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. 33, No. 4, December

Alex Colville
MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS One of Canada's most prominent painters, Alex Colville has, for decades, either been revered or abhorred by critics for the kitschy, naive sentimentality of his realist paintings. This exhibition included virtually his entire...
Amy Hauft
LIPTON OWENS COMPANY Installed in a former bank, Amy Hauft's Counting to Infinity, 1994, addressed the abstraction of an economy divorced from hard currency. One entered the building through a minuscule foyer that opened onto a steep flight of stairs....
Apostolos Georgiou
ATHENS GALLERY The principal feature of Apostolos Georgiou's recent paintings is that everything seems to be compressed in a central cluster of images. By means of this singular compositional device, it appears as though the artist has deliberately...
Best & Worst: 1994
she simultaneously babbles and freezes up around her stunning humming maybe love Jordan Catalano (sumptuous Jared Leto), who sings a bit like Michael Stipe after a toke and wants to make snow in the mountains, his back-up plan if his band, Frozen Embryos,...
Betty Bee
It's hard to say when Betty Bee became an artist. At eight, she covered herself with white paint, hoping to throw a guard dog off her scent and so escape the reform school where she was confined. In Vienna some ten years ago, she and a friend sprinkled...
Bill Owens
AMERICAN FINE ARTS Though conspicuously absent from public collections, Bill Owens' photo-chronicles of middle America belong alongside those of the better known "social landscape" photographers of the '60s and '70s: Diane Arbus, Bruce Davidson, Lee...
Consummate Consumption
Jeffrey Slonim on Artists' Collections When Andy Warhol's celebrated collection of goodies (everything from Kenny Scharfs to cookie jars to a bed canopy loaded with watches) went on the block at Sotheby's in 1989, its Citizen Kane-like breadth and eccentricity...
Doug Aitken
303 GALLERY Work for the attention-span impaired in all of us, Doug Aitken's installation provoked the sort of fleeting engagement that characterizes watching television. This should come as no surprise since Aitken supports himself by producing and...
Franz Kline: The Menil Collection
"You instinctively like what you can't do," Franz Kline said in a 1958 interview, referring to the precise yet ethereal style of Fra Angelico. Like many other statements of the period, Kline's remark was probably coaxed forth by the interviewer (in this...
Gerwald Rockenschaub
SECESSION Gerwald Rockenschaub's recent installation in the Secession asked us to go beyond the art object to consider the institution in which it is placed. The Secession was founded as a temple to art, and only Gustav Klimt's Beethoven frieze remains...
Heidi Kumao
HALLWALLS CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER The subtly confessional spaces between the flickering images that are produced by Heidi Kumao's zoetropes and the homely objects that surround them held out the promise of catharsis. In the darkened gallery, small islands...
Helmut Dorner
Helmut Dorner's work is post-Modern painting at its most masterful and convincing: an ironic, hybrid reprise of Modernist modes handled as measured nuances. The uncanny urgency 'that seems to lie just beneath the lacquer-slick surfaces suggests a smothered...
Howard Buchwald
NANCY HOFFMAN GALLERY Howard Buchwald's abstract paintings are didactic in the best sense: they present themselves as advanced lessons in the art of seeing. Since his last New York gallery exhibition five years ago, he has abandoned his idiosyncratic...
I Scream You Scream
"Revolution isn't rammed up the ass." This insight comes to a smoldering Cuban ideologue somewhere near the middle of Tomas Gutierrez Alea's Strawberry and Chocolate. In Alea's new film (codirected with Juan Carlos Tabio), such innuendoes belie deep...
Javier Baldeon
GALERIA ANTONIO DE BARNOLA Attracted by photography and the potential it affords for manipulating the real, Javier Baldeon has recently favored this medium in his efforts to disrupt the systems that institutionalize the individual's submission to societal...
JoAnn Verburg
pARTS GALLERY No matter how intimate the setting or how relaxed the subject, JoAnn Verburg takes pictures of her husband Jim Moore as if she didn't want to be caught looking. If Verburg isn't photographing him while he's asleep, lost behind a newspaper,...
