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. 35, No. 9, May

"1997 Biennial Exhibition:' Whitney Museum of American Art
Several years ago, circa 1990, I attended the opening of a then-fashionable abstract painter, one of whose favored motifs was an Escherian stairway. There seemed to be a lot of repetition going on, and a lot of busy handiwork. The paintings were well...
Bellocq Epoque
NAN GOLDIN ON THE "STORYVILLE PORTRAITS" Late one Berlin night in 1991, a famous German fashion photographer invited me and two friends to join him for a trip to Bel Ami, his favorite brothel in the Grunewald. The presence of a woman as a customer created...
Better Late
Whatever else is said about this year's Venice Biennale, the international thematic exhibition that is traditionally its centerpiece will be remembered for having been curated with lightning speed. It was only in January that Germano Celant, the Guggenheim...
Halfway House
Whose house is this? Whose night keeps out the light In here? Say, who owns this house? It's not mine. I had another, sweeter, brighter With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats; Of fields wide as arms open for me. This house is strange. Its shadows...
Inside Out: The Art of Henry Darger
The world is at war. The Glandelinians - atheists, military men in ornate uniforms armed with rifles and bayonets - are battling the Christian Angelinneans, enslaving little girls, nailing them to crosses, burning them, strangling them, dismembering...
Irma Vep
From the outset, Olivier Assayas' breakneck behind-the-camera satire Irma Vep immerses the viewer in the heady desperation of moviemaking. The first shot slowly pans over fresh-faced production assistants blithely hustling investors and creditors with...
Iron Still
Jeff Wall, known for his photographs of artfully staged scenes at once familiar and uncanny, is planning his first monument - a cast-iron sculpture located near Hotel New York on Rotterdam's Whilhelmina pier, where the Holland American Line ships used...
Kassel Rock
About five years ago, Catherine David and I met in my office at the Museum of Modern Art in New York to discuss Eva Hesse. I was writing an essay on the artist's work for a retrospective at Yale University and she was organizing a Hesse show for the...
Manuel Alvarez Bravo
MoMA/ROBERT MILLER/WITKIN GALLERY/THROCKMORTON FINE ART In the great portrait Frida Kahlo in Manuel Alvarez Bravo's Studio, 1930s, the painter's head, with its penetrating, questioning eyes, is twice rhymed elsewhere: in the mirrored ball next to her...
Nowhere
In the beginning, director Gregg Araki's reputation was tiny but sterling. His early, so-called no-budget movies Three Bewildered People in the Night (1987) and The Long Weekend (O' Despair) (1989) were wildly admired for their gentle, depressive tone,...
Openings: Henrik Hakansson
Recent research shows that dolphins are capable of humming melodies heard several days earlier. Sadly, this talent is coupled with a penchant for Mariah Carey and Bryan Adams. Reportedly, less brainy creatures, such as frogs, not only have better taste,...
Out of the Blue
Half a millennium after Botticelli painted Venus as the central figure in the mysterious parable of Primavera, Rineke Dijkstra brings the figure back for a solo turn in the form of a Polish adolescent on the beach of Kolobrzeg. Dijkstra's Venus has the...
Outside Art
One of the most interesting aspects of the Munster Sculpture Show in 1987 was simply walking around, trying to find the work. Since the site-specific pieces were frequently designed to blend in with their surroundings, subtly commenting on the various...
Poulpe Fiction
Early last March, in the thick of the protest movement against the draconian immigration law proposed by France's Minister of the Interior Jean-Louis Debre, the residents of a working-class Paris neighborhood not far from the Bastille came together for...
Smile and Say "Jeans!" (Use of Photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe to Advertise Helmut Lang Jeans)
I have been trying to remember what kind of jeans Robert Mapplethorpe wore and if they were really tight and tidy or kind of droopy and in need of a wash. Easy to picture him in black leather pants or chaps, harder to remember him in blue jeans. Roland...
State of the Union
I recently returned from the US to a British news media dominated by a by-election in the Northwest of England. The point about the Wirral contest was that 1) it was an ordinarily safe Conservative seat that seemed about to fall to Labour (which it did);...
"The Name of the Place." (Photography Exhibition)
CASEY KAPLAN Laurie Simmons' photographic scenarios of dolls, dummies, and other miniatures can stand as a kind of iconic template for the moves of a whole generation of artists of the '80s, but I'm not sure I've thought of her work when visiting the...
The Nasher Collection
SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM Touted as the greatest collection of twentieth-century sculpture in private hands, the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, now playing at the uptown Guggenheim, has everything from masterpieces of the medium to "chocolate...
Vanity Fare
I'm told by Newsweek, Vogue, and Vanity Fair that I'm living in the "coolest" city in the world. This journalistic revamp of London makes me feel self-conscious, like being congratulated by a friend on the "terrific new" jacket that in fact I've been...