Wuppertal. Even if the sun had not been shining, I am sure that, the moment I entered Laura Aberham’s study, an impression of glorious light would have been created. Bold, vibrant colours wherever you look and an artist who appears to be brimming with positive energy. After she had studied with Jürgen Drescher and Katharina Grosse, she completed her degree at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf as the star pupil of Ellen Gallagher. Immediately after the degree, the Düsseldorf gallery owner Rupert Pfab added her to his program. This was followed by solo exhibitions in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and London. Sometimes all this seems...

Mönchengladbach-Rheydt. This locality is of special relevance to Gregor Schneider. Not only was he born in Rheyd, but he also lives and works here as a sculptor, photographer and film maker. When creating the rooms of the Haus u r*, a family home, his work was essentially born. Since the age of sixteen, he has been building the same rooms into existing rooms, duplicating rooms and objects, or makes them vanish. The construction and fitting of twenty-four of these rooms into the German Pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2001 resulted in him becoming the winner of the Golden Lion...

St. Émilion, Johannesburg. What usually comes to mind when thinking of African art? Carved masks, paintings in intense colours or simply something exotic? For a start, the typical African art and craft markets or stands at the side of the road met my expectations influenced by my European background. But what a surprise I got when I visited a gallery of contemporary art. I was embarrassed to immediately discover that I had followed a clichéd path. “African art”? Far from it! Here, the field of contemporary art showed completely new impulses. All in all, works that got under the skin...

Berlin, Dusseldorf. There are exhibitions which – although they succeed in immediately causing the viewer to react emotionally – irritate, and stimulate a closer involvement only when reflecting on them. This happened at the visit to the solo show of Carolin Eidner at Galerie Aurel Scheibler in Berlin....

Teuillac in Gironde. Time seems to have stopped here. To be exact, the time around 1867, as the crest in the home-cum-studio building that is Barbara Schroeder's home reveals. The house, built in light brick and reddish tile, stands next to a beautiful garden with a pond and is situated in the centre of the Bordelaise wine-growing district. The involvement with the elements of this environment largely determines the work of the artist, which moves between painting, installations and sculpture as well as performance, dance and poetry. As the icing on the cake, her passion for wine and French cuisine...

Düsseldorf. Habe ich mich vielleicht in eine benachbarte Druckwerkstatt verirrt? Ich sehe mich um und entdecke in der mehr mit professionellem Gerät als mit Kunst bestückten Halle die großflächigen Spiegel, die mir als Teil der Installation Irgendwo im Tiefenrausch im Düsseldorfer Museum Kunstpalast in Erinnerung sind. Ich bin also doch richtig. Es ist das Atelier von Aurel Dahlgrün ...

London, film premiere of The Last Faust. Both the trailer and even just a brief look at Philipp Humm's Gesamtkunstwerk*, his total work of art (graphics, photography, oil painting and sculpture) which now comprises one hundred and fifty works, astonished me beyond belief. Yet what I see today in the cinema hall and will see in his studio tomorrow is absolutely beyond my expectations. A fascinating mix of surreal, bizarre, comical yet also oppressively visionary images draws me directly into a cinematic future of the world. A world, where artificial intelligence has taken control over planet Earth ...

Cape Town. When entering the exhibition room I think, this is what the interior of Captain Nemo's Nautilus could look like in a remake of the Jules Verne-classic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Rising before a mysterious dark background are fantastically shaped sculptures and the furniture of the artist and designer Stanislaw Trzebinski, who is only 27. The sculptures look like fossilised marine animals and plants which were initially salvaged from the bottom of the sea, then cast in bronze and finally brought to life by the injection of LED lights and fibre optics. The shape of the feet...

Cape Town. If this is not a true artist studio again! Works on paper drying on a washing line strung across the room, large-format canvases, side by side, waiting to be finished, piles of books, paint tins and endless numbers of crayons competing for floor space, while sketches, printouts and pages torn from magazines cover the tables. I am in the studio of Zander Blom, whose wild and explosive painting, at first glance, appears to be as naively playful as this room ...

Cape Town. Looking at Pieter Hugo's photographs often makes you feel uncomfortable. You do not really want to look at them, but feel attracted none the less. This fascination extends to every one of his famous series of works, such as Looking Aside, Permanent Error, The Hyena & Other Men or La Cucaracha, his current project. What is so captivating about these pictures? During our conversation I am trying to find out. We meet in his in Cape Town studio ...