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. 6, February

Adolph Wolfli
PHYLLIS KIND GALLERY Adolph Wolfli (1864-1930), who was admitted to the Waldau hospital for the mentally ill in 1895, where he was eventually diagnosed as schizophrenic, devoted 31 years of his life to producing an array of art works in different media,...
Adrian Schiess
GALERIE ROLF RICKE Strangely, this exhibition immediately piqued my interest though the works on the walls--in a visual sense--were paltry. Hung at about the same height, there were almost abstract, gestural watercolor-formations painted on torn pieces...
Alex Katz
He saw Billie Holiday @ Cannegie Hall, "but it wasn't a good n ight -- near the end." He's watched "Pillow Talk" 4 Times, and "Some Like it Hot" is one of his "all time favorites" He doesn't go for science-fiction...
Andreas Techler
FORUM BILKER STRASSE Usually artists try to construct a border between the front of this gallery, which serves as a lending library of pictures, and the open, exhibition space in the rear. But no wall separated them in Andreas Techler's exhibition,...
A.R. Penck
NOLAN/ECKMAN GALLERY This remarkable miniretrospective of A. R. Penck's drawings creates the impression that he is a brooding, highly subjective artist, using his art to try to make sense of his personal experience. Though Penck's famous Standart emblem--a...
Brenda Zlamany
E.M. DONAHUE GALLERY Brenda Zlamany's works depict the bodies and parts of bodies of slaughtered animals, of human cadavers, and, for the first time, quite living friends. Isolating each represented object in a dark, glassy, anonymous space that, in...
Chiara Dynys, Giovanni Rizzoli
ARS FUTURA This exhibition, entitled "La vie en rose," was dominated by the color pink--such a syrupy pink that one immediately understood that Giovanni Rizzoli meant it ironically, and that Chiara Dynys used it as an alienating effect. Rizzoli exhibited...
Chuck Connelly
Perhaps his own best critic, Chuck Connelly declared in 1991, "I am on a journey drenched in paint." Indeed his recent paintings illustrate his propensity to foreground the properties of oil in rich, tactile, densely packed surfaces that nevertheless...
Consumed by Images
bell hooks on Spike Lee's Malcolm X Shortly after the assassination at the Audubon Ballroom, Bayard Rustin predicted that "white America, not the Negro people, will determine Malcolm X's fate in history." At the time, the statement seemed ludicrous:...
Deborah Butterfield
ZOLLA/LIEBERMAN GALLERY The world of the haunch, hoof, and mane seems largely divorced from the mainstream of modern existence, has, in fact, become a nostalgic trope--the stuff of revery and myth. As a focus in modern art, horses have really been right...
Didier Vermeiren
GALERIE GHISLAINE HUSSENOT The first thing one noticed, when looking at the four sculptures that make up this exhibition, was a radical modification of the regular gallery space: Didier Vermeiren chose to occupy only the ground level, leaving the mezzanine...
Eric Fischl
MARY BOONE GALLERY Eric Fischl's new work demonstrates that he still has the power to provoke. His India paintings represented a falling away from his earlier perversity--or rather a stylization of it that caused it to lose all its uncanniness--but...
Francis Bacon
GALERIE MARLBOROUGH Francis Bacon's painting has been characterized as accentuating a latent state of things, as writing (in many works we see a character seated on a stool), as frozen action, petrified in those images of water jets or in the use of...
Frank Majore
HOLLY SOLOMON GALLERY According to Frank Majore, "there are only three subjects worthy of making art about ... sex, death and beauty." As for art itself, "it should have some sort of spiritual value, and people should actually be moved by what they...
Gerwald Rockenschaub
VILLA ARSON The ordinary scaffold with which Gerwald Rockenschaub divided the great room of the Galerie carree is neither a found object nor a sculpture--although it was built to his specifications. Despite its overwhelming material presence, it is...
Gilbert & George
ANTHONY D'OFFAY The penis is no longer a penis. This is the dilemma facing Gilbert & George in their latest series of hand-colored photomontages titled New Democratic Pictures (all works 1991). Up to a certain point a penis was still a penis; prior...
He Should Have Inhaled
Fairytales can come true, it can happen to you. . . . But maybe not exactly the way you'd wish. Ever since 1972, if not before, a substantial chunk of the American population has been waiting for the '60s revival. Now, as presaged by Madonna's "hippie...
Italo Scanga
BETSY ROSENFIELD GALLERY Italo Scanga's recent work continues to provide his signature mix of whimsy and visually satisfying poetic effects--its lassitude and play evoke a sprightly delight. His sculptures are actually no more than complex vase holders,...
