A nervy painter who loves mid-century abstraction and Modernism

German writer Helmut Draxler wittily calls Krebber a "dandy," meaning, I think, that Krebber makes aestheticism a position without celebrating or condemning it; he performs attributes of mastery and touch while turning these qualities back on themselves. Way back in 1990, artist Jutta Koether presciently labeled Krebber a "veteran naysayer." Today he's a role model. Krebber himself has said, "I've never had any method except not having a method."

Krebber's show of fourteen smallish works, all essentially abstract, mostly watercolors, pencil drawings, felt marker on paper, and a couple of mesmerizing spray-paint-through-peg-board canvases, is breathtaking for the ways it gets you to partake in this come-hither step-back dance. His art can look pretentious and precious or like Richard Tuttle's, yet Krebber never turns pedantic or gets cagey in anti-art ways.

This is because Krebber uses irony almost like a material, the way Warhol used irony and celebrity as a material. Even though Krebber's relentless reticence can become irksome and individual works can look like that of Luc Tuymans, Polke, and Kippenberger, the empty rear gallery is an object lesson for all young artists worried about playing too willingly into the market. Here, by letting this space lie fallow, Krebber essentially announces, "Artists should use galleries the way they want; not the way the system says you should."

Get the Moon
Courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
Get the Moon


Amy Sillman
Sikkema Jenkins
530 W. 22nd Street
Through May 6

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