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. 41, No. 9, May

Adam Fuss: Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston)
If in the early days of photography, the mechanical difficulties of producing even a mediocre photograph prevented the uninitiated from muddling the issue, technical innovations soon meant that anyone could, and would, make a picture. Pictorialism,...
Adam Straus: Nohra Haime Gallery. (New York)
The title of Adam Straus's recent exhibition of landscape paintings, "Sublimis Interruprus," suggests that something has gone radically amiss in a moment of great import. What is interrogated in this case is nature at its most magnificent. A dozen...
Adrian Paci: Galleria Francesca Kaufmann. (Milan)
Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore. Adrian Paci's videos concern the emotional nature of origins. An Albanian, he has lived in Italy for five years but has maintained, both conceptually and sentimentally, his primary ties of family, friends,...
Aernout Mik: The Project. (Los Angeles)
Somebody once told me goldfish can survive in bowls because their memories are too short to conceive of their own miserable existences. The idea--of fish forever circling, unaware of their limited range-- seems analogous to the state (or fate) of the...
Alexi Worth: Bill Maynes Gallery. (New York)
"Gerberman at Large," Alexi Worth's recent short series of paintings, follows the romantic trajectory of a character who, being balding, bespectacled, and middle-aged, looks a little like me, though maybe somewhat more feckless (I would like to think)....
Antonio Murado: Centro Galego De Arte Contemporanea. (Santiago De Compostela)
Translated from Portuguese by Clifford Landers. Before a landscape painting, we ask ourselves, "Looking at this, what do I feel?" This question is inherited from the traditional manner of contemplating a painting, but it also comes to us from the...
A Thousand Words: Simon Starling Talks about Kakteenhaus, 2002
Strangely enough, the idea for a project involving the Tabernas Desert came from my work with rhododendrons. In 1999 I was making a piece that reversed the historical trajectory of Rhododendron ponticum--namely, the plant's introduction into Britain...
Ceal Floyer: Index, the Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation. (Stockholm)
British artist Ceal Floyer's first solo exhibition in Sweden, consisting of two works forming a single installation on two floors, was both minimal and well matched to the particularity of this space and its location. A sound piece in the upper gallery...
Chen Zhen: Institute of Contemporary Art/P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center. (Boston/New York)
In 1986, after Chen Zhen left Shanghai for Paris and abandoned painting for sculptural installation, he coined the term "transexperience" to describe a certain self-awareness of homelessness and the active bringing together of cultures that characterized...
Chloe Piene: Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert. (New York)
Ye olde mix of sex, death, and ungodly powers from beyond infused a recent show by Chloe Piene, and results ranged from excellent to interesting to problematic. With a group of charcoal drawings on vellum and two elaborate videos, Piene explored exhibitionism...
Claudia and Julia Muller: Maccarone Inc. (New York)
In their first New York show, Swiss sisters Claudia and Julia Muller presented three series of ink drawings, an animated video, and two unassuming sculptures (all works 2002) that focus on the complex negotiation of the individual with the constructs...
Domestic Bliss: Thomas Crow on "The Age of Watteau, Chardin, and Fragonard". (from the Vault Preview)
AN EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY TO SEE MUCH of the best painting done in eighteenth-century France begins this summer in Ottawa at the National Gallery of Canada: "The Age of Watteau, Chardin, and Fragonard: Masterpieces of French Genre Painting." The...
"Donald Judd: Early Work 1955-1968"; Menil Collection, Houston. (Reviews)
Donald Judd did not begin to produce mature, wholly distinctive works of art until shortly after his thirty-second birthday, in the summer of 1960. Or so the story is told in the artist's 1975 catalogue raisonne. "Early Work 1955-1968," curated by...
Donald Moffett: Marianne Boesky. (New York)
As critics increasingly lament video art's dependence on the "black box," many artists have been trying to revise the shopworn standards, technical and formal, for projecting images. Donald Moffett's tactic has been to allow the distinct representational...
Douglas Gordon: Gagosian Gallery. (New York)
Douglas Gordon's latest video installation, in which an Indian elephant moves silently across two freestanding screens and a monitor installed in the gallery's cavernous space, has been taken as everything from a comment on man's relationship with...
Enid Baxter Blader: Location One. (New York)
When a projected image work has multiple screens, or combines images with objects, or is scattered throughout a space, it becomes obvious why it is a film or video installation and nor, so to speak, a movie being shown in an art gallery. When it's...
Feast for the Eyes: The Art of Rivane Neuenschwander
I recall staying in a skyscraper with a small jungle on the roof and then traveling by taxi through a hailstorm to attend the sumptuous opening of a vast biennial organized around the (to me) surprising idea of cannibalism. This was my first visit...
Fred Wilson: Berkeley Art Museum. (Berkeley)
As the affable ambassador of serious institutional critique, Fred Wilson has been warmly invited into fortresses of culture since the early '90s to take on the task of exposing the racially and ideologically biased foundations of museum archiving and...
