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. 6, February

"Are We There Yet?": Glass Box. (Paris)
That nomadism is a characteristic condition of life in the age of globalization has become something of a cliche. And some of our assumptions regarding the ever-increasing ease of international travel and the porousness of cultural boundaries have...
Armin Linke: Galleria Marabini. (Bologna)
The Hindu festival of Mahakumbhmela takes place over the course of several days, every twelve years, where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet. More than twenty million pilgrims converge to purify themselves in the waters of the two rivers at a site...
A Thousand Words Mike Nelson Talks about His Recent Work
Last year I installed three big pieces between May and October: The Deliverance and the Patience at the Venice Biennale; The Cosmic Legend of the Uroboros Serpent, my Turner Prize presentation at Tate Britain; and between these, Nothing is True. Everything...
Christian Jankowski: Swiss Institute. (New York)
Robert Frost famously remarked that poetry is what gets lost in translation. Berlin-based artist Christian Jankowski seems to have taken the bard to heart, albeit turning his dictum on its head. By fashioning art out of the strange, often wonderful...
Christopher Wilmarth: Arts Club of Chicago. (Chicago)
Christopher Wilmarth developed a kind of melancholic minimalism during his brief career. Bending plates of steel and glass into new profiles, he offered the hallmarks of sturdy modernist rectangularity as fragile and evanescent. He suffused the plates...
Cosmic Relief
IT TAKES A SPECIAL TURN OF MIND to look at the sky and see goats, celestial twins, and bearskin-clad hunters--an elaborating mind, well upholstered with primary images. In short, that of a Greek shepherd whose ears ring with the lliad and the Odyssey....
Damien De Lepeleire: La Lettre Volee. (Brussels)
Damien De Lepeleire is a Belgian painter whose work proceeds in series, with all that this implies in dealing with difference and repetition, coherence and uncertainty. In response to the invitation from the publishing house La Lettre Volee to produce...
Darren Waterston: Charles Cowles Gallery. (New York)
Whatever else it may be, postmodern painting tends to be art-historically self-conscious, saturated with double entendres, and executed in an astute, "crafty" way: tightly controlled no matter how impulsive and free-spirited it may look, no matter...
David Goldblatt: Axa Gallery, New York
There is a photograph in this retrospective of a spacious white house on a hilltop overlooking a vast terrain of forcefully rolling country, dotted with tree and bush and climbing to mountains along the distant horizon. The upper half of the picture...
"Des Territoires": Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux-Arts, Paris
The blind men would have had quite a time with this elephant called "Des territoires." Among its salient features: an iconoclastic interdisciplinary seminar on the impact of globalization, which has been meeting at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des...
Diana Thater. (Hotlist)
Diana Thater's exhibition "Knots + Surfaces" is currently on view at the Dia Center, New York. Based in LA, she recently traveled to Mexico to film at the El Rosarlo Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. IF IT FEELS LIKE TERRORISTS and the Saudis--the Middle...
Elizabeth Peyton: Deichtorhallen. (Hamburg)
Elizabeth Peyton is a small woman who works for the most part on a small scale, but she is a majestic painter, perhaps the most important of her generation. The extremely traditional installation of this, her largest museum show to date, was correct...
Eric Niebuhr: Goldman Tevis. (Los Angeles)
Fooling around with spiritual imagery is tricky business. When it comes to the eternal, the cosmic, and the infinite, many of us are sure only that we aren't sure about its status in our lives, let alone in art, so we tend to like our doses of the...
Eric Rondepierre: Galerie Michele Chomette. (Paris)
Like many photographers, Eric Rondepierre travels to find his images. And yet he is not a reporter--and hardly even a photographer in the traditional sense of the term. His journeys of exploration, the first step in his creative process, are forays...
February 1982. (Artforum)
Twenty years ago this month, editor Ingrid Sischy's eyebrow-raising cover image of a model in an Issey Miyake "rattan bodice and nylon polyester skirt" introduced the February 1982 Special Issue. Walker Arts Center curator and onetime Art forum managing...
Fred Sandback: Chinati Foundation. (Marfa, TX)
For the past thirty-five years Fred Sandback has been creating barely-there yarn installations that exist somewhere between object and line, sculpture and drawing. The thin fuzzy line of Sandback's yarn is chockfull of an art-historical spatial discourse...
