Corinne Wasmuht, “Alnitak”

Art Free
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3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Corinne Wasmuht describes herself as “an archaeologist, bringing scraps and fragments of the past to light, excavating sediments of memory and experiencing déjà vu.” In her latest show, the Berlin artist continues to explore this psychological and temporal web in a suite of paintings picturing crowds in airports, shopping malls and corporate lobbies. Using manipulated digital photographs as source material, Wasmuht depicts these scenes as liminal zones of reflection, refraction and translucency.

Wasmuht’s approach is labor-intensive—the panoramic Pehoé Towers (2013) took more than a year to complete—and while her paintings’ blizzards of heightened color and texture certainly offer plenty for the eye to explore, they feel fussed-over, their vortexes of detail resulting in diminished returns. Beyond a certain point, the quasi-psychedelic agglomeration of imagery in paintings like Oberbaum (2015) becomes oddly deadening, collapsing into formal exercise and threatening to merge with the anonymous urban realms they presume to critique. Sporadically intriguing and unquestionably a technical feat, Wasmuht’s compositions are finally as elusive as the wraithlike figures that populate them.

By: Michael Wilson

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