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. 31, No. 8, April

A Day at the Races
Projecting an endearing combination of self-effacement and plantation cynicism, Shacquille O'Neal, the #1 NBA draft pick, said in a recent TV profile, "I've got three different smiles: the $1 million smile, the $2 million smile, and the $3 million smile."...
Albert Oehlen
In Albert Oehlen's recent show--six canvases displayed along with three "computer drawings" that read as commentaries on the paintings--fans of conceptual abstraction are made as much a butt of his biting humor as the German public was in earlier work,...
Andres Serrano
Andres Serrano's new, large color photographs taken in morgues are portraits, figure studies, and studies of the hands, feet, heads, and genitals of corpses. We see, at close range and larger than life, stab wounds and scalpel incisions, flesh bloated...
Andrew Ross' Weather Report
Unlike Deee-Lite, I have never dreamt that I was falling through a hole in the ozone layer, though I often wonder whether the appearance of equally large holes in our daily environmental consciousness should be attributed more to the dreamwork of psychosocial...
Andy Warhol
"Truth lies in the surface, deep in the surface." This comment by Robert Wilson about his theatrical productions is also applicable to Andy Warhol's oeuvre--especially to the works of the '60s on display here. Warhol privileged the surface--the surface...
Angela Bulloch
For her first solo exhibition in Italy, Angela Bulloch presented a composite array of work that combined already familiar pieces with some that had been created expressly for this occasion. Three of her luminous spheres glowed on and off according to...
Anne Marie Jugnet
A ray of light was projected from the interior of the gallery towards the exterior. Whoever stopped at the entrance, at the threshold that divided the urban space from the gallery space, soon became aware that the ray consisted of luminous writing projecting...
Antonio Martorell
Deftly negotiating Puerto Rican cultural traditions, ambitious political issues, literary references, and personal experiences, Antonio Martorell examined how the textures of regional conditions and individual expectations construct our notion of "home."...
Anton Solomoukha
Since 1991 the paintings of Anton Solomoukha, an artist born in Kiev but living in Paris, have been playing with imagery derived from a catalogue of mechanical toys printed in the '20s. Not surprisingly, nostalgia and reverie are key elements of these...
Art after the End of Art
There is a passage in the writings of Karl Marx that is as fateful as it is famous, and indeed its fatefulness is not unconnected with its fame: "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice....
Bertrand Lavier
Bertrand Lavier's first one-person exhibition in Austria presented the best installation to date in the Hercules Room of the Palais Lichtenstein. This central space of the baroque palace poses difficulties for the artist because of its marble and plaster...
Biennale
An examination of borders--of conditions at the edges of culture, politics, and science--is clearly timely, given the dubious credibility of cultural convergence. The Ninth Biennale of Sydney indexed the strategies of postcolonial art: bricolage, mimicry,...
Carl Toth
This retrospective of 20 years of Carl Toth's work is called "Slightly Torqued," that is, convoluted or twisted. A torque is the precisely measurable rotary force in a mechanism, and in Toth's case the mechanism is the camera, the piece that produces...
Charles Ledray
To the art world's chronic Brobdingnagism, Charles LeDray opposes his own private Lilliput of handmade, obsessively detailed, and generally twee objects. This show of his recent efforts featured tiny garments (like Becoming/Mister Man |all works 1992~,...
Dale Chihuly
This exhibition of Dale Chihuly's work foregrounded the dialogue between classical container and organic exuberance that characterizes his work. Ikebana, 1992, is a series of elegantly somber gray vases with subtle contours, tautened by the formal restraint...
Diana Michener
"Diana Michener is not shy when she chooses her subject matter," the press release states. What is to recoil from in laboratory specimens of deformed fetuses ca. 1900, in handsome glass jars, floating in formaldehyde? One has two heads, another two crania...
Dream of Life: Gregory Crewdson
On the branch of a tree, larvae cling to a jellied blue egg sac, a yellow butterfly hovers, berries grace the foliage. Below and in the background are houses--a door is open, there is a patio, a picnic table. We have been here before, only now it is...
