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. 49, No. 2, October

1000 Words Giuseppe Penone: Talks about Idee Di Pietra (Ideas of Stone), 2004/2010
SINCE GIUSEPPE PENONE burst onto the Turinese art scene in the heyday of Arte Povera with a series of photographs documenting actions performed in the forested foothills of the Italian Maritime Alps, trees have remained central to his oeuvre. More...
Aaron Wrinkle
"The world is full of objects, more or less interesting," Douglas Huebler famously observed in 1969, with this twist: "I do not wish to add any more." While the late artist's statement was certainly a personal manifesto--he had just turned away from...
Adriana Lestido
"Amores dificiles" (Hard Loves), a retrospective comprising 162 images by Argentine artist Adriana Lestido, shows one possible evolution of the work of a professional photographer in these times. Lestido trained as a photojournalist, and for many years...
Alice Neel
Alice Neel's magnificently independent art practice is remarkable for its allegiance to figuration at a time when abstraction dominated the New York world and for her intense portrayals of inner turmoil. Her work can verge on caricature, yet she is...
"Ars Homo Erotica"
Titled "Ars Homo Erotica," this exhibition was conceived on a grand scale. Not only was it a survey of art with (male and female) homoerotic content--often explicit, sometimes veiled--from antiquity to the present, it also used the venerable hosting...
Babette Mangolte
In Calico Mingling, 1973, a film by Babette Mangolte featuring a four-person performance on New York's Robert Moses Plaza at Fordham University (choreographed by Lucinda Childs), there are moments when the deep focus of the director's lens renders...
Ben Gocker
There really is no single poem. These six words--taken from poet Jack Spicer--serve Ben Gocker well as the title and governing premise of his first solo show. As befits a Brooklyn librarian (with an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers'...
Brian Kennon
For centuries, the law of the grid--as an invisible system of horizontal and vertical lines that partition a page into a visually consistent structure--has dominated modular graphic design. For decades, the group show has held sway over summer gallery...
Brion Gysin
IN 1962, AT THE GALLERIA Trastevere di Topazia Alliata in Rome, Brion Gysin covered a wall with paintings and filled the space with manipulated, tape-recorded sound poetry. Neither paintings nor poetry could he contemplated serenely, however, for--in...
Brion Nuda Rosch
A statement accompanying Brian Nuda Rosch's first New York exhibition trumpets the fact that turquoise, for this San Francisco-based artist, is a "symbol of escape." Yet the collages and sculptures in the exhibition left one with the sense that there...
Chadwick Rantanen
As America slogs through its new recession-era corporate landscape, Chadwick Rantanen's installation of sculpture and photographs perhaps most obviously evoked the semicustomized, sturdy-for-the-price furnishings of modest industrial-park start-up...
"Chefs-D'oeuvre?"
THE INAUGURAL SHOW at the new Centre Pompidou in Metz, France, demonstrates just what a well-thought-out exhibition can do. Although several reviewers saw the show as merely presenting a hit parade of mostly French classics borrowed from the rich collections...
Christian Jankowski
The title of Christian Jankowski's recent show, " Was ich noch zu erledigen habe" (What I Still Need to Do), alludes to the nonstop schedule of many of those active in the art world, who often find it impossible to keep their work and free time separate....
Daniel Knorr
A metal tube, similar to the aluminum pipes used for air-conditioning, was positioned vertically in a corner of the gallery. It had the appearance of a cold, conceptual sculpture, curved at the top like a periscope, the open end covered with a screen....
Elias Hansen
Do you want in?; I used to come here all the time; I could talk to you all night. The titles of Elias Hansen's sculptures, most of which combine colored glass vessels with a variety of battered found objects in arrangements that evoke an abandoned...
Eyes on the Prize: Christopher Bollen on Work of Art
"LIFE IS AN UNENDING CONTEST," Frantz Fanon concluded in his famous book The Wretched of the Earth. What Fanon could not have predicted is how entertaining that contest would be for twenty-first-century spectators watching from the safe remove of their...
Fiona Tan
The link between Fiona Tan's Provenance, 2008, and old-master painting is counterintuitive, for Tan is not a painter but a video artist. In this group of filmic portraits--looped video studies of barely moving figures--she also limits herself to black-and-white,...
Gabriel Kuri
"Soft Information in Your Hard Facts" was the title of this exhibition, which brought together twenty works Gabriel Kuri made over the past seven years. Some had been conceived specifically for the Museion building, which the artist had modified for...
Gerard Gasiorowski
"Recommencer. Commencer de nouveau la peinture" (Starting Again: Starting the Painting Again) surveyed the career of French painter Gerard Gasiorowski (1930-1986), who began his career as a successful Photorealist in the mid-1960s and then rebelled,...
Goldin+Senneby
This exhibition, "The Decapitation of Money," marked the latest installment of a project titled "Looking for Headless," initiated three years ago by the Swedish artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby. Actually, it comprised the epilogue, though one...