Jenny Watson
ANNINA NOSEI GALLERY When artists paint like children should you give them a lollipops or put them over your knee? Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and the rest of the Blaue Reiter group thought they could tap some primal impulse by making art like children...
Joan Fontcuberta
IVAM Throughout his already long artistic career, Joan Fontcuberta has researched the nature of photography by photographing nature, investigating and questioning the supposed limits of various related concepts: nature and artifice, the object and its...
Jose Quintana
LOS ANGELES CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIES In its presentation of diverse male subjectivities, Jose Quintana's series of photographs is conceptually as well as visually seductive for the viewer usually starved of male objects of desire. Photographed...
Jutta Koether, Laurent Joubert
GALERIE LAAGE-SOLOMON It would seem almost impossible--both conflictual and contradictory--to bring together two artists such as Jutta Koether and Laurent Joubert. Having said that, this exhibition, entitled "Lettres a Democede" (Letters to Democede),...
Karel Appel
ANDRE EMMERICH GALLERY The key to Karel Appel's work is his amazing volume, Psychopathological Art, presented for the first time in the "Parallel Visions" exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum. Executed in 1950, during the heyday of Cobra--of...
Kenneth Goldsmith
JOHN POST LEE GALLERY At once exquisite and formidable, Kenneth Goldsmith's text-on-paper compositions are a seductive hybrid of poetry, literature, music, and visual art. While Goldsmith clearly draws inspiration in equal parts from James Joyce, John...
Kevin Sullivan
SUE SPAID FINE ART In Kevin Sullivan's show of simple paintings, silly poems, and objects that would not be out of place on a Hollywood set, the sleep of reason yields mild amusement rather than horrifying nightmares or dramatic disruptions of meaning....
Kirsten Mosher
SANDRA GERING GALLERY Kirsten Mosher's installation, Top Soil Nations, 1992, attempted to walk us across the boundaries of our geopolitical landscape. Soil extracted from various locations (Kuwait, Kenya, Greece, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Antarctica,...
Klaus Kumrow
PRODUZENTENGALERIE Developments within an artist's oeuvre lead to new definitions of the ideas and structures that form it. At a certain moment, all considerations focus on the new form without actually touching the original form, like larvae which...
Lockdown: Robert Gober at Dia
It is astonishing that turning criminals into sailors used to be regarded as a form of punishment. Jean Genet, 1953 There are three spaces: a dark space, a bright space, and then a darker space. Two domains and a portal. The first is the Dia building...
Margaret Crane/Jon Winet
MINCHER/WILCOX Margaret Crane/Jon Winet's installation The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives, 1992--a coolly damning, nonpartisan inquiry into the nature of political subjectivity--presented a sobering caveat to election-night euphoria. Upon entering...
Maria Nordman
MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY Since 1967 Maria Nordman has only rarely presented her work in a gallery setting. Usually installed in outdoor, urban spaces, it frequently examines the relationship between subjective perception and architecture as a cultural...
Mat Collishaw
COHEN GALLERY As far as can be told from these shores, the recent wave of young phenoms from Goldsmith's College in London has consisted mostly of practitioners of a remote, formal, yet quirky abstraction that somehow turns out to derive from quotidian...
Matt Mullican
BARBARA GLADSTONE GALLERY At once rationalist and (neo)Romanticist, technocratic and ambivalently spiritual, Matt Mullican's work has consistently traced a paradox of late-modern subjectivity: the tension between a private language code (resistant to...
Miami Fantasia
Part 1 I don't care if it's Baroque or Brooklyn, just get me plenty of glamour and make sure it screams luxury! --a client of Morris Lapidus To get any power at all, you have to go to the source of the wound. So I recently went back to Miami Beach,...
Michele Waquant
MUSEE D'ART CONTEMPORAIN DE MONTREAL It was hard not to be moved by Michele Waquant's latest installation, Impression Debacle, 1992, a video and sound environment that presented nature as a cathartic force, rather than as an object for creative interpretation....
Michelle Stuart
FAWBUSH GALLERY The recent proliferation of didactic art about the environment provides a fascinating context for a reassessment of Michelle Stuart's active meditations on landscape. Entitled "The Elements: 1973-79," Stuart's recent show enabled us...
Name Diffusion
LUCIANO INGA-PIN GALLERY Marion Baruch has made female subjectivity the core of her work. In 1990 she formed a company, called NAME DIFFUSION, signing her works with this "commercial" logo. An industrial product needs a name and needs to be diffused....
