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. 7, March

"43Rd Biennial." (Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)
CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART Organized by Corcoran curator of contemporary art Terrie Sultan, the "43rd Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting" featured 91 works by 25 artists. Intended as the flip side of the previous biennial, which was...
Anish Kapoor
BARBARA GLADSTONE GALLERY The marvel of Anish Kapoor's sandstone sculptures (all 1993) is that they are able to renew the sense of enigma and ineffability that the best abstract art affords while seemingly not bound by the terms of its history, even...
Backbeat
IAN SOFTLEY, DIRECTOR: Backbeat (Gramercy Films). As a movie about the Beatles in Hamburg in the very early '60s, this is perfectly adequate. As a movie about the love affair between then-Beatle bass player Stuart Sutcliffe and Hamburg photographer Astrid...
Barbara Muhlefluh and Karin Hochstatter
BRANDSTETTER & WYSS The juxtaposition of various artists' works sometimes looks forced, but that wa not the case in this exhibition. Visually the works of Barbara Muhlefluh and Karin Hochstatter are harmonious; both use ephemeral materials to create...
Bill Jensen
MARY BOONE GALLERY With his relatively diminutive landscape abstractions, Bill Jensen protracts what might be described as a neo-easel tradition. His works recently found a home in a space originally designed for the pomp and circumstance proper to...
Christopher Williams
LUHRING AUGUSTINE GALLERY Christopher Williams' photographs possess a treacherous wit. Virtually all are parts of different, seemingly open-ended series, each image an ironic revision of a previous one, though ultimately it is un clear what comes before...
Chuck Close
PACE GALLERY Chuck Close's recent colossal portraits are a testament to painting's continued vitality. The brilliance and appeal of their lushly painted surfaces are not indicative of a post-Whitney Biennial trauma--a swing of the pendulum of artistic...
"Ciphers of Identity." (University of Maryland Fine Arts Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland)
FINE ARTS GALLERY UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND It's a bold move to follow an internationally recognized exhibition that occurs every other year in New York with one that travels primarily to regional cities "Ciphers of Identity," curated by Maurice Berger,...
Cream of Wheat Paste: Cost and Revs
I remember the days when a subway train illegally painted by Lee Quinones would roll into a station and the people on the platform would spontaneously applaud. I remember artists like Lee, Zephyr, Futura 2000, Lady Pink, Crash, Daze, SAMO |C~ (aka Jean-Michel...
Donald Lipski
CAPP STREET PROJECT Donald Lipski has always had a gift for the graceful manipulation of unusual materials, ranging from the simple (matchbook covers, bits of string) to the elaborate or strange--roses pickled in baroque arcs of industrial glass tubing,...
Donna Moylan
POSTMASTERS For several years Donna Moylan's work has expanded its investigations of the image in several directions at once. The eleven new paintings shown here, all from 1993, seem to focus on one of these directions in order to push it to its very...
"Dream Singers, Story Tellers." (New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey)
NEW JERSEY STATE MUSEUM Organized by Allison Weld of the New Jersey State Museum and Sadao Serikawa of the Fukui Fine Arts Museum in Japan, this exhibition had already been seen in three Japanese museums before it opened in Trenton. "Dream Singers,...
Flesh for Phantasy: Frayed Fraud
My Initial reaction to the exhibition "Lucian Freud: Recent Work," at New York' Metropolitan Museum of Art this winter, was an almost visceral repugnance. It was a malaise brought on by a combination of undistinguished painting and bad faith, tricked...
Flesh for Phantasy: Fresh Freud
The bodies are naked and displayed in odd poses, as though they were inherently odd "constructions," or else arbitrary arrangements--as if Lucian Freud were reinforcing their "expressiveness" by giving their parts, and particularly thei appendages, a...
Gabriel Orozco
GALERIE CROUSEL-ROBELIN/BAMA Acclaimed for his two recent solo exhibitions (one organized by the Kanaal Art Foundation in Kortrijk, Belgium, in the spring of 1993; the other last autumn for the "Projects" series at New York's Museum of Modern Art),...
Gore Girl!
John Waters' new movie, Serial Mom, is not what you would call an especially plot-driven narrative. In the gentle language of literary criticism, the diegesis is subsumed by the rabid, frothy-mouthed semiosis. From the very first scene, which shows Beverly...
Gotscho
NICOLE KLAGSBRUN As the installation created by French artist Gotscho pointed out, weddings are strict rituals governed by rigid conventions. Staging is a large part of the affair, and Gotscho, who has a background in theater, has "staged" his Wedding...
Guillaume Bijl
SECESSION; GALERIE HUBERT WINTER There are few exhibitions that can be described as easily as "Der Mensch uberwindet Distanzen" (Man overcomes distances). Everyone can imagine a historical exhibition on the subject of transportation and by extension,...
Haunting Grounds: Joel Sternfeld's Crime Sights
A tree in a park, a section of road, a little girl's bedroom, a billboard. All of them eerily familiar. Looking at these sites, I think: I have been here before, I know this place. But where is it? What is it? I have the uncanny sensation that something...
Herve Guibert
CENTRO CULTURAL CONDE DUQUE In the introduction to his book of photos Le seul visage (The only face, 1984), Herve Guibert defined his relationship to photography in terms of resistance, a a "reluctant, prudent form, distrustful of practicing it." Imbued,...
Jasper Johns: 'In Memory of My Feelings' - Frank O'Hara, 1961
I distrust narratives of origins--here is where my desire began--but I repeatedly feel compelled to concoct them. 1977: a college sophomore, naive, addicted to obfuscation, I visited the Jasper Johns retrospective at New York's Whitney Museum of American...
John Baldessari
GALLERIA PRIMO PIANO John Baldessari has always played with the enormous capacity of images to free meaning; that is, stylistically (and thus ideologically) to communicate their representational contents to an observer whose relationship to the image...
John Boskovich
ROSAMUND FELSEN GALLERY The lack of an interior life is less often the root of suffering than one might imagine. Usually, it's an excess of interiority, an obscene plenitude of psychi involution, that sends sensitive souls spiraling downward into the...
Jorge Tacla
NOHRA HAIME GALLERY Jorge Tacla harmoniously arranges apparently unrelated sensibilities on the canvas, traveling through time to select seemingly disparate pictorial elements His more orderly scribblings possess the magisterial look of Egyptian hieroglyphics,...
Luis Cruz Azaceta
FRUMKIN/ADAMS GALLERY For the better part of two decades, Luis Cruz Azaceta has painted himself in an out of fashion: he explored the expressive possibilities of the figure in the '70s (long before it was cool to do so) and then restlessly pursued different...
Markus Lupertz
MICHAEL WERNER A tour of the abstract and concrete, a lasting impression of expression, less s of technique, a decorative aftertaste, art-historical contextualization with Aleksey von Jawlensky, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, A. R. Penck, and Georg Baselit...
Mel Bochner
Mid-to-late 20th-century art practice is often described in terms of axiomatic polarities-visual versus conceptual; expressionism versus analytical investigation--polarities that are so thoroughly enmeshed in our esthetic consciousness that sometimes...
Michiko Itatani
DESON-SAUNDERS GALLERY Michiko Itatani's vertiginous paintings do everything but actually spin, settin up disorienting and cacophonous rhythms. Maelstroms of shifting pictorial field that pile up to touch the parameters of chaos, they reach as near...
Neke Carson
HELANDER GALLERY The name of Marcel Duchamp drops out of the mouths of so many unimaginative artists as an excuse for their pseudo-Dada, neo-readymade objets d'art that it' hard even to like Duchamp anymore. As T. S. Eliot said, every new work of art...
"New Sculptures." (Middelheim, Antwerp, Belgium)
MIDDELHEIM The city of Antwerp, the cultural capital of Europe in 1993, has maintained an out door sculpture park in Middenheim since 1950. There are about 450 works--ranging from Rodin to Calder to Zadkine--in the impressive Arenal, a large park with...
Philip Tsiaras
TITANIUM GALLERY Comfortably straddling abstraction and figuration, Philip Tsiaras' "Topologies" brings the question of pictorial depth into focus. Tsiaras (who, until recently seemed essentially pledged to the articulation of the sensual and primordial...
Plastic People of the Universe
THE SCENE IS RIGHT out of a dialectical fairy tale: a band that once upon a tim became a subterranean legend, an avatar of freedom and refusal, reunites to record a live album. The group reaches back almost a quarter century into its repertoire to dredge...
Raffael Rheinsberg
KUNSTHALLE A few months ago, when Raffael Rheinsberg flew a German flag at half mast in th Swedish city of Visby, German tourists saw their carefree vacation moods and their feelings of national pride being com-promised. With the intervention of the...
Randolfo Rocha
ELGA WIMMER GALLERY It's been five years since Randolfo Rocha's last one-person show, and those who remember his overtly representational, politically topical paintings of the '80 might imagine this to be the work of a completely different artist. Gone...
Reinhard Mucha
ANTHONY D'OFFAY The seven individual pieces in this show were to be understood, for the duratio of the exhibition, to form a single large work. The installation took the gallery as yet an other site of activity for the artist, drawing it into the flux...
Ross Neher
DAVID BEITZEL GALLERY Translating broad sweeps of atmospheric space and light into densely corporeal surfaces, Ross Neher's abstract paintings, for all their maestoso formality and distance, touch on powerful and disturbing paradoxes of contemporary...
Shonagh Adelman
A SPACE Some recent lesbian and feminist erotic imagery suggests that the road to libidinal democracy is to create as many objects of desire as possible. By contrast, Shonagh Adelman's installation Tele Donna, 1994, takes the view that by definition...
Sister Acts
What does the art world read? Once again we've asked artists, writers, curators critics, and a few choice wits to answer the question: What book has most influenced your work or your life? Contra Fran Lebowitz's witty counsel in the last installment...
Stockholm Letter
Four years into the '90s, Sweden is in the middle of a painful metamorphosis. O course we blame the recession, which merely triggered the trauma, and the bourgeois coalition government that took office in 1991 (after half a century o almost unbroken...
"The Four Elements." (Panstwowa Galeria Sztuki, Lodz, Poland)
PANSTWOWA GALERIA SZTUKI This exhibition drew loosely on Jungian archetypes and more directly on Gaston Bachelard's observation that "the realm of the imaginary is ruled by four elements and that, accordingly, one can distinguish four types of material...
"The Return of the Cadavre Exquis." (the Drawing Center, New York, New York)
THE DRAWING CENTER Rarely does the firstborn name its parents, but when the Surrealists first played a sort of parlor game in 1925, it resulted in the sentence "The exquisit corpse will drink the new wine," and ever since the game has been known as...
Thomas Lanigan Schmidt
HOLLY SOLOMON GALLERY Thomas Lanigan Schmidt has long made a practice of using degraded materials to invoke Catholic ritual, emphasizing its importance as a backdrop for personal experience. Much more than mere simulacra of opulent ritual objects, his...
Tomiaki Yamamoto
AKIRA IKEDA GALLERY If there is any future to abstract painting, then Tomiaki Yamamoto's paintings strongly suggest one: a mannerist direction--the theatrical reconciliation of stylized contradictions. Many abstract artists think that this century is...
Ull Hohn
AMERICAN FINE ARTS, CO. I've never been a painter, but in a slough of despond, or when overcome by paralyzing lethargy--for moments, hours, days--psychically wired to the TV set, my only friend, I've had occasion to be an armchair painter, thanks to...
Vital Signs: Gillian Wearing's Talking Pictures
You're walking down a busy Central London street, hurrying through stress, noise, fumes, crowds. When a young woman comes up to you out of the chaos, you flinch; your first instinct is to brush past. But as soon as she begins speakin you realize she's...
Vito Acconci and Steven Holl
STOREFRONT FOR ART AND ARCHITECTURE In the past few years, the maverick organization Storefront for Art and Architecture has invited artists to subvert not only the conventional function but the very architectural structure of the gallery space. Utilizing...
Weather Report
We have now heard hacks on all sides proclaiming that we increasingly live in cyberspace and that physical location on the ground is an old-school redundancy--have PC, will travel the info superhighway. Route Whatever. Try telling that to anyone without...
Wiretap: A Walk through the Whitney, or What We Really Say When We Talk about Art
--This looks different than when I was here before for some reason. --That wasn't lit up. What is that. --Don't scream, Mother, I can't stand it. It's lurking here, lying in wait, ready to spring at any moment. Quiet, Mother. Now you understand the...