Johannes Kahrs
DAAD GALERIE A telephone card based on Johannes Kahrs' painting HIT, 1994, is being issued to commemorate his receipt of the International Schlumberger Award for Art. Ironically, this work is the realistic portrait of a woman who faces the viewer with...
John Souza
SUE SPAID FINE ART John Souza's "Rememberentering" consisted of seven large wall pieces and one that was petite--like Snow White and her dwarfs in reverse. Issues of architecture, death, memory, and narrative were all addressed in this show, but it...
Jorge Du Bon
MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORANEO ALVAR Y CARMEN T. DE CARRILLO GIL During the '60s, the official party strove to portray Mexico as a land of promise (an image to which it has returned in the '90s), and part of this effort consisted of promoting the work...
Julius Shulman
CRAIG KRULL GALLERY In the crystalline Modernist fantasy that is Julius Shulman's Los Angeles, all is gleaming right angles or burnished curves. Presenting an architectural portrait of rigorous purity and refined order, with form obediently following...
Larry and Kelly Sultan
PUBLIC ART WORKS "I would like to be a lawyer. I would like to have a dog. I would like to see my sister again. She is still in El Salvador." So ends the story of an anonymous fourth grader who immigrated illegally to the U.S. several years ago to see...
Look Back in Angora
Andrew Hultkrans on Ed Wood People! All going somewhere. All with their own thoughts, their own ideas, all with their own . . . personalities. One is wrong, because he does right. And one is right . . . because he does wrong. Pull the string! Dance...
Luigi Ontani
SPERONE WESTWATER GALLERY As if to make up for his seven-year absence from the New York scene, Luigi Ontani mounted a cram course in his special brand of artistic indulgence: an overwhelming array of more than 60 mostly recent works (though the show...
Lyle Ashton Harris
JACK TILTON GALLERY In case you don't already know, the art world is as rife with gangs as any urban ghetto--they have unofficial and sometimes official names ("the Yale Mafia"), turfs, and protocols--and so you have to look past the fact that institutions...
Marek Chlanda
CURT MARCUS GALLERY Entitled Ceremonial Group and consecutively numbered, Marek Chlanda's new mixed-media sculptures (all 1994) are variations on a single form--a large, hollow, birdlike skull with an elongated beak modeled in cloth stretched on a wire...
Martha Graham Dance Company
BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC "Radical Graham," a selection of 14 works from Martha Graham's more than 70-year choreographic career presented over ten days, provided a savvy kickoff to the 1994 season of BAM's Next Wave Festival. Featuring a revival of...
Martin Beck
GALERIE HOHENTHAL UND BERGEN Last year Martin Beck covered the walls of a Viennese pub with a questionnaire entitled "Gefallt Ihnen dieses Kunstwerk?" (Do you like this work of art?, 1993). If you said Yes, you were asked to respond to 14 more questions...
Michel Verjux
GALERIE DURAND-DESSERT What interests Michel Verjux about electricity are the properties it shares with light. In an installation in 1986, a luminous beam was projected to illuminate architectural details in a space where the light emanated from cases...
Miyako Ishiuchi
LAURENCE MILLER GALLERY When she turned 40 in 1987, Miyako Ishiuchi began to photograph other women born in the same year. Until then she had focused primarily on her own environment. Though it might seem as if she had shifted away from a rather narcissistic...
"Moscow in New York." (New York, New York)
HERE "Moscow in New York: The Third Lomographic Happening" sounded like it was going to be a hot ticket, and that's why I went. I mean, partly it's just that noun, "Lomographic," one of those words that seems to have come into being just so you can...
Neil Jenney
WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART The six paintings selected for "Neil Jenney: Natural Rationalism" depict that mythic North American landscape of verdant forests, picturesque valleys, swollen rivers, and open skies. Recalling John Locke's proclamation...
Porfirio DiDonna
NIELSEN GALLERY Porfirio DiDonna completed his last paintings late in 1985, before he was aware of the brain tumor that was to end his life a year later at age 44. This powerful exhibition of 21 paintings and 13 drawings (all from 1984 and '85), featured...