Inside Job: Julia Bryan-Wilson on the Art of Carey Young
IN AN OFT-QUOTED SPEECH FROM 1969, Fred Hampton, deputy chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, proclaimed: "When I leave, you can remember I said, with the last words on my lips, that I am a revolutionary, and you are going to have to keep on...
International Fair of Contemporary Art in Torino
ADVERTORIAL ARTISSIMA is an art fair, and as such it is a trade event. But also, the short duration of the event, just three days, lends itself to a particularly risky form of cultural experimentation: one that echoes the innovative proposals by...
Jakub Julian Ziolkowski
With the painting Timothy Galoty & the Dead Brains (all works 2010), Jakub Julian Ziolkowski has invented a surreally raucous, somewhat wild-eyed band of performing artists, apparently based on a fantasy heavy metal band. Galoty, an imaginative...
Janet Biggs
During a potently intimate moment in the video Fade to White, 2010, a singer (New York-based performance artist John Kelly) is shown attaining a state of grace--ecstasy worthy of Saint Theresa. Slowly closing and opening his eyes, Kelly extends outstretched...
Jorge Pardo
"Bulgogi," as Jorge Pardo's latest outing at Gagosian was cryptically titled, denotes a classic Korean dish of marinated barbecued meat. The name related most obviously to the show's centerpiece, Untitled (Drawing Room) (all works 2010), an enclosed...
Katarina Zdjelar
First comes the music. Even before the first images appear in Katarina Zdjelar's seven-minute-long video Shoum, 2009, one of three works in her recent exhibition "One or Two Songs," we hear the first measures of the 1984 Tears for Fears megahit "Shout."...
Knut Asdam
Ever given much thought to the human figures populating architectural models? Those tiny characters involved in a variety of generic activities indicating the potential life of spaces yet to he constructed? Ciphers of normality, Man and Woman Engaged...
"Late Renoir"
ONE THING A FAMOUS, elderly, or dead artist's work can never be is too late. There has been widespread interest in "late" shows lately--the mesmerizing late interiors of Bonnard, Picasso's musketeers, Monet's late water lilies, and the contusing last...
Laurent Millet
The title of Laurent Millet's fourth solo exhibition at this gallery, "The Last Days of Immanuel Kant," may have led some viewers to anticipate a po-faced Conceptual deconstruction of the Critique of Judgment, but the French artist's photographs are...
Like Clockwork Harry Cooper on Philip Guston
PHILIP GUSTON'S CAREER swung like a dangling light-bulb--from figuration (starting in 1930) to abstraction (around 1948) and back to figuration (from 1968 until his death in 1980). Yet he often insisted on the continuity of his work. In 1958, when...
Lorna Bauer
Humble and spare, yet offering surprising nuance, the video Four Glasses (all works 2010) is a typical Lorna Bauer production. It begins with a view of four wineglasses on a weathered plank, precisely lit so as to be surrounded by total darkness. Almost...
Marilyn Minter
Can a high-definition video, shot from under a glass plate, that shows an ample set of fleshy lips and a playfully roving tongue spitting, slurping, and licking a Technicolor array of cake decorations suspended in vodka, be said to make a feminist...
Mary Ellen Carroll
Art for Mary Ellen Carroll emerges not from objects but from a diffuse constellation of ideas, something slowly developed through stream-of-consciousness thinking. Since 1988, she has been organizing her sprawling, heterogeneous output with index cards...
Michael Goldberg
The "Ninth Street Show," held in 1951, marked the growing resistance of New York artists to their long indenture to French modernism, a servitude felt most acutely from the 1930s on. Virtually all the figures of the first and second generations of...
Michael Schmidt
It is hard to imagine a tougher venue for a photography show than Munich's Haus der Kunst, with its vast, uninfected spaces and general painlessness, but the recent survey exhibition by the Berlin photographer Michael Schmidt met the challenge triumphantly....
Morton Feldman
Fellow composer Christian Wolff once described Morton Feldman's working method, presumably in the 1950s: "He used to put sheets of graph paper on the wall, and work on them like paintings. Slowly his notation would accumulate, and from time to time...
Nashashibi/Skaer
A number of commentators on recent work by British collaborative duo Nashashibi/Skaer (Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer) use head-scratching as a place to start their ostensible analyses. "What do photos of Margaret Thatcher, a washed-up carcass,...
"New Realisms: 1957-1962"
THE TITLE OF THIS EXTRAORDINARY EXHIBITION at the Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia--"New Realisms: 1957-1962"--is one of its several provocative maneuvers. The French movement known as Nouveau Realisme first came to New York City--thanks in...
Nicholas Hlobo
Although some might think of the works in his new series as assemblages, Nicholas Hlobo refers to them as "Paintings" because he creates each piece on a stark white canvas. He begins by using a box cutter to slash the canvas--what he calls a "harsh...
Nowhere Man: Haden Guest Talks with Monte Hellman
THROUGHOUT A LONG AND EXTRAORDINARY CAREER, Monte Hellman has remained simultaneously at the cutting edge and at the very farthest margins of post-studio-era American cinema. In influential major films such as The Shooting (1965) and Two-Lane Blacktop...
Power Dressing: Jeff Rian on "An Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion"
"HISTOIRE IDEALE DE LA MODE CONTEMPORAINE" (An Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion), a two-part show at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, in its first installment traced the twenty-year history of fashion's democratization. Beginning with...
"Public Service Announcement"
A traveler arriving in Beijing in search of art is sure to be struck first by the size of the city's enormous squares, temples, galleries, and museums-- which corresponds in contemporary art to the prevalence of room-filling installations, large-format...
Rate of Return: Claire Bishop on the Artist Placement Group
IN ITS FORTY-YEAR HISTORY, London's Hayward gallery, like any art institution, has had its fair share of exhibitions that failed to pull in the masses. One of the standard-bearers in this category was "[Inno.sub.7]0," which, according to institutional...
Rivane Neuenschwander
An introductory catalogue text for "A Day Like Any Other," a mid-career survey or work by Rivane Neuenschwander, makes the rather obvious point that the circle is one of the artist's favored motifs. It does appear frequently: as a soap bubble, as bucket...
Scale Models
WHAT'S IN A GENERATION? From Pepsi to yuppies, the notion of a generational style or sensibility is often dismissed as a mere marketing tool, a way of breaking up the population into discrete consumer subgroups (that crucial "men 18-34" demographic,...
Sigmar Polke (1941-2010)
I FIRST MET SIGMAR POLKE in the 1970s--a decade that has been dealt with too summarily in most of his retrospectives to date, since the prevailing opinion has been that the artist spent these years devoting himself to almost anything but painting:...
States of Play: Prita Meier and Bibiana Obler on "Who Knows Tomorrow"
THE LANGUAGE OF GEOGRAPHY--Africa, Europe, the West, the periphery, local, global--inevitably drives exhibitions that critique Eurocentric paradigms. "Who Knows Tomorrow," a multivenue exhibition on view this summer in Berlin, marked an attempt to...
Stephen G. Rhodes
STANLEY KUBRICK'S THE SHINING (1980) has no shortage of famously chilling moments. Yet the most haunting of these might be a brief shot, from the POV of beleaguered wife Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall), of two ghosts in flagrante delicto, one dressed...
Still Moving: J. Hoberman on Manoel De Oliveira's the Strange Case of Angelica
THE MOST EXISTENTIAL OF FILMMAKERS, Manoel de Oliveira has, for decades now, been making every movie as though it were his last. The Strange Case of Angelica, which the 101-year-old Portuguese director premiered last May in Cannes, is one more unique...
Structural Tension: Julian Rose on the Art of Oscar Tuazon
IT'S EASY ENOUGH to see the work of Oscar Tuazon as a vehement attack on architecture. The Paris-based artist's two most recent shows, for example--an untitled project at the Kunsthalle Bern and My Mistake at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts...
"The Curse of Bigness"
Based on its title, "The Curse of Bigness"--an intriguing if inconclusive group show currently at the Queens Museum, of Art--would seem to want to align itself with both politics and pedagogy: The phrase was coined in 1914 by Louis Brandeis, the social...
The Undiscovered Country: Mignon Nixon on Nira Pereg's Kept Alive
A pickax and a spade, a spade, For and a shrouding sheet; O, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet. WHEN HAMLET ASKS THE GRAVEDIGGER, "Whose grave's this, sirrah?" he receives the answer, "Mine." Nira Pereg's three-channel video installation...
Tony Tasset
Contesting the progress-and-mastery saga of twentieth century modernism, Chicago-based artist Tony Tasset spent much of the 1980s and '90s meticulously crafting insolent, critical objects, and the nine works represented in this ten-year survey (1986-96)...
Top Ten
1 RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER, WELT AM DRAHT (WORLD ON A WIRE, 1973) Rarely seen since its initial broadcast, Fassbinder's two-part made-for-TV science-fiction movie resurfaced in a new 35-mm print this year. Like a missing link between Jean-Luc Godard's...
Vasco Araujo and Javier Tellez
"Mais que a vida" (Larger than Life) was an ambitious exhibition (traveling to Spain's Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Vigo, where it is on view through January 9, 2011) that surveyed the prolific trajectories of Portuguese artist Vasco Araujo and New...
Where There's a Will: Jeff Kelley on the Rockbund Art Museum and Cai Guo-Qiang
IN HIS RECENT EXHIBITION at Shanghai's new Rockbund Art Museum, Cai Guo-Qiang included, in addition to a few works of his own, the folk contraptions and bittersweet narratives of nine Chinese countryside inventors, or, as he calls them, "Peasant da...
Yuhee Choi
Hideholic, a term coined by the artist Yuhee Choi, first appeared in the titles of the paintings shown in her debut solo exhibition at Gana Art Space in Seoul in 2008. The word alludes to the Korean artist's programmatic and obsessive preoccupation...
Yuuki Matsumura
Yuuki Matsumura's exhibition "Almost-Dead Sculpture" was about the suspension of disbelief. The moment viewers entered the gallery, they were challenged to account for what are, ostensibly, oversize crumpled balls of glossy magazine stock featuring...