Christoph Niemann New York retrospective

By Mark Sinclair

The show, entitled The Masters Series: Christoph Niemann, coincides with the announcement that the Berlin-based artist is the recipient of the 29th Masters Series Award. In addition to the retrospective, Niemann will also present a talk (which is free to attend) on October 2 at the SVA Theatre.



T-Rex, Sunday Sketch, 2014

While Niemann’s wide-ranging illustrative work has tackled the big issues via covers for The New Yorker (see ‘Fukushima’ above) and field reports for The New York Times, he is also a great visual diarist and is just as adept at distilling everyday life down into single images – often making inventive use of familiar objects, as in his popular Sunday Sketches series (see T-Rex, above, and two examples, below).


Guantanamo, cover for The New York Times Book Review, February 1 2015

Niemann seems to work incessantly, too, and frequently uploads personal projects to his website, such as this recent sketchbook series created while on a visit to the Algarve in Portugal, based on photos taken on his phone. He is no stranger to technology either: highly active across social media, he even boasts two apps – Chomp and Petting Zoo, created with Jon Huang – to his name.

The SVA show is a chance to look back over his career to date and enjoy a body of work that is chock-full of wit and visual invention – and that seems to effortlessly capture the ups and down of modern life.

Downtown, Silkscreen, 2016

The Masters Series: Christoph Niemann is at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York from September 30 – November 4. The accompanying talk will take pace on October 4 at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, New York at 7pm. A reception in honour of the exhibition and Niemann’s award is on October 3 – both the talk and reception are free and open to the public. For more details, see sva.edu and christophniemann.com

Camera, Sunday Sketch, 2014

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