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. 38, No. 5, January

1900: Art at the Crossroads
ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS, LONDON Of course it might only be a coincidence that Ruskin died in 1900, the same year that Freud published his most famous book, but the spell cast by round numbers remains powerful nonetheless, bewitching us into believing...
1999 Carnegie International
CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART, PITTSBURGH When you walk into the lobby of the Carnegie Museum, the program of this year's International announces itself in microcosm. There in front of you is atmospheric video projection (Diana Thater), a deadpan disquisition...
Alexis Smith
MARGO LEAVIN GALLERY "Words to Live By," the title of Alexis Smith's recent exhibition, is an apt designation for the texts adorning the fourteen collages, all from 1999, in the show. In an eponymous work that appears to be an airbrushed painting...
Alex Katz
MARLBOROUGH GALLERY/BRENT SIKKEMA This is as good as it gets. Right now, no one's paintings surpass Alex Katz's vast, expansive landscapes (recently on view at Marlborough). Their hallmark is the vacant beauty we find in works like West 2, 1998,...
Andreas M. Kaufmann
GALERIE RIVET In 1962, the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti premiered his Poeme Symphonique, a musical piece for a hundred metronomes. By positing the metronome as the performer of the concert (the pendulum weights were set so that each beat at...
Brad Kahlhamer
DEITCH PROJECTS Entering Brad Kahlhamer's exhibition "Friendly Frontier" was a bit like stopping off at a roadside attraction on Route 66. The viewer was immediately confronted by a wall-based installation of small kachina figures wrought from pieces...
Centre Stage
Come January 1, Serge Laurent can quit is wandering ways. Having made his name with the "Soiress Nomedes" at the Fondation Cartier, Laurent was recently appointed director in charge of spectacles vivants at the Pompidou and will head up the institution's...
Christiane Lohr
GALLERIA SALVATORE + CAROLINE ALA The first thing one noticed in Christiane Lohr's recent show was the barely tangible presence--it could almost be described as an absence--of a sculpture made entirely of horsehair. Skillfully tied together and...
"Clemente"
SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, NEW YORK Let me confess at the outset that I was genuinely disappointed by Francesco Clemente's exhibition at the Guggenheim, but not, perhaps, for the right reasons. Certainly, I was disappointed not because one expects...
Daily Double
ACCORDING TO NIETZSCHE'S DOCTRINE OF THE ETERNAL Recurrence, everything that happens in the universe has happened before and is destined to happen again, preceded and followed every time by exactly the same events. The finitude of the universe and...
Daniel Pflumm
GALERIE NEU Daniel Pflumm's field of artistic production is an expansive one. Along with video installations, the artist--who was born in Geneva in 1968 and now lives in Berlin--also works with light boxes and as a club organizer. But Pflumm's approach...
Darren Almond
Snow falls from a gray sky, while a group of people waits for a bus that never comes. The black and-white film is so grainy that it's impossible to make out faces or details. On the other side of the street, another bus stop stands empty; traffic passes...
David Reed
MAX PROTETCH No one will be shocked to hear that David Reed is not a minimal painter these days, but he began as one. In the '70s, he reduced painting to its basic elements: a canvas, a brush, black and white paint, the reach of his arm. The literalism...
Double Vision
Will the hubbub, hoopla, and popping of corks accompanying the May 12 opening of Tate Modern (nee Bank-side) drown out the news that London is acquiring not just one, but two major new--or at least renewed--showcases for contemporary art? Let's hope...
Elizabeth Peyton
REGEN PROJECTS When I was a little boy, the first time I saw David Bowie on television, I had no clue who he was, but I was captivated by his aura. It wasn't specific to his celebrity status or reputation as a gender bender. I could see right there,...
Eminently Victorian
THE VICTORIAN MEN AND WOMEN portrayed in the novels of Anthony Trollope seem surprisingly like us, far more so than literary creatures from only a century earlier (Torn Jones, say, or Clarissa Harlowe). Their feelings and motives are sufficiently like...
