph’s matte: the name of the critic who wrote the review and the name of the publication that he or she most often writes for.

Christian Jankowski
Review – Waterproof Test, 2012
83 C-prints on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper mounted on cardboard
10 x 12 inches; 25 x 30 cm (each)
Edition of 5, 2 AP

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Christian Jankowski
Review – Waterproof Test, 2012
83 C-prints on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper mounted on cardboard
10 x 12 inches; 25 x 30 cm (each)
Edition of 5, 2 AP

contact gallery about this work

Christian Jankowski
Review – Waterproof Test, 2012
83 C-prints on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper mounted on cardboard
10 x 12 inches; 25 x 30 cm (each)
Edition of 5, 2 AP

contact gallery about this work

Christian Jankowski
Review – Waterproof Test, 2012
83 C-prints on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper mounted on cardboard
10 x 12 inches; 25 x 30 cm (each)
Edition of 5, 2 AP

contact gallery about this work

List of Participating Critics:

Emma Allen, The New Yorker

Sandra Antelo-Suarez, Trans Magazine

Bill Arning, Independent writer and curator

R.C. Baker, The Village Voice

Ronald Berg, Zitty Berlin

Nicole Bussing and Heiko Klass, Independent writers

Marina Cashdan, The New York Times, Wallpaper

Valentina Ciarallo, Independent writer and curator, NY Arts Magazine

Stacey Clarkson, Harper’s Magazine

Tyler Coburn, Independent writer

Nikki Columbus, Parkett

Alyssa Coppelman, Harper's Magazine

Gabi Czöppan, Focus Magazin

Monica de la Torre, BOMB Magazine

Giovanna Diappi, Independent writer

Safia Dickersbach, Artfacts.Net

Dr. Mareike Dittmer, Frieze Magazine

Vanesa Fernandez, Celeste Magazine

J.A. Forde, Company Agenda

Manami Fujimori, Bijutsu Techo

Francesca Gavin, Dazed & Confused

Andrew Goldstein, Independent writer

Michelle Grabner, Artforum

Agnieszka Gratza, ArtReview, Flash Art, Artforum.com, Sight & Sound, Metropolis M

Dr. Rose-Marie Gropp, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Uta Grosenick, Distanz Verlag

Christine Hamel, Bayerischer Rundfunk

Natalie Hergert, Artslant

Will Heinrich, New York Observer

Claudia Henne, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg

Peter Herbstreuth, Der Tagesspiegel

Thea Herold, Independent writer

Jennifer Higgie, Frieze Magazine

Faye Hirsch, Art in America

Silke Hohmann, Monopol

Meike Jansen, Taz Die Tageszeitung

Paddy Johnson, Art Fag City

Magdalena Kroener, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Paul Laster, Flavorpill

Vincenzo Latronico, Frieze Magazine (London), Domus

Cathy Lebowitz, Art in America

Adair Lentini, Frieze Magazine

Holger Liebs, Monopol

Tan Lin, Independent writer and poet

Karsten Lund, Art Papers

Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, ARTnews

Barbara MacAdam, ARTnews

Sarah McCrory, Frieze Magazine

Tom McDonough, Independent Writer

Carolina Miranda, ARTnews

Aram Moshayedi, Artforum and Art in America

Cynthia Nadelman, ARTnews

Sina Najafi, Cabinet Magazine

Warren Neidich, Independent writer and artist

Charo Oquest, Edge Zones

Ulf Poschardt, Welt am Sonntag

Gabriella Radujko, Artcards

Simone Reber, Der Tagesspiegel

Alexander Riegel, Independent writer

Walter Robinson, Artnet

Kara Rooney, The Brooklyn Rail

Nicole Rudick, The Paris Review

Peter Schiering, Aspekte

Jakob Schillinger, Flash Art

Collier Schorr, Independent writer and artist

Dr. Susanne Schreiber, Handelsblatt

Manfred Schumacher, Art-Report

Alexander Scrimgeour, Artforum

Hillarie Sheets, ARTnews

Noemi Smolik, Artforum

Thierry Somers, 200% Magazine

Bert Stabler, Proximity Magazine

Raimar Stange, artist, Flash Art, Kunst-Bulletin, Springerin

Andras Szanto, Artforum

Nicola Trezzi, Flash Art

Brigitte Werneburg, Der Tagesspiegel

Michael Wilson, Artforum, Time Out

Carmen Winant, Highlights

Rachel S. Wolff, New York Magazine

Linda Yablonsky, The New York Times

Lisa Zeitz, Die Zeit

Scott Zieher, The Believer Magazine and gallery owner

Todd Zuniga, Opium HQ

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