Renato Ranaldi
PALAZZO FABRONI In the case of Renato Ranaldi--a Florentine artist who began his career in the mid '60s--the usual difficulties in attempting to describe the visual verbally are intensified to the point that this becomes the critical challenge, especially...
Richard Meier
LEO CASTELLI GALLERY If Richard Meier's buildings and sculptures were before and after photographs, nothing less than a nuclear apocalypse would lie between them. While his clean, white, pristine buildings all stem from a rationalist, Modernist tradition,...
Robin Lowe
AC PROJECT ROOM Robin Lowe takes a diarist's approach to portraiture, putting a psychological spin on casual encounters with friends and family members. Working from snapshots, he shows ordinary subjects in ordinary contexts but from unexpected angles...
Sally Mann: Hayhook, 1989
It's the background of Hayhook that has always fascinated me, or rather the contrast of that background--so humdrum, so silent--against the startling sacrifice at center. The photograph achieves its power through a series of contradictions, impossible...
Silvia Bachli
CENTRE D'ART CONTEMPORAIN With titles such as "Yellow as Quince" and "Tibet," each of Silvia Bachli's small, black and white drawings seems to suggest its own quirky universe of exotic associations and half-buried memories. When the drawings are grouped...
Small Talk
HI. LOW. Though the city of Chicago has recently decided that the only intact interior designed by Mies van der Rohe is not worth preserving as a historical landmark, it maintains its cultural leadership as the source of three popular talk shows: Jerry...
Stefano Arienti
IN ARCO STUDIO GUENZANI Stefano Arienti's recent work is based on a very simple but unpredictable procedure: he takes standard posters depicting landscapes or famous people and erases parts of the images. Sometimes the features of the subjects or certain...
The Informers
SAN FRANCISCO HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE WEST COAST'S CITY OF CULTURE, LOS ANGELES ITS CAPITAL OF ENTERTAINMENT. THEN, ABOUT A DECADE AGO, A GAUNTLET WAS DROPPED WHEN THE FABLED "CULTURAL WASTELAND," LOS ANGELES, MOBILIZED TO CREATE THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY...
"The Romantic Spirit in German Art: 1790-1990." (Hayward Gallery, London, England)
HAYWARD GALLERY Though assembled under the sign of Romanticism, "The Romantic Spirit in German Art: 1790-1990," was not exclusively, or even principally, about the Romantic period in German art and its legacy; it was really about the recent reunification...
Thinking Big
John Rajchman talks with Rem Koolhaas Bigness or the problem of Large Beyond a certain scale, architecture acquires the properties of Bigness. The best reason to broach Bigness is the one given by climbers of Mount Everest: "because it is there." Bigness...
Tunga
LUISA STRINA ANDRE MILLAN Tunga presents a model of subjectivity and of the body that is radically different from that found in the contemporary art to which we have become accustomed (at least the North American version). There is nothing extraordinary...
Vincent Shine
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART An enormous "fruiting body" clung to the side of a white pedestal halfway down a narrow space off the main gallery. Situated between the fragile clover and the precious gold bug, this agglutination (which the artist describes...
Wes Mills
BERMAN/DAFERNER GALLERY Though filament and filiation may not be etymological cousins, in Wes Mills' work they're almost twins. Each line in his drawings is a hairlike fracture made faintly incandescent by the passage of a psychic current generated...
"White Apron - Black Hands." (University of Melbourne Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia)
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE MUSEUM OF ART "White Apron--Black Hands" was comprised of the work of three Aboriginal women (Lel Black and Jackie Huggins, both writers, and Leah King-Smith, a photographer). It juxtaposed oral histories with archival photographs...
Willie Doherty
GREY ART GALLERY Seemingly emblematic of "the troubles" themselves, the two wall-sized projections that comprised Irish artist Willie Doherty's video installation, The Only Good One Is A Dead One, 1994, were shown, symbolically, at right angles from...
Wolfgang Tillmans
ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY "Will you miss me when I burn?" The Palace Brothers sing this question--pure acetylene. Will Oldham's voice is torch possessed, soldering the hellishness of the lonesome to that of the famous, a steadfast seam. In the end, denial...