Gabriel Orozco: Galerie Chantal Crousel. (Paris)
Translated from French by Jeanine Herman. The gallery was transformed into a sort of marketplace: On metal trestles topped by worn planks, terra cotta objects were arrayed in fairly large quantity. Of various shapes--long cylinders, balls, circles,...
Guy Richards Smit. (Top Ten)
Guy Richards Smit, a New York-based artist and frontman for the art band Maxi Geil! & PlayColt, is currently shooting Nausea 2, a video rock opera that will premiere this fall. 1 MICHAEL SMITH AND JOSHUA WHITE With The QuinQuag Arts and Wellness...
Hard Acts to Follow: Matthew Higgs on Throbbing Gristle. (Music)
WHILE MANY LIVE RECORDINGS are accompanied by disclaimers--invariably apologias for the sound quality-few come with warnings as to their possible side effects. Throbbing Gristle's TG24, a limited-edition deluxe box set of twenty-four CDs of live Throbbing...
Ivan Morley: Patrick Painter. (Los Angeles)
Ivan Morley's paintings are inspired by the frontiersman's lore of scrappy, dried-out California towns with names like San Gabriel, El Monte, and Tehachapi. Such locales and their all-but-forgotten (and possibly artist-fabricated) histories--if you...
Jake and Dinos Chapman: White Cube. (London)
Is there any mileage left in the idea of art as an oppositional practice, a set of moves made against the prevailing culture and its norms from outside its territory? For the Chapman brothers the answer would appear to be no. Why bother to fake an...
James Rosenquist:Menil Collection and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
As an art student at the University of Minnesota, James Rosenquist found work painting grain elevators and storage tanks. He also learned the billboard painter's trade and later, as a Pop artist, made art of images scaled up to the hypervisibiity of...
John Maeda: Cristinerose/Josee Bienvenu Gallery. (New York)
What does it mean for a digital artwork to be medium-specific? The answer usually involves interactivity, a variously controlled and predictable behavior and response onscreen. But new-media theorists have shown that interactivity is largely a mirage,...
Laura Owens: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. (Reviews)
There are some very good paintings in MOCKS Laura Owens survey--particularly the large decorative landscapes painted between 1999 and 2002 that borrow from Chinese scroll and screen painting, the rococo pastorals of Beauvais tapestries, and the peaceable...
"Living Inside the Grid": New Museum of Contemporary Art. (New York)
By now, the uses and abuses of the grid are well known and well theorized. That simple network of verticals and horizontals is thoroughly modern in concept and perhaps as far from nature as you can get. It's as vulnerable to technological metaphors...
Marco Vaglieri: Arte Contemporanea Luigi Franco. (Turin)
Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore. In Marco Vaglieri's video II tempo che serve--Parte prima (The time that is needed--Part one; all works 2002) the hypnotic image of a heavy artillery shell, rotating in a circle and plowing the sky in...
"Matthew Barney: The CREMASTER Cycle"; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. (Reviews)
Other ambitious young artists might have been content go to the studio, tack up a poster of Harry Houdini, a postcard of Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, and the famous image of Richard Serra flinging molten lead like Vulcan in his forge, and sublimate....
"Matthew Barney: The CREMASTER Cycle"; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. (Reviews)
Dark Polaris snowmobiles stand dormant in a row, their cinematic image dissolving slowly into crags of glacial ice, so that shimmering silver logos are superimposed, for a moment, on a sublime landscape--as if all of nature's territories were somehow...
May 1973
Three decades ago in Art forum, Max Kozloff asked just what, beyond formal achievement, made Abstract Expressionism (and Pop art and Color Field painting on its heels) so triumphant after all. Managing editor looks back on the essay that opened the...
Meg Cranston: Leo Koenig. (New York)
"Magical Death," Meg Cranston's most recent show, presented five portraits of the artist as a pinata. Papier-mache mockups of the artist herself, "dressed" in colored-tissue outfits--striped pants, red shorts, shod in boots or adorned with an elaborate...
Melik Ohanian: Atlanta College of Art Gallery. (Atlanta)
It all starred promisingly enough. While surfing the Web, Armenian-French artist Melik Ohanian discovered someone with the same name as his living on Long Island. This reminded him of a family story, typical of the Armenian diaspora: After the Turkish...
One for All: Steven Henry Madoff on the Venice Biennale. (Preview)
THOSE WHO RECALL THE WAR between Vittorio Sgarbi, former undersecretary of the Italian culture ministry, and Francesco Bonami, director of visual arts for the 50th Venice Biennale [see Artforum, May 2002], may wonder what became of the clangor over...
Openings Urs Fischer
Urs Fischer is not Matthew Barney. The autonomous, if decidedly 10-fi, objects Fischer crafts are the very antitheses of the spectacular "sets" Barney creates to further his self-generated mythology. Barney's practice literally trades in high production...
Oyvind Fahlstrom: Feigen Contemporary. (New York)
"Supertotalitarianism to preserve the world for the rich and powerful few..."; "Become bourgeois or else (US style)"; "BOOM for Whom?" It appears that Oyvind Fahlstrom has been reading the news. But no: The puckish and prolific painter, filmmaker,...