Frank Moore
In his soulfully surreal narratives, Frank Moore weaves together a series of allegorical images that resonate with the shattering reality of AIDS. Nowhere else has the medical profession's estrangement from the healing arts been more vividly depicted;...
From the Middle of Nowhere: Terry Allen's Badlands
The American/Mexican border has been described as "una herida abierta |an open wound~ where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms, it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country--a...
Graham Durward
In his recent work, Graham Durward takes on the archetype of the male artist-hero who derives his power from a manifest masculinity. Durward's earlier work reflected a fluid notion of male identity; his large drawing of a hermaphrodite, Untitled, 1991,...
"Gravity and Grace." (Sculpture Show in Hayward Gallery, London, England) (Reviews)
Canonization, of a sort, in journalistic art criticism is always in vogue, but one must remain highly suspicious of the kind of pious invocation of history masquerading as critique that is really about beating the present and its possible future(s) over...
Greil Marcus' Top Ten
REAL LIFE ROCK 1 Popinjays: Flying Down to Mono Valley (Epic/One Little Indian). A snazzier, more expert Fastbacks goes to the circus, where the women run the trapezes like hopscotch squares, get harmonies selling popcorn and hot dogs in the stands,...
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Fundamental things, like light and time, the sea and the sky, meet up with the utter artifice of movie theaters and museum dioramas in Hiroshi Sugimoto's black and white photographs. At once crystal clear and unfathomably ambiguous, the three series...
Jene Highstein
In his recent show, Jene Highstein presented two sculptures and a series of drawings. The sculptures are part of a set of around fifteen pieces that Highstein has been producing in Portugal since 1989. Highstein began by selecting a series of marble...
Jose Bedia
Both Jose Bedia's crypto-symbolic figurative paintings and his compelling mixed-media installations suggest a ritual atmosphere: they are complementary aspects of the artist's ongoing exploration of the Afro-Cuban religions Santeria and Palo Monte. The...
Josef Breitenbach
One of the first photographers to add color to black and white photographs, Josef Breitenbach used it to foreground the illusory nature of photography. Through this contradiction he subliminally undermined our preconception of the photograph as a record...
Josef Strau and Stephan Dillemuth
Founded in 1990 by artists Joseph Strau and Stephan Dillemuth, Friesenwall 120 is a storefront space located close to Cologne's central gallery district. Meant to serve multiple functions, it has operated as a video and newspaper archive, provided a...
Katharina Karrenberg
Although Katharina Karrenberg's artistic practice is undoubtedly based upon her highly politicized consciousness, she disagrees with the division between political and nonpolitical art. For her, art is always conditioned by the politics of seeing and...
Ken Lum
Comprising variously patterned and colored throw pillows of outsized proportions casually plopped down beside reductive, image-populated and text-inscribed paintings, Ken Lum's oblique arrangement of works set in motion a scramble for hermeneutic points...
Klaus Vom Bruch
Klaus vom Bruch's video installation, Jam-Jam-Projekt, 1993, asserts actuality through innovation, interaction, and provocation. His reference to Charlie Chaplin adds irony and humor, but beyond the playfulness of this work (or perhaps in the middle...
Lazar Khidekel
For young artists such as Lazar Khidekel, Kazimir Malevich's doctrines were full of promise. The October Revolution provided the political framework for Constructivism's utopian disengagement from mimesis: it was pulled into the orbit of Malevich's Planits,...
Libby Wadsworth
Libby Wadsworth's pictorial contributions to the ambiguities of the image/text dichotomy are certainly well-intentioned. Wadsworth attempts to mimic the traditions of old-master still-life painting--a gesture not without its dutiful degree of homage--and...
Martial Raysse
This retrospective of the works of Martial Raysse afforded an opportunity to see his new, large-format allegorical paintings in tempera, one of which, Georges et le Dragon (George and the dragon, 1990), was shown at last year's Documenta. The show also...
Martin Honert
Martin Honert's sculptures are a form of insistence: readable at first glance, they remain enigmatic nonetheless. Their banality, their insignificance, their very origin (the artist's childhood in Bottrop, a coal-mining town in Germany) should leave...
