Artforum International

An international contemporary art magazine covering sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installation works, as well as architecture, music, and popular culture. Includes artist interviews and reviews of individual artists and/or galleries; reviews of fi

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 4, December

Alberto Giacometti: Museum of Modern Art, New York
For those who have never been to the Giacometti Foundations in either Zurich or Basel, the current retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art is filled with riches: Many of the plaster works never translated into wood or bronze, nor ever seen outside...
Alex Katz: Peter Blum/Pacewildenstein/Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Does a painting by Alex Katz have an inner life? Silly question, you sys: Of course it does. Any painted image by a bona fide modern artist has an inner life, and Katz's credentials on that score are impeccable. The Brooklyn-born, seventy-four-year-old...
Amy O'Neill: Spencer Brownstone. (New York)
Installation art is in a precarious state. It has been criticized in recent years for cultivating a kind of blase site-specificity that caters to the demands of large-scale exhibition organizers needing to fill space and provide a temporary spectacle--for...
"A Private Reading: The Book as Image and Object"; Senior & Shopmaker Gallery. (New York)
This crowded and pleasantly fusty show presented not artists' books but artworks premised on the idea of the book as a cultural form, a prism refracting conceptual, formal, psychological, and historical meaning. Fifty-five pieces by thirty-five artists...
Ayae Takahashi: Bernard Toale Gallery. (Boston)
Japanese-born, Boston-based artist Ayae Takahashi reads between the lines of popular fairy tales, converting their messages into complex and personal hybrids of East and West. Part of an ongoing series of narrative work begun in 1998, the four small,...
Ben Katchor: Jewish Museum. (New York)
As Ben Katchor is the first to admit, there's something counterintuitive, even perverse about a museum exhibition devoted to cartoon strips. Most of what was on view in this show--highlights from twenty years of deadline-sponsored creativity--is readily...
Best of 2001 A Special Issue: Over the Next Twenty Pages, Ten Artforum Contributors Remember the High Points of the Past Year
Vince Aletti 1 Philip-Lorca diCorcia (Pace Wildenstein, New York) Because the subjects of diCorcia's larger-than-life head shots are unaware that their pictures are being taken, they exist in a weird state of grace. Hyperalert urban radar temporarily...
Best of 2001: Film
John Waters 1. Bully (Larry Clark) My favorite movie of the year: a dirty true-crime sexploitation picture that dares to be art. Larry Clark invents the "crotch-cam" shot and inspires the most outraged New York Times review of the season. 2....
Best of 2001: Music
Bob Nickas 1. Rodney Graham, Getting It Together in the Country Is this the sound track to the new reality? Recorded two summers ago but lately on my turntable just about all the time, "Nature Has No Purpose," "Champagne for Everyone," "This Is...
Chris Burden. (First Break)
Jan Tumlir looks back at the shot heard round the art world--Chris Burden's 1971 performance piece, Shoot. HAVING TRUDGED THROUGH the muted reliquary that was Paul Schimmel's 1998 survey "Out of Actions" at LA MOCA, one local critic closed his review...
David Korty: Greene Naftali. (New York)
David Korty is quickly gaining a reputation for paintings imbued with the woozy atmospherics of Los Angeles, city of smog and sunshine. Recently, however, he has branched out to include scenes from Chicago and New York, for his first solo show in the...
December 1981. (10 * 20 * 30)
Twenty years ago, poet Rene Ricard's "Radiant Child" manned the front lines of the Ingrid Sischy-helmed "new Artforum." Contributing editor Bruce Hainley looks back at an essay that became synonymous with the magazine's image. RENE RICARD'S PROSE...
Eliseo Mattiacci: Mercati Di Traiano. (Rome)
Trajan's Market, in the center of the Eternal City, is one of the entrances to the Roman Forum. Eliseo Mattiacci's recent sculptures seem to have found an ideal site at this fascinating threshold between the ancient and the contemporary. The market...
Fabrice Hybert: Galerie Anne De Villepoix. (Paris)
Literary critic Lucien Dallenbach, who has previously written on Balzac, Claude Simon, and the Nouveau Roman, among other things, recently proposed a new metaphor for contemporary society: What if today's world took the form of a mosaic? Indeed, this...
Fernanda Gomes: Baumgartner Gallery. (New York)
On entering Fernanda Gomes's second New York solo show, the viewer was immediately confronted by a large metal scaffold on which the artist had placed various found objects. By far the most physically imposing work on display, this structure (all works...
Gelatin: Leo Koenig Inc. (New York)
The Austrian collective Gelatin was supposed to open its New York show on September it. About two weeks later, after some hesitation over whether to proceed, it launched "Habitat Tour 2001" with the first of three Thursday evening lectures-cum-performances...
Guy Bourdin: Fahey/Klein Gallery. (Los Angeles)
His annus mirabilis was 1976. While continuing to work for long-term client Roland Jourdan of Charles Jourdan shoes, Guy Bourdin created advertising campaigns that year for Gianfranco Ferre, Complice and Callaghan (designed by Gianni Versace), Madame...
Irene Pijoan: Bedford Gallery. (Walnut Creek, CA)
In an era when the tyranny of "signature style" has meant that an artist's production should be both consistent and readily attributable, Irene Pijoan has courageously embraced a wide range of media and modes of production. The objects and images presented...
Izabella Gustowska: Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle. (Warsaw)
Since the '70s, Izabella Gustowska has played a leading role in the conceptually inclined Polish art concerned with the body and the feminist critique of representation. Comprising eight multimedia installations (she calls them "self-operating audio-visual...
Jeffery Camp: Browse & Darby. (London)