Nancy Mitchnick
ANITA FRIEDMAN FINE ARTS Nancy Mitchnick's compact paintings of lightbulbs and landscapes fuse the elusive beauty of light-saturated color with the tactile materiality of common, mass-produced objects. Simultaneously sumptuous and understated, ravishingly...
Openings: Leonardo Drew
In this ongoing series, writers are invited to introduce the work of artists at the beginning of their careers. The extraordinarily well-dressed young man and his companion who privately did not consider himself so were both Negroes, a not unimportant...
Patricia London Ante Paris
KNOLL GALERIE The artist adopted the pseudonym, Patricia London ante Paris, during her stay in London. For this exhibition, she created an installation, 4 Masosuta, 1992, for the imaginary figure of Mososuta. The windows of the gallery were covered...
Philip Pearlstein
HIRSCHL & ADLER MODERN For the last 30 years Philip Pearlstein has, somewhat unfashionably, insisted on painting nudes from live models. But by stalking his subjects from skewed, ever-shifting angles--crucial body parts (a foot, a shoulder, a head)...
Profane Illuminations: Social History and the Art of Jeff Wall
Crossover between the studio and the seminar room has been a conspicuous feature of advanced art over the last fifteen years. The principal medium of exchange has been what is broadly termed "theory," which in practice has meant a narrower set of concepts...
Real Time Travel
I was real pleased to welcome Ulrike Ottinger to the University of California, Santa Barbara, back in October. She was appointed Regent's Lecturer and was in attendance at the screenings of seven of her films, beginning (out of chronological sync) with...
Richard Torchia
STATE MUSEUM OF PENNSYLVANIA Through his use of lenses, Richard Torchia explores the history of perceptual systems, simultaneously confirming the pleasures of the experiential moment and drawing on the tradition of the camera obscura. In two earlier...
Sally Gall
JULIE SAUL GALLERY Sally Gall's idyllic, gelatin silver-print landscapes record the natural world with precision, but not without artifice: they are less documents of place than romantic evocations of a world untouched by man. By recreating the landscape...
Salvatore Astore
GALLERIA ALESSANDRA BONOMO During the '80s, the work of Salvatore Astore developed in two directions, which nonetheless always merged in a single poetics. On the one hand, in the two-dimensional works--on canvas and on paper--the artist investigated...
Stephen Ellis
ELIZABETH KOURY GALLERY In his recent show, Stephen Ellis' spare abstractions evoked various states of architectural and photographic decay, creating illogical spaces and surfaces that sometimes resembled images degraded into abstraction by excessive...
Thaddeus Strode
1301 GALLERY Thaddeus Strode employs the Zenned-Out-Euphoric-Get-Stupid Principle to great comic effect. It is a way of thinking/not thinking, of messing with one's playthings, that's often misunderstood. Strode's objects respond to the critical dig...
The End of the World Has Already Happened: Robert Gober
Robert Gober's installation at the Dia Center for the Arts seems almost civic-minded. We are in a large, brightly lit room. On the wall are eight sinks, all their faucets wide open; the water runs torrentially, noisily, wastefully. Foam accumulates in...
The Trouble with Gravity
Here's what happens: fat slithers off cheekbones, gouging ravines down the face. Cartilaginous noses and ears continue to grow, heedless. Lips shrink, lengthening that unnamed space between hairy nostril and mouth. Gums retract; result: "long in the...
Tim Head
WHITECHAPEL GALLERY For the duration of Tim Head's show, the gallery was transformed into the countryside in summer: downstairs the walls were painted a pale blue, the floor was laid with artificial grass, and fluorescent tubes replaced the usual spotlights....
Top Ten
1 Jonathan Richman: I, Jonathan (Rounder). Good news: from the premier regressive in pop music, his best album since the '77 Rock 'n' Roll with the Modern Lovers. The sound is living room pristine, the technique a wave at second-rank '50s rockabilly...
Weather Report
At some point in our youths, most of us were invited to ponder the "mystery" of the Easter Island statues. The fantasies may have varied from culture to culture, but the basic narrative, whether it involved visits from extraterrestrials or Thor Heyerdahl's...
Went Looking for Africa: Carrie Mae Weems
In a text panel in her recent photographic series "Sea Islands," 1992, Carrie Mae Weems traces the African derivation of the Gullah dialect spoken on the Sea Islands off Georgia and South Carolina. "Gola Angola Gulla Gullah Geechee": Weems' citation...
When in Videodrome: Travels in the New Flesh
CIRCA 1982 As Ronald Reagan's project of managed alienation found its hidden voice and set about infiltrating every sphere of communication, a bizarre omen of the times to come appeared. In the guise of a horror film, Videodrome evoked a muffled terror...