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. 32, No. 1, September

Andy Warhol: Brillo Box
Considerations of modesty, fortified by counsels of prudence, must caution philosophers against inviting comparisons between their own work and that of Immanuel Kant. These wise recommendations notwithstanding, I have irresistibly thought of Andy...
Anthony Caro: Midday
I first saw Midday in Anthony Caro's courtyard in the fall of 1961. Between the fall of 1959 and the late spring of 1961 I had been at Merton College, Oxford, on a Rhodes Scholarships; I couldn't deal with Oxford and left without a degree. But I wasn't...
Bertrand Lavier: Giulietta
Certain works of art make their mark in history by breaking the thread of a tradition; others, perhaps more rare, endure because they are able to knot together numerous threads. Giulietta, 1993, belongs to the second category. So who is Giulietta?...
Bill Viola: The Passing
One of the most important events in the last thirty years of art history has been the use of the new, populist, commercial technology of television in the service of what may be art's most ancient and esoteric ambition: the articulation of those inarticulate...
Charles Cowles
HENRY GELDZAHLER: Artforum got started in San Francisco in 1962. When did you get involved? CHARLES COWLES: I think Nick Wilder started talking to me about the magazine in the summer of '64. I was a student at Stanford, majoring in journalism....
Cindy Sherman's Gravity: A Critical Fable
First the story and then the moral. That the story itself concerns a specific act of art criticism attests to the fact that what I understand as the point of this exercise is neither the universally shared nor even the preponderantly held view of...
Culture's in Between
A recent change in the writing of cultural criticism has left the prose plainer, less adorned with the props of the argument's staging. Where once "scare quotes" festooned the text with the frequency of garlands at an Indian wedding, there is now...
Daniel Schmid: La Paloma
A casino in the south of France. A suicide at the blackjack table. A magician fanning a hand of cards. A hermaphrodite in a laurel wreath and toga reclines on a Recamier couch, with back titles: La Force de l'Imagination. An ancient party, her...
Gerhard Richter: Betty
I take it that my task her is to select a single work that has provided me particularly deep pleasure in recent years, and propose it as an emblem of contemporary art. It's an assignment at which anyone with the usual broad range of enthusiasm would...
Gilles Peress: Cajamarca, Peru, 1991
It has all, maybe more than I would want, from a photograph of this world. Andre Breton spoke of the beauty of the "convulsive," a quality he didn't necessarily associate with photographs, though the Surrealists liked them. Somewhere there exists...
Ida Panicelli
ALESSANDRA MAMMI: Your arrival at Artforum, in 1988, coincided with a crisis in what people in Europe had been calling "the light '80s." At the end of the decade the idea of lightness, of decorative pleasure, of a free, sometimes unthinking use of...
Ingrid Sischy
JACK BANKOWSKY: When you took over Artforum you were only 27. How were you received in the beginning? INGRID SISCHY: I have no idea; I was too busy trying to do the job to worry about that kind of thing. When I was offered the position it felt...
Jeff Koons: Christ and the Lamb
Anniversaries mean trips down Memory Lane; and now, thinking of 30+ years of Artforum lands me back in March 1965, when I first appeared in a journal already three years old but still the hottest new art-magazine in town. I had a hot and youthful...
John Coplans
John Coplans works as an artist in New York. An exhibition of his photographs initiated at the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Portugal, is currently traveling. He was editor of Artforum from January 1972 to February 1977. PETER PLAGENS:...
Jonathan Borofsky: What Is Dragging Me?
When God Art Happens to Bad People Adorno pointed out that our biggest tragedy under modernity is that we're not even tragic! Denuded of Specialness under consumer culture, we fail to distinguished our selves even in our moments of failure--our...
Lorna Simpson: Waterbearer
Lorna Simpson's photograph Waterbearer was reproduced in 1987 in one of the early issues of B Culture, a progressive black newspaper of arts and culture that was fresh beyond all belief. For a brief moment in time B Culture was the expressive space...
No Phil, No Forum
If John Irwin, the absolute founder of Artforum (he dreamed of a sort of Hugh Hefner fantasy applied to an art world he perceived both insightfully and imperfectly), set the physical style of the magazine (Its unusual squarish format and a lush and...
Pauline Kael: I Lost It at the Movies
Nineteen-sixty two was the year I found out there was more to movies than rooting for the good guys and cowering in your seat. I saw Bergman's The Seventh Seal, Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc, and The Manchurian Candidate, probably the first...
Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley: Heidi
Dear Heidi, Thank you for the videotape that Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Kelley have made of you and Grandpa and Peter. I was shocked to learn of your family problems--the violence, the incest, the obsessions with bodily functions--for from all outward appearances...
Philip Pearlstein: Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer
Philip Pearlstein's Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer ties together the personal and the intellectual strands of my life like no othe work or art. It was commissioned in 1968, as a wedding portrait, and we are both wearing more or less...
Robert Mapplethorpe: Man in a Polyester Suit
Eros rules the World, and Robert Mapplethorpe celebrates eros. But rather than locating eros in a single, unambiguous sex, whether male or female, his photographs honor it for the multiplicity of its expressions, for its variety, for the confusions...
Susan Rothenberg: United States
Turning-points shows in art come with a sense that you know everything about them sub specie aeternitatis. You feel you have a key to artistic significance past, present, and future. This is a mistake. The key has you. The knowledge imparted replaces...
Sweet Thoughts
Cracking open a magazine can be like opening a box of chocolates: knowing more or less what is inside does not diminish the delicious anticipation. In the case of a magazine of contemporary art, the reader expects confections of creative vision, critical...
The Graying of Criticism
The task of writing on the occasion of Artforum's 30th anniversary entails far more than the usual procrastination and delay. Because the work necessarily involves going back over the past volumes of the magazine, particularly the decade from 1965...
The Lightness of Theory
The question is how light or heavy we are--the problem of our "specific gravity." P.M. and M.C. One critical reflection we might engage in today concerns what "theory" is or has become for us. Not so long ago, across much of "advanced" visual...
The Page Was My Party
Once a person, or a public institution, has reached a certain age, retrospection, if not necessarily called for, is not out of order. The 30th anniversary of Artforum strikes me as such a moment, especially as my connection to the magazine--from hands...
Think or Thwim
I was in a hospital the other day and I saw a guy sitting in a wheel chair wearing a tuxedo. I said "What are you in for?" He said "I'm getting a vasectomy." I said "Why the tuxedo?" He said "I figured if I was gonna be impotent I should look impotent."...
Waldo Rising
Three decades in a magazine's life can see a number of professional generations come and go. No one now at Artforum worked here with Phil Leider, let alone with John Irwin, or even, for that matter, with Coplans or Masheck. The longest-lasting Artforum...
Yours Faithfully, Joseph Masheck
It was 16 years ago, and already there had been too much harping on the "end" of painting, of abstract art, of art as we know it, of the world, ect. Some of us sought to move beyond both trademark America formalist "Modernism" and Minimalist inertness....