The first thing I felt as I began to take in Jeffery Camp's paintings was a sense of heady, happy displacement. Here was something unexpected, something that blithely upended my categories for receiving and "placing" contemporary art. Part of that...
Jennifer Reeder: Julia Friedman Gallery. (Chicago)
Not so many years removed from having been there herself, Jennifer Reeder is enormously sensitive to the ambiguities of life in high school. Two video-based pieces here were replete with pointed reminders of the many tender vulnerabilities of the teenage...
Joao Onofre: 1-20. (New York)
Now that video art has evolved (or degenerated) to the point that it simulates the slickness of television or film, it's sometimes difficult to remember that video started out as an "alternative" medium--a means of creating art that would employ mass-media...
Jose Toirac: Lisa Sette Gallery. (Scottsdale, AZ)
For Cuban artist Jose Toirac, the mythology of the universal hero--a story of revolt, sacrifice, and untimely death--infuses the images of Ernesto "Che" Guevara that were for decades all that remained of one of the most famous icons of the socialist...
Lee Bontecou: Daniel Weinberg Gallery. (Los Angeles)
Spanning four decades, these twenty-seven drawings offer a glimpse of the most delicate works produced by an artist famous for her rugged sculptures in heavy canvas, wire, plastic, and other materials on steel armatures. The most recent drawings are...
Mar Garcia Ranedo: Galeria Espacio Minimo. (Madrid)
In industrialized nations--those German sociologist Ulrich Beck describes as risk societies--the construction of the self is becoming the central challenge, one their citizens are obliged to confront every day. The old regimes of the self, which guaranteed...
Marine Hugonnier: Kerstin Engholm Galerie. (Vienna)
The candle burning in Marine Hugonnier's exhibition in Vienna was first lit in the year 2000, at the Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris. At that time the point was the fragrance it released: that of a candle that has just been extinguished. Hugonnier...
Markus Raetz: Centre Pasquart. (Biel)
What exists--something? Or, more likely, nothing? Markus Raetz spatially unravels this ancient philosophical question literally, in sculptural alphabet letters, thereby raising the question of the standpoint from which they are observed: Depending...
MVRDV: Stroom HCBK. (the Hague)
The focal point of this show by the architectural firm MVRDV was a large projection of Pig City, 2001, a computer simulation of a giant tower for the industrial breeding of pigs. While some advocate a return to more natural modes of farming, MVRDV...
Nancy Rubins: Gagosian Gallery. (Los Angeles)
It's an understatement to note that the world changed profoundly between the completion of Nancy Rubins's latest work and its unveiling on September 13. The ways in which we relate to works of art have changed in varying degrees since September 11...
"Neue Welt": Kunstverein. (Frankfurt)
Let's say this much up front: In the welter of theme-based exhibitions, "Neue Welt?" (New world) is exceptional. But why? After all, it is concerned, as the curator, Nicolaus Schafflausen, states in the catalogue, with "the redefinition of the public...
Nicola Torke: Agentur Fur Zeit-Genossische Kunst. (Hamburg)
Every well-stocked porno shop has two types of sex dolls for sale: the classic blowup doll and the imitation vagina, which (in terms of form) is, at best, abstract-looking. The latter "can't replace a real pussy," as the accompanying promotional material...
Olaf Breuning: Kunstverein. (Freiburg)
As you felt your way around the dark room, the silhouettes of a jungle very gradually emerged on the wall. Glowing green eyes, a campfire, and flashlights flickered into view, lending the gathering of man-apes an appearance that was threateningly enigmatic...
Raymond Hains: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
"Raymond Hains, la tentative": The very title of the show--"Raymond Hains: The Attempt"--underscores the difficulties involved in mounting a Hains retrospective. The first challenge is posed by the sheer variety of the artist's oeuvre, from his photographs...
Roger Hiorns: Corvi-Mora. (London)
The first time I met Roger Hiorns was in his art-school studio in the mid-'90s. I asked him what he was doing and he told me, without any explanation or justification, that he was growing copper sulfate crystals. Something pure, geometrically clear-cut,...
Sam Taylor-Wood: Centre National De la Photographie, Paris
Sam Taylor-Wood makes big photographs. I like photographs that are small, made to be viewed in books or, ideally, held in one's hands, destined to be turned, caressed, and scrutinized up close. In such experiences lies something like the essence of...
Tim Litzmann: Mary Boone. (New York)
Tim Litzmann lists the medium of his pictures as "acrylic/cast acrylic," and at first I wondered whether this wordplay meant he had developed a way to set acrylic paint in a solid sheet, to which he then strategically applied acrylic in its usual form--making...
"Trauma": Dundee Contemporary Arts. (Dundee, Scotland)
There is an inherent difficulty, even an incongruity, in attempting to address such a potentially unmanageable topic as trauma within the confines of an exhibition. How can the orderly containment and presentation of a collection of artworks exemplify...
Unstrung Hero. (Music)
DAMON KRUKOWSKI ON NAM JUNE PAIK Nam June Paik, Works 1958.1979. Sub Rosa (SR 178). NAM JUNE PAIK IS OFTEN PICTURED with an instrument: banging his head on a piano; dragging a violin along the ground; stretching a string across his back, to be...
Wayne Gonzales: Paula Cooper Gallery. (New York)
By addressing the complex relation between photography and the construction and dissemination of history, Wayne Gonzales's new work inserts itself in what appears to be a burgeoning genre: post-photographic history painting. Taking the 1963 assassination...
William Baziotes: Joseph Helman Gallery. (New York)
At the start of his career, around 1932-33, William Baziotes made a drawing that, in light of the gentle, haunting, lyrical works for which he later became known, one would never associate with him: a rather expressionistic flagellation scene. A mean...