Geoffrey James: Centre Culturel Canadien. (Paris)
Who hasn't wanted, just once, to be alone with Paris? One of the great laboratories of modern sociability, the City of Light also awakens, at least in certain foreigners' hearts, the intermittent desire to merge, unaccompanied, with the weight of its...
Ghada Amer: Deitch Projects. (New York)
One thing I'm tired of--just so you know--is people setting up some dreary idea of feminism in order to justify the pretense that they themselves have done better. "I started with the proposition that feminism had failed," Ghada Amer told Art News...
Helio Oiticica "Quasi-Cinemas": Wexner Center, Columbus, Ohio
As a child there are three main things you learn about art. First, it's supposed to be beautiful. Second, it's something you shouldn't touch. And third, if you stand in front of it for long enough, your feet will start to hurt. Certainly, art's radical...
In Other's Words
THAT SARAT MAHARAJ IS A BIT TOO INTELLIGENT for the art world, as a friend of mine recently claimed, I cannot accept. Without the presence of a few minds like his, the whole business would be just too dull. A biographical remark in a recent publication...
James Hegge: Paul Rodgers/9W. (New York)
James Hegge's first solo show in New York comprised three sculptures, two series of drawings, and a video, all related to real or imagined performative actions. Megaphone for Speaking to the Wall, 1999, is a forty-inch-long fiberglass-and-resin con...
Janice McNab: Laurent Delaye Gallery. (London)
Todd Haynes's curious film Safe (1995) tells the tale of a woman who becomes "allergic the twentieth century": Developing a morbid sensitivity to everyday chemical substances, she quits her post as a dutiful American mother, house wife, and consumer,...
Jean Dubuffet: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Jean Dubuffet (1901-85) was a big deal to an adolescent art lover in Chicago in the '70s. His monumental black-and-white civic sculptures were the epitome of bland buoyancy, a kind of European Pop--old master gold standard. His championing of art brut...
John Baldessari: Peter Plagens Looks Back on John Baldessari's First One-Man Shows in Los Angeles (Molly Barnes) and New York (Feigen) in 1968. (First Break)
JOHN BALDESSARI--"the world's tallest leprechaun," as denizens of an earlier LA art world used to call him affectionately--has been so prominent, so wry, so even-tempered, and so unselfish a presence on the scene for so long that it's difficult to...
Jorg Sasee: Lehmann Maupin. (New York)
Jorg Sasse has refined the role of artist as technician. He scans photographs of architectural forms and prosaic landscapes taken by himself and others--friends and strangers--into his computer and manipulates them by reducing and enlarging scale,...
Julian Opie: Ikon Gallery. (Birmingham)
Julian Opie is becoming the latest master of the long British tradition of landscape art. While he is popularly known at the moment for his simplified portraits of the rock group Blur, his recent show was chiefly an exploration of rural and coastal...
Julie Mehretu: The Project. (New York)
A map of Julie Mehretu's career thus far would have the scattered, centripetal look of her paintings. Imagine a wide swath of markings and arrows, emblems of an itinerary that has taken the artist from Addis Ababa and Dakar to Kalamazoo, Providence,...
Laurie Simmons. (Top Ten)
Laurie Simmons's work is currently on view at 20.21 Galerie in Essen, Germany. Her new line of fashion dolls for Bozart Toys will debut this fall. (1) ANIMAL PLANET Hard news from a parallel kingdom: This cable channel offers the perfect antidote...
Letters
EXTRA PONT To the Editor: In his thoughtful review of the exhibition of late de Kooning paintings at Matthew Marks Gallery [Reviews, January 2002], Alexi Worth writes of the "surprising" absence of two 1987 paintings In the show "Willem de Kooning:...
Liliana Moro: Galleria EMI Fontana. (Mian)
Two basic elements made up Liliana Moro's installation, " ", 2001. The first was a material, glass, fragments of which covered the floors of the gallery's four rooms and crunched underfoot. You could say that the sharp, dry noise of the shards' continual...
Linda Bilda for Ernst Schmidt Jr.: Wiener Secession. (Vienna)
Ernst Schmidt Jr. (1938-88) was one of Vienna's most important avant-garde filmmakers and theoreticians. So how can his work be shown other than in a movie theater or in print? Both forms of presentation were employed in a recent survey of his work,...