Familiar Haunts
Anthony Hernandez's "Pictures for Rome," 1998-99, bear no resemblance to the familiar images of that city. Venturing into the interiors of abandoned schoolhouses, hospitals, and never-finished office buildings, Hernandez's camera peruses these late-twentieth-century...
Felten-Massinger
GALERIE MICHELE CHOMETTE The photographs of Christine Felten and Veronique Massinger are literally one of a kind, for each is a positive image obtained directly on Cibachrome paper by means of a modem-day version of the camera obscura--an old camper...
Fiona Banner
FRITH STREET GALLERY Fiona Banner has been thinking about full stops--as the British call periods--for a couple of years now. She had always used them, of course, in the books and "word-scapes," the sheer size anti scale of which, coupled with the...
Frederick Sommer
PACE/MACGILL GALLERY When the elevator doors opened onto the recent Frederick Sommer show, some viewers might have thought they'd gotten off on the wrong floor, perhaps at an exhibition of midcareer Pollock or (more to the point) early Max Ernst....
Gordon Matta-Clark
DAVID ZWIRNER One piece in the recent show of Gordon Matta-Clark's work, tilted Blast from the Past, 1972-73, consists of a vitrine containing a photographic fragment of a small pile of trash measured by a ruler, a reconstruction of the floor sweepings...
Home Alone
Film critics and buffs, even connoisseurs of the offbeat, have such a fierce love-hate relationship with Harmony Korine that it's easy to forget the splash he made as the precocious teenage screenwriter of photographer Larry Clark's film debut, Kids...
International Shorts Preview
IMPURE THOUGTS Make way, make way for the Impure Conceptualists. It's tempting to attach that label--origina1ly applied to the work of artist-musician Stephen Prina--to a whole slew of younger artists with shows scheduled early in 2000. At the Kunstverein...
Jeanne Silverthorne
WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART AT PHILIP MORRIS The Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris is a peculiar exhibition site, challenging both physically and socially. It begins with an outsize anteroom, the Sculpture Court, one of those lofty...
Julie Heffernan
PETER MILLER GALLERY Julie Heffernan provides precisely the kind of thing one might expect from fin-demillennium painting (though it's pretty rarely found): a mannered, even claustrophobic engagement with canonical Western art practice. In her canvases,...
Laura Matei
GIAN CARLA ZANUTTI For her first solo gallery show, Laura Matei, a young Romanian artist living in Italy, forged an unexpected union between canvas and sewing needles. Four white canvases lunging in a row tracked the progression, from left to right,...
Lynch Mob
SEVENTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD Richard Farnsworth's performance in David Lynch's. The Straight Story (1999) has a beautiful, disarming nakedness: There doesn't seem to be anything between the elements and his weathered skin except the stubborn pride the old...
Marco Brambilla
HENRY URBACH ARCHITECTURE When I meet someone at the airport, especially for an international flight, I like to get there early to watch the influx of people at the arrival gate. The intermundial character of air travel, its uncanny evocations of...
Marlene Dumas
MUSEUM VAN HEDENDAAGSE KUNST, ANTWERP Painting and photography keep rubbing up against each other, getting all hot and bothered. A cold-eyed artist like Gerhard Richter just likes to watch, but a more physically and emotionally demonstrative one...
Matthew Tickle
MATT'S GALLERY The English landscape is one of the most worked over in the world--barely a square inch of it has escaped the attention of landowners and developers. Arguably, England's most important and ambitious contribution to the visual arts...
Michael David
KNOEDLER & COMPANY Michael David's most recent abstract encaustic paintings are eloquently deceptive: What looks at first like wispy atmosphere--elusive surges of color against an amorphous ground--is on closer inspection revealed to be a tactile,...
Mona Hatoum
ALEXANDER AND BONIN Mona Hatoum's New York exhibition--her first in the city since the New Museum survey in 1997--functioned as something of a primer for the artist's concerns. Often discussed in terms of national and cultural identity (Hatoum is...
Nancy Burson
Etan Patz Update (Age 6 to Age 13); 1984 In this ongoing series, writers are invited to discuss a contemporary work that has special significance for them. As a novelist who'd love to reinvent narrative, I'm always looking to art for ideas that...
Palais Coup
MIRIAM ROSEN ON THE CENTRE DE LA JEUNE CREATION PARIS'S NEWEST CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER won't open until September, but it's already making waves on the French arts scene, if in ways not necessarily anticipated by its initiators. As announced by...
Phil Frost
JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY Phil Frost is part of a clique ("school" seems too formal) of street artists/skateboarders who've filtered into galleries in recent years--the most prominent being Barry McGee, with whom Frost has had a long association. What's...
Qiu Shi Hua
KUNSTHALLE BASEL The painting of Qiu Shi Hua inhabits the border between the visible and the invisible. Stepping into the hallway on the Kunsthalle's upper floor, one was greeted by a series of nineteen panoramic paintings, landscape formations...
"Regarding Beauty"
HIRSHHORN MUSEUM, WASHINGTON, DC The same old questions The same old answers. Nothing like them Samuel Beckett Situated between aggressive electronic media and two hundred years of industrial vandalism, the long-held idea that a tiny output...
Roland Brener
OLGA KORPER GALLERY Entering the massive steel doors of the gallery to see Roland Brener's recent exhibition, I felt a bit like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. On the floor, a few feet beyond the entrance, lay the spectacular, schematized head...
Santiago Sierra
MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORANEO INTERNACIONAL RUFINO TAMAYO Spanish-born Santiago Sierra is one of a group of young expatriate artists who live and work in Mexico City, perhaps seduced by that singular setting--huge, chaotic, polluted--and the way in...
"Spellbound"
KARYN LOVEGROVE GALLERY Perhaps as a result of having grown up watching Bewitched as often as possible, I'm fascinated by TV magic, from the sweet but toothless moral repetitions of Sabrina the Teenage Witch to the new-age banalities and annoying...
The Long List
KATY SIEGEL ON THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL THE BIG QUESTION LEADING up to this year's Whitney Biennial was as much "how?" as "who?" With six outside curators working under a relatively new, still-controversial director, the setup seemed more than a little...
Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art
QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY, BRISBANE Brisbane's two-million-odd inhabitants just love a good expo, and with the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, that's pretty mix what they've got. Unabashedly populist, the APT3 is for the most part...
Time Flies
DANIEL BIRNBAUM ON THE POMPIDOU'S REOPENING ON JANUARY 1, AFTER TWO YEARS of renovation, the Centre Georges Pompidou reopens its doors. Directed since 1996 by Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the museum will mark the occasion with a number of shows--a retrospective...
Tracey Baran
LIEBMANMAGNAN In her first exhibition, a year and a half ago, Tracey Baran located her photographic subject at the intersection of the social and the psychological. Portraying her own family and its disorderly wreck of a home somewhere in the low-rent...
Tumble, Sigh
"MAKE IT NEW": Modernist directive or detergent jingle? Maybe both. In Appliance House, 1998-99, Jennifer Bolande mixes and matches Lever House, the International Style landmark on Park Avenue built by the eponymous soap company in 1952, with a cut-rate...
U.S. Shorts
WHAT'S MORE POWERFUL, the word or the image? In the millennial spirit, a number of shows seem ready to grapple with the centuries-old question. The Drawing Center will host the work of James Castle from March 4 to May 4. The Idahoan's achingly homespun...
Uta Barth
BONAKDAR JANCOU GALLERY Walter Benjamin described aura--that intangible quality that distinguishes an object from its photographic reproduction--as the effect of a thing's "unique existence." According to Benjamin, not only do photographs lack their...