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Sam Pulitzer’s Whims on Display at Hamburger Bahnhof

Artist Sam Pulitzer’s first institutional exhibition in Germany, 'Whim or Sentiment or Chance', was on display at the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin.

by Sukanya Garg May 24, 2019

Sam Pulitzer’s first institutional exhibition in Germany, 'Whim or Sentiment or Chance', centered on a narrow corridor made of aluminium and transparent acrylic glass. The work lured and constrained us, and as a spatial element it kept one at a distance. The seven drawings inside the corridor revealed the artist’s – whose practice continues to be critical of institutions – affinity for linguistic games, hidden references, logos, and pop culture. The installation was juxtaposed with other groups of works by Pulitzer and works from the collection of the National Galerie by Daniel Buren, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Mona Hatoum, Jenny Holzer, Jonathan Horowitz, Gülsün Karamustafa, Bruce Nauman, Raymond Pettibon, Gregor Schneider, and Roman Signer.

  • Sam Pulitzer Ausstellungsansicht mit, View 2, Acrylic Display Corridor, Animal Spirits, 2017 © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Thomas Bruns Image Credit: Sam Pulitzer and Lars Friedrich, Berlin
  • Sam Pulitzer, Ausstellungsansicht mit, Roman Signer - Ventilatoren, 1998 © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie Inage Credit: Thomas Bruns und Roman Signer

The title "Whim or Sentiment or Chance" was a reference to Keynesian theory which is based on the hypothesis that decisions are based on animal instincts rather than rational calculations. Thus, the 'whim or sentiment or chance' was the basis of final outcomes.

Sam Pulitzer (born in 1984) in Fremont, USA is one of the most controversial young American artists of his generation, he is often openly critical of the art world in his practice. His work has been featured in several exhibitions at key galleries and museums, including the Lars Friedrich and the Gaga Arte Contemporaneo. Pulitzer is the winner of the Baloise Art Prize 2017 at Art Basel. The Baloise Group has been committed in the field of the visual arts for several decades. The main focus of activities is the Baloise Art Prize, which is awarded annually to two young artists. The prizes, each worth CHF 30,000, are awarded at Art Basel in the Statements sector by an international jury.

  • Sam Pulitzer, Ausstellungsansicht © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie Image Credit: Thomas Bruns
  • Ausstellungsansicht © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie Image Credit: Thomas Bruns

The exhibition was curated by Ina Dinter and had been made possible by the Baloise Group. On display since 19 October 2018, it was on view at the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin till 14 April, 2019.

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About Author

Sukanya Garg

Sukanya Garg

Garg is an artist and writer with a Masters degree in Public Policy from Duke University, USA. She has been involved in research, planning and execution of gallery exhibitions and external projects in collaboration with curators. Her writing has been published in several art magazines, journals and as part of curatorial notes and catalogues, and her work has been showcased in multiple exhibitions.

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