Louise Bourgeois: Cheim & Read. (New York)
What can one say about Louise Bourgeois but that she is master of her form and mistress of her passions? Now ninety, Bourgeois has been making art for nearly three-quarters of a century, executing drawings in her parents' tapestry-restoration atelier...
Marlene Mccarty: Sandroni Rey. (Los Angeles)
In her recent show, Marlene McCarty continued her study of adolescent girls who become, through acts of violence, conflicted sites of sexuality and identity. McCarty's fascination is always with what might be called (pace Adrienne Rich's old theoretical...
"Mir2" Smack Mellon Studios. (New York)
Harking back to elaborate tree forts hosting gangs of neighborhood kids, "Mirz," a group project organized by artists Ward Shelley, Peter Soriano, and Jesse Bercowetz, brought together dozens of collaborators to build a complex of seven modules suspended...
Naked Youth
Until recently, being an American admirer of the photographer Bill Henson was a lonely and rather painstaking chore. Apart from a small survey of his work at the Denver Art Museum in 1990 an a few photographs included in a 1984 Solomon R. Guggenheim...
One and Two: A Project for Art Forum: Rem Koolhaas and the Harvard Design School Project on the City
AT THE HARVARD DESIGN SCHOOL, HI-LO [C] ARCHITECT AND INTER-disciplinary smarty-pants Rem Koolhaas has a fiefdom where he and his Harvard [C] research elves crank out obese tomes mingling pedagogy and snazzy graphics. In a series studying "new, unknown,...
Openings: Nancy Davenport
I find digital photography vaguely depressing, an oxymoron like the advertising slogan "a major motion-picture event" or the hip-hop mantra "Keepin' It Real." For one thing, it now seems clear that our greatest account of the photographic medium, Roland...
Petah Coyne: Galerie Lelong/Julie Saul Gallery. (New York)
There is something exquisitely tacky about Petah Coyne's latest work. Made with beads, ribbons and bows, flowers, diminutive yard-trash statuettes, and fake and stuffed birds, all covered with gallons of melted wax, her sculpture runs distinctly counter...
Peter Liversidge: Rare. (New York)
In his first one-person show in New York, British artist Peter Liversidge reproduces internationally known signiflers like the logos of Lufthansa and BMW with a childlike clumsiness that strips all slickness from the corporate icons. He makes no bones...
Rachel Howard: Anne Faggionato. (London)
The paintings in Rachel Howard's second solo exhibition are variations on a theme: the color red. Yet it would be a mistake to see her as essentially a colorist. While her earlier squares of poured paint were rigorously flat and opaque, done in one...
Rico Gatson: Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. (New York)
In the heyday of modernism, numerous theorists of art and architecture considered pattern and ornamentation to be synonymous with an archaic mind-set. For example, the architect Adolf Loos notoriously labeled ornament a crime against the purity of...
Riegl Heir: Richard Wollheim on E.H. Gomberich. (Passages)
Daumier said: "We must follow our own time." And Ingres said: "But what if the time is wrong." --E.H. Gombrich and Didier Eribon, Looking for Answers: Conversations on Art and Science (1993) THE ART HISTORIAN Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich was born...
Saul Fletcher. (Portfolio)
Saul Fletcher shot the austere landscapes on the following pages at the end of a frustrating three weeks last February. "I'd been thinking about these pictures for three or four years," he says in his soft North Country burr. "I used to work in those...
The Stories He Could Tell: Rhonda Lieberman on Todd Solondz. (Film)
WALTER BENJAMIN SAID it's the winners whose histories are told, but Todd Solondz's latest film proves it's the losers. In two parts ("Fiction" and "Non-Fiction"), Storytelling--which premiered at Cannes last May and just opened in New York and Los...
Thomas Glassford: Torre De Los Vientos/Galeria OMR. (Mexico City)
Eliminating considerations of taste was a common goal during the golden age of Mininialism and Conceptual art. The idea was to disengage art from the frivolity of Pop as well as from bourgeois hypocrisy. Ironically, in the past decade the minimal!...
Via Lewandowsky: Arndt & Partner. (Berlin)
Berlin's Mitte has lost much of its attraction for the art market. Too much tourism, too many public events, and too little profit have prompted a whole string of galleries to relocate, the latest of these being Arndt & Partner. However, the gallery's...