Michael Goldberg
Consisting wholly of decisive starts and sudden stops--of thick strokes of paint and their clear-cut interruption--Michael Goldberg's newest paintings simultaneously punch themselves out as bold, graphic patterns and unravel with a reckless embrace of...
Mona Hatoum
It is worth puzzling over the fact that American artists strategically reworking such Modern movements as Minimalism, from a vantage point grounded in a feminist or cross-cultural consciousness, have so far resorted mostly to parody. Like Rachel Lachowicz,...
Olav Christopher Jenssen
Olav Christopher Jenssen's series of works entitled "Lack of Memory," 1990-92, shows this Berlin-based Norwegian artist to be an endlessly inventive and imaginative painter. At first sight this exhibition of 40 identically sized paintings--selected from...
Pal Gerber
Pal Gerber's paintings of reworked "everyday" objects, scenarios and texts--torn from their original context, catapulted into an unarticulated gray space, where, to borrow from Gertrude Stein, "There's no 'there' there"--work in the space of the psyche,...
Pressing the Flesh
German TV news and newspapers are still reporting small-scale attacks on foreigners (attacks they now mention almost as an aside), but news of larger brutalities comes more rarely these days. This winter, hundreds of thousands marched through West Germany's...
Punishment and Decoration: Art in an Age of Militant Superficiality
MICHAEL CORRIS: In the service of a souped-up formalist view of Modernism, Rosalind Krauss recently enlisted Algirdas Julien Greimas' semiotic square to reanimate that most conventional, reductive, and central modalization of Modernism's development:...
Robert Rauschenberg
Between the photographic and printed works of 1949 and the "Combine Paintings" of 1954, Robert Rauschenberg traversed such a wide variety of media and techniques that an artist could mine an entire career out of any one aspect of his oeuvre. His art...
Springtime for Grunge
As my grueling quest for fabulosity staggers on well past my early twentysomething period, becoming increasingly graceless and impatient, I can leave no stone unturned. I'm in the ready position for fabulosity and if luck, as Brian Eno has said, is being...
Susana Solano
This first retrospective of Susana Solano's work is an exhibition of breadth in every sense of the word; it allows the spectator to come into contact with a rather large selection of her work. Solano's work has acquired consistency and international...
Terry Allen: You Better Keep It on Your Mind
The first thing you should understand about Lubbock is that there isn't much there; it's in the middle of the Texas Panhandle, the flatlands, the dust bowl. So nothing becomes the town so much as leaving it, though if the truth be told, there isn't much...
Terry Fox
Terry Fox was chosen as the first artist of the Moore International Discovery Series, a biennial exhibition planned for the next 20 years to feature artists given little exposure in this country. The first major exhibition in the United States of Fox's...
Things That Go Bleep
Cyberspace is where you are when you're talking on the telephone. --John Barlow William Gibson, father of our collective imaginings about virtual terrain, recently wrote of cyberspace as a "neologic spasm: the primal act of pop poetics ... awaiting...
Thomas C. Demand
Thomas C. Demand seems to have found a place somewhere between Paul Cezanne and Andy Warhol. The way he transforms reality into art--the elementary constants of color and space--connects him to Cezanne; his relationship to Warhol is revealed in his thematic...
Toshio Shibata
Toshio Shibata's landscape photographs are perhaps most extraordinary for their startling sense of scale, their meticulous, indeed excruciating detail. After immersing ourselves in them, we realize that the man-made structure--usually a dam, or something...
Truls Melin
Truls Melin's painted, glossy sculptures have been "fertilized" by American Minimalism, Continental theory, and Danish classicism. But Melin's relation to his sources is definitely impure. The elements he uses seem terribly familiar: a table, a fence,...
What, Me Work?
Released nearly two years ago, Richard Linklater's Slacker continues to inspire headscratching among editorialists. To them this no-budget, neither-coastal, college-town travelogue signals the seizure of the world-historical stage by the most improbable...