Peter Robinson: Galerie Kapinos. (Berlin)
Translated from German by Sara Ogger. Born in New Zealand a descendant of the Maori, Peter Robinson has been living in Germany for several years now. His work has been represented at the Johannesburg (1997 and Venice (2001) biennials and more recently...
Present Imperfect: Geoffrey O'Brien on the Man without a Past. (Film)
"MY HEAD'S DAMAGED somehow. I don't even remember who I am." My, that's bad. Care for a cup of coffee?" This snatch of dialogue sums up quite well the clipped and unflappable tone of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki's sixteenth feature, The Man...
"Routes": Grazer Kunstverein. (Graz, Austria)
Translaud from German by Sara Ogger. "Man is a story-making animal. He rarely passes up an opportunity to accompany his works and his experiences with matching stories." Chinua Achebe, a seminal figure in postcolonial literature, thus sounds the...
Santiago Cucullu: Franklin Art Works. (Minneapolis)
In Santiago Cucullu's recent solo exhibition, wall sculptures constructed from paper table skirting (the disposable kind you find at "party paper" outlets) acted as a minimalist counterpoint to giant contact-paper murals and delicate watercolors portraying...
Shane Cullen: 114 Sheriff Street. (Dublin)
"We the participants in the multi-party negotiations, believe that the agreement we have negotiated offers a truly historic opportunity for a new beginning." The optimism of this opening sentence to the 11,500-word Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, reached...
"Shopping": Schirn Kunsthalle. (Frankfurt)
Window displays as a case study from the beginnings of photography to the Bauhaus architects; mannequins as an obsession of the Surrealists; mass commodities as the focus of Pop art: The fascination with surface and with the excesses of the world of...
Sigmar Polke: Dallas Museum of Art. (Reviews)
Not interested in politics? Well, politics is interested in you. While you go about your business, hustling to work on the train or in a car, amid the swarming crowd, politicians look down from on high, drawing lines--of national boundaries and corporate...
Sophy Rickett: Emily Tsingou Gallery. (London)
"Can one narrate time," asked Thomas Mann, "time as such, in and of itself?" Some photographers likewise (or conversely) seem to ask whether one can photograph a moment, decisive or otherwise, as such, in and of itself. Not the moment in which something...
Stephan Dillemuth: Galerie Christian Nagel. (Cologne)
Standing on a white pedestal was a chair titled Charles Eames fur Vegetarier (Charles Eames for vegetarians; all works 2002), put together with twigs found in the woods. A vitrine built of branches painted white displayed garden gnomes made of clay...
Stephen Shore. (Portfolio)
At the age of twenty-five, Stephen Shore set off by car from his native Manhattan and headed west. The year was 1972, and the America he discovered though the lens of his 35 mm range finder, a vast network of windswept back roads and empty downtowns,...
Telling Tales
On the occasion of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's traveling retrospective "Philip Guston," Artforum asked art historian David Anfam to examine the career of a painter whose "untimely" return to storytelling pointed the way "back to the future."...
The Films of Johnnie To: Louder Than Words
IN THE MID-'90$, AFTER A SPLENDID RUN IN regional markets and film festivals, Hong Kong cinema began to unravel. Major directors like John Woo and Tsui Hark, along with star Chow Yun-fat, tried their luck in Los Angeles. The handover to China, American...
Ulrike Lienbacher: Galerie Krinzinger/Osterreichisches Museum Fur Angewandte Kunst. (Vienna)
Translated from German by Sara Ogger. The room where Ulrike Lienbacher presented over sixty drawings, one above the other, seemed to be peopled by plastic stools. Her sensitive, schematic lines sketch figural poses, hands, and heads--but no faces,...
Vanishing Act: Chrissie Iles on Jack Goldstein. (Passages)
"I AM ALWAYS DISAPPEARING in my performances--it's strange how personal my work is." Just as a serious assessment of the '80s is beginning, one of the period's most important and neglected figures has slipped from our grasp. The long-term significance...
Weighty Madonna: Rhonda Lieberman on "X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS". (Slant)
MADONNA GOES THROUGH INCARNATIONS the way the rest of us go through tubes of toothpaste. When last season's soigne, spiritual Madonna appeared on Larry King Live in October, one marveled at how she constantly evolves: from her breakthrough MTV "Like...
Welcome to the Club: Carter Ratcliff on John Elderfield. (Preview)
IN MARCH JOHN ELDERFIELD was appointed chief curator of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He succeeds Kirk Varnedoe, who left the post (often called the most powerful in the art world) to join the faculty...
Yun-Fei Ji: Pratt Manhattan Gallery. (New York)
In eight friezelike ink-and-mineral-pigment drawings on mulberry rice paper, Beijing-born Yun-Fei Ji conjures a world in turmoil that oscillates between the safety of centuries-old tradition and mortal terror concerning the next five minutes. Amid...