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. 34, No. 5, January

Alex Bag
I was going to start this piece on Alex Bag by talking about Linda Manz in Out of the Blue, but sadly not many people remember Manz - her punk androgyny, her conviction, her ability to display tenderness while all around, and even within, there is destruction....
Alice
Robert Wilson's Alice, 1995, written by Paul Schmidt and performed by actors from the Thalia Theater of Hamburg, is an adult wonderland of theatrical anecdotes that alternate between the fantastic and the ordinary, between Wilson's customary brilliance...
Anne and Patrick Poirier
SONNABEND GALLERY "It is wrong to believe that these myths and ancient geneses do not concern us anymore. The human soul is made of memory and forgetfulness; these constitute being." So Anne and Patrick Poirier once wrote, referring to the classical...
Boxing Tilda
The Serpentine Gallery is no stranger to the rich and famous. Situated in Hyde Park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it boasts HRH Princess Diana as a patron as well as a Vanity Fair gala dinner every summer guaranteed to set the parazzi...
Brice Marden
MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY PACEWILDENSTEIN Beau Brummell recommended spending four hours dressing in order to give the impression that all had been done in four minutes. Brice Marden's new paintings embody the same highly cultivated naturalness. The palette...
Carnegie International
CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART Compared, say, with the Whitney Museum in New York, the Carnegie offers what to a new curator must seem a paradisiacal expanse. On the ground floor, a long, wide entrance corridor leads toward the Hall of Sculpture. Upstairs is...
Chantal Akerman
GALERIE NATIONAL DU JEU DE PAUME Like the proverbial Spanish inn, Chantal Akerman's installation "D'Est: au bord de la fiction" (From east, bordering on fiction, 1994) allowed visitors to feast on what they brought with them, from thoughts on the biblical...
Chen Zhen
GALERIE GHISLAINE HUSSENOT Chinese artist Chen Zhen's Champ de des-infection (Field of purification, 1995) transformed the exhibition space into a trajectory that mirrored the artist's journey from his native China to France. At the entrance a modest...
Claes Oldenburg in Retrospect: Old Softies
The chock-full, chronologically arranged Claes Oldenburg show at the Guggenheim Museum is called an "anthology" instead of a retrospective. Creative titling is an increasingly common tactic of curators, who are understandably weary of having their large...
Constance Stuart Larrabee
YALE CENTER FOR BRITISH ART The English-born photographer Constance Stuart Larrabee is known for two distinct bodies of work: her black and white prints of South Africa's tribal people (Zulu, Ndebele, Lovedu, Swazi, Sotho, Transkei, and Bushmen) - produced...
David Hammons
SALZBURGER KUNSTVEREIN/CHRISTINE KONIG GALERIE David Hammons' African-American version of the "Stars and Stripes" - a green, black, and red flag - billowed over the portal of the Salzburger Kunstverein, lending the building the air of an embassy. In...
David Rabinowitch
PETER BLUM David Rabinowitch's two double-tiered Box Trough Assemblages (both 1963) are part of a series of 40 pieces made during Minimalism's heyday, but they seem more subtle - less deadpan and mechanical - than the usual Minimalist fare of the time....
"Dentro Brasil." (Mixed Media, Various Artists, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California)
LONG BEACH MUSEUM OF ART A surprising collection of new Brazilian art in various media, "Dentro Brasil" (Inside Brazil) included installations by artist/poet Arnaldo Antunes and Bruce and Norman Yonemoto as well as the video program reviewed here. This...
Eduardo Abaroa
ARENA MEXICO While in other Latin American countries artists toyed with Pop and Conceptualism, in Mexico they have stuck to painting. Only recently have young Mexican artists taken up "new" media: installation fever has infected even government officials,...
Frances Scholz
GALERIE MONIKA SPRUTH Frances Scholz's recent show consisted of six large, nonobjective paintings in acrylic on canvas. The paintings were coloristically suggestive, with muted greens placed against luminous pinks and yellows, and their expansive surfaces...
Harlan Johnson
GALERIE TROIS POINTS In "Territoires intimes" (Intimate territories), Harlan Johnson's paintings refer to cellular, insect, and reptilian forms. Hovering somewhere between abstraction and figuration, his colorful two-panel pieces examine this bio-matter...
James Lee Byars
MICHAEL WERNER James Lee Byars' extensive oeuvre has tended to revolve around related sets of dualities: materiality and immateriality, the eternal and the instantaneous, heaviness and lightness. In his delicate and atmospheric performance pieces, he...
Jean Lowe and Kim McConnel
HOLLY SOLOMON GALLERY Kim MacConnel and Jean Lowe's recent installation Bull Story (all works 1995) took me back to last summer when, driving through an isolated pasture down South, I came upon a family of cows. All but the big black bull moved out...
Jim Anderson
RONALD FELDMAN FINE ARTS Jim Anderson's formal lexicon derives from the guitar, which he perverts into all manner of what Duchamp called "objets d'ard," including sculptures of bedpans, sex toys, and S/M paraphernalia of obscure purpose, to name but...
Joan Mitchell: Les Bluets (the Cornflowers), 1973
In this ongoing series, writers are invited to discuss a contemporary work that has special significance for them. I start with the fact that Les Bluets (The cornflowers) is the painting I think of first when I think of one that has had particular significance...
Juan Usle
ROBERT MILLER GALLERY There has been talk lately of a resurgence of formalism in contemporary art. If this implies a return to Greenbergian purity, a cordoning off of media and genres into segregated "areas of competence," such an assertion would be...
Julian Opie
MONICA DE CARDENAS It has been said that during the '80s young English sculptors - Julian Opie among them - abandoned the countryside and returned to the city. Rather than using, for example, the stones of Richard Long, this new generation of artists...
Jun Kaneko
KLEIN ART WORKS Jun Kaneko's ceramic sculptures mix a reverence for tradition with a keen pursuit of the revolutionary. That is, Kaneko continues to make large, sometimes functional plates and platters, and all his sculptures are formed of glazed stoneware,...
Kathleen Gilje
BERNARD TOALE GALLERY In "New Intentions," Kathleen Gilje masterfully exploited her skills as a restorer in her clever "modifications" of seven classic works of art. Replacing details from works by Masaccio, Van Eyck, and Ghirlandaio, for example, with...
Lesley Dill
GEORGE ADAMS GALLERY For the past several years, Lesley Dill has been incorporating poems by Emily Dickinson into her work and using many of the techniques of traditional 19th-century homecraft (dyeing, weaving, dressmaking, and needlework) in its creation....
"Light Construction." (Modern Architecture, Various Artists, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York)
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART As the millennium approaches, everyone in the architecture world is searching for a new high concept, but no one seems willing to hazard what it might be. In the wake of deconstructivism (which, we are now told by the very publicists...
Luis Camnitzer
CARLA STELLWEG GALLERY Luis Camnitzer's work has often seemed a bit understated. His often tiny objects are graceful, yet seem to promise great moment without necessarily bringing it off convincingly. "The Book of Walls," a linked series of 11 works,...
Mac James
BARBARA BRAATHEN GALLERY On entering Mac James' crowded show the first thing I noticed - it would have been very hard to miss - was a bizarre and hilarious New York nocturne in which the Empire State Building and the moon that gives this painting its...
Marco Bagnoli
MUSEO D'ARTE CONTEMPORANEA/STUDIO TRISORIO At the Prato museum Marco Bagnoli exhibited a selection of works from his decade-long career, along with several pieces that were commissioned specifically for the occasion. The most dramatic aspect of this...
Markus Baenziger
TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY Markus Baenziger makes sculpture out of Plexiglas and synthetic resin and rubber: filmy, opalescent stuff that looks like it might not really be there after all. Which is just fine, since what he makes out of it might not really...
"Metageometries.' (Elisabeth Toubro, Morten Straede, DCA Gallery, New York, New York)
DCA GALLERY Mounting a show under the ambitious if somewhat precious rubric "Metageometries," Danish sculptors Elisabeth Toubro and Morten Straede explored questions of spatial logic and discursive mapping. Their work, located on the seam that joins...
Mike Kelley
METRO PICTURES Satan! Satan! SATAN!! Satan wants YOU! And he's everywhere. That's right, you heard me, everywhere. Mike Kelley tells you all about it in his new exhibition of nasty Satanic-type stuff. Stuff like: high-school yearbook photos of kids...
Mikel Bergara
METRONOM Mikel Bergara's installation Savannah, 1995, consisted of four constructions resembling allegorical ruins, based on a group of log cabins that during the 17th century formed the original urban center of the American city that now bears this...
Olivier Zahm's Flash Track
Ready-made exoticism, chic urbanity, squeaky-clean sexuality: by and large the image of fashion that comes at us from the top-end glossies trades on a narrow range of esthetic codes. But fashion - at least fashion that goes beyond ossified convention...
Robert Harms
DAVID BEITZEL GALLERY The lush setting of Robert Harms' Amagansett studio serves as the point of departure for his radiant abstract paintings. In many of the paintings Harms takes a recognizable image from the landscape and attacks it with arbitrary...
Sam Durant. (Blum and Poe Gallery, Los Angeles California)
BLUM AND POE Installing a sliding-glass door to enclose a space beyond the gallery's reception area, a suspicious Sam Durant contrasted the workaday practicality of furnishings and building materials with the surface seamlessness of interior design...
"Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa.' (Mixed Media, Various Artists, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom)
WHITECHAPEL ART GALLERY Exhibitions based on ethnic interpretations of multiculturalism that arise from the current fashion for curatorial globe-trotting have mostly failed to advance an understanding of contemporary visual art from beyond the Western...
Solitary Refinement: Marilyn Minter's "Coral Ridge Towers."
The history of solitude will never be fully written. Solitude's practitioners all pursue anonymity, but the greatest ones thwart intercourse of any sort. In an American culture maniacally fixated on coupling, they vanish like smoke. Accusations of masturbator...
Stardust Memories
Is it just a coincidence that Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls, Mike Figgis' Leaving Las Vegas, and Martin Scorsese's Casino, three would-be down-and-dirty 1995 Hollywood tributes to lost Vegas, all went into production at more or less the moment when, led...
Tanya Marcuse
YOSHII GALLERY Tanya Marcuse's second solo show consisted of surreal, uniformly sized platinum/palladium prints drawn from two different bodies of work. One of these, the picture cycle "Bridal Suite" (all works 1995), commemorated her wedding day: everything...
Teapot Tempest
A decade, virtually to the day, since "Treasure Houses of Britain" - a lavish celebration of the "country house experience" - opened at Washington's National Gallery, its negative mirror image went up at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center. "Brilliant!: New...
Theory on TV: Gadget Goes to Florida
LAURENCE A. RICKELS TALKS WITH GREGORY ULMER Gregory Ulmer was one of the first in his generation of theorists to focus on the technological moment in Derrida's rereadings, at the same time noting the compatibility between his own rereading and what...
The Subject in Question
AS A MAJOR RETROSPECTIVE OF THE PAINTINGS OF HOWARD HODGKIN WENT UP THIS NOVEMBER AT NEW YORK'S METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, A.M. HOMES ASKED THE ARTIST ABOUT HIS LIFE, HIS ART, AND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO. IN THE ACCOMPANYING REVIEW, RICHARD...
Ultra Swede
In 1958, the Danish art-lover Knud W. Jensen, having sold his dairy company, opened a museum for Modern art in the seaside town of Humlebaek, outside Copenhagen. The Louisiana - named for the three consecutive wives of the site's original owner, all...
Vadim Zakharov
KUNSTVEREIN For his recent show "Der Letzte Spaziergang Dutch die Elysischen Felder" (The last walk through the elysian fields) 36-year-old Russian artist Vadim Zakharov transformed Cologne's Kunstverein into an indoor park. Amid newly planted "meadows"...
Virtual Kitsch
The first contemporary art shows that really blew me away when I was a little kid seemed crisply technological, like the set in 2001: Sol LeWitt's huge wall drawings and cube permutations in MOMA'S Projects Room, Kenneth Noland's stripe paintings at...
Wolfgang Laib
SPERONE WESTWATER Wolfgang Laib's recent installation You Will Go Somewhere Else, 1995, is yet another instance of the artist's exceptional ability to close the gap between the material and the spiritual, stillness and